5 NFL MVP Candidates No One Is Talking About

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5 NFL MVP Candidates No One Is Talking About

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Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

There has been very little talk of NFL MVP candidates this season because Peyton Manning has such a massive lead for the award at this point. The race is far from over, but if the voting were done today, it would be a landslide in Manning’s favor. Through 10 games, he’s completed 69.9 percent of his passes for 3,572 yards with 34 TDs and six INTs. With six games still remaining, Manning has already posted numbers that would earn him a trip to the Pro Bowl.

Manning and the Denver Broncos’ offense are heading toward a historic season, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some big things happening elsewhere. There are several players who would be getting a lot of attention in most other years, but are being overshadowed by the fireworks in Denver.

With the exception of one player, it’s tough to call anybody outside of Manning a candidate right now, but there are some who could be MVP candidates by season’s end. Much like Tom Brady’s record-breaking 2007 season did at this point, Manning’s big year could cool off a little bit, giving some other guys a chance to catch up in the MVP race. They would have to finish very strong, but it could definitely happen.

In fact, the aforementioned lone player could simply keep pace with his big season and catch Manning if he were to slow down. If that were to happen, said player would make MVP award history. This no. 1 contender is at no. 1 on this list, and has the best chance by far to make it an interesting MVP race in 2013.

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5. Marshawn Lynch

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Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Behind a beat up offensive line, Lynch has compiled the second-most rushing yards (925) and is currently tied for the NFL lead in total touchdowns (11). With the offensive line getting healthier, Lynch should have a very strong finish to the season.

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4. Russell Wilson

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Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Behind the same weak offensive line, Wilson has been making plays all season while running for his life. He’s completed 64 percent of his passes for 2,362 yards with 20 total TDs and six INTs. Only Alex Smith has fewer interceptions among quarterbacks who have started every game, and only Terrelle Pryor has more rushing yards at the position than Wilson’s 409.

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3. LeSean McCoy

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John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

McCoy is currently the NFL’s leading rusher with 1,009 yards, and his 1,408 yards from scrimmage is 222 yards higher than the second best in the league (Jamaal Charles). McCoy is currently on pace for 1,614 yards rushing, 638 yards receiving, and 10 total TDs.

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2. Drew Brees

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John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Brees is having another amazing season, but the fact that his numbers are worse than Manning’s in every major category eliminates any reasonable MVP argument for him at this point. Brees has completed 68.2 percent of his passes for 3,369 yards with 26 TDs and eight INTs, keeping him within striking distance. With two games remaining against the Carolina Panthers and one against the Seattle Seahawks, Brees is going to have his work cut out for him to catch Manning in the race.

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1. Calvin Johnson

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Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, Johnson broke the NFL record for receiving yards (1,964), but a lack of TDs (five) and a non-competitive team kept him from serious MVP consideration. This season, neither of those issues seems to be a problem as the Detroit Lions are currently atop the NFC North and Johnson is tied for the NFL lead in total touchdowns with 11. Despite having next to nothing to take pressure off of him in the receiving game, Megatron is currently on pace for 1,925 receiving yards and 20 TDs.

If he can keep up that ridiculous production, Johnson deserves serious consideration to be the first-ever wide receiver to win the award. A linebacker (Lawrence Taylor), defensive tackle (Alan Page) and even a placekicker (Mark Moseley) have won in the past. An unmatched, dominant force like Johnson deserves to be the first at his position to take MVP honors — hopefully he’ll finish strong and do just that.


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