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10 Dark Horse Candidates For 2014 NFL MVP

10 Dark Horses Who Could Enter the 2014 NFL MVP Discussion

NFL: AFC Wildcard Playoff-Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts
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In this slideshow we'll take a look at 10 dark horse candidates for 2014 NFL MVP. All of these players are realistic candidates for the coveted award, just not the statistical favorites heading into the season:

The Favorites

Aaron Rodgers
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The Favorites

Aaron Rodgers

The odds-on favorites to win award are as follows (according to SportsBook): 1. Peyton Manning 2. Aaron Rodgers 3. Drew Brees 4. Tom Brady 5. Russell Wilson 6. Calvin Johnson. I also consider Andrew Luck a favorite.

Let's take a look at some dark horses:

10. Dez Bryant

Dez Bryant
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10. Dez Bryant

Dez Bryant

A WR has never won the AP NFL MVP Award. Dez Bryant has the talent to put together an MVP-caliber season in 2014, but so many things would have line up for him to actually take home the hardware.

9. Colin Kaepernick

colin kaepernick
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9. Colin Kaepernick

colin kaepernick

Kaep just got paid, so it's time for him to up his game. Right? You'd think that would be the case, but the 49ers weren't exactly a team to be reckoned with through the air last season. However, we are talking about a speedy QB who could rack up a ton of yards and TDs on the ground as well.

8. AJ Green

AJ Green
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8. AJ Green

AJ Green

Is this the year when people start to really compare Green and Megatron? It's possible, especially if Green puts up MVP-like numbers. He'll no doubt need a little more help from Andy Dalton to get that done though.

7. Nick Foles

Philadelphia Eagles Offense
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7. Nick Foles

Philadelphia Eagles Offense

Last year's breakout QB will definitely be a dark horse candidate for MVP in 2014 if he keeps his TD/INT ratio incredibly low (2013 - 27 TD, 2 INT).

6. LeSean McCoy

LeSean McCoy

6. LeSean McCoy

LeSean McCoy

Foles' teammate thinks he's the best running back in the league these days. Well, a good way to prove that would be by putting up MVP numbers all season long in 2014. With McCoy's ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, he could easily accrue a ton of yards from scrimmage.

5. Robert Griffin III

ROBERT GRIFFIN III
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5. Robert Griffin III

ROBERT GRIFFIN III

A healthy knee, a new head coach and new top wide receiver could propel RG3 right back into the MVP discussion this year. If you'll remember he was a dark horse candidate during his rookie season, so why not 2014?

4. Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson MVP Cover (Brace Hemmelgarn)
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4. Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson MVP Cover (Brace Hemmelgarn)

It's crazy to think that a guy who just won MVP two years back isn't a favorite to win it in 2014. But when you're a RB in today's NFL, that'll happen. Still, don't sleep on AP. He could easily flirt with 2,000 yards once again.

3. Cam Newton

Cam Newton
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3. Cam Newton

Cam Newton

Newton's MVP candidacy doesn't really rest on if he's up to the task, it rests on his wide receivers. All of his top three pass-catchers from last year are gone, so it will be up to the new faces to keep Newton relevant in MVP talks. But clearly, the guy is talented enough to be in this discussion every year.

2. Matt Ryan

Atlanta Falcons v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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2. Matt Ryan

Atlanta Falcons v Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Will Matty prove to be ice cold in 2014? Can he take his game to that proverbial next level and get the Falcons back to the playoffs? If he can, he'll also likely find himself in the MVP discussion late in the season.

1. Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler
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1. Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler

Everyone has seen 'good' Jay Cutler at this point, just as everyone has seen 'bad' Jay Cutler. Good Jay is an elite QB who can make throws few can. If Good Jay is out more often than Bad Jay in 2014, which is a real possibility considering the offensive weapons in Chicago, Cutler might just the ultimate dark horse MVP candidate.