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NFL MVP Candidates After Week 3

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Top 5 NFL MVP Candidates Through 3 Weeks

Top 5 NFL MVP Candidates Through 3 Weeks
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

After three weeks of play, the picture of the NFL supremacy is starting to get a tad less fuzzy, which means MVP candidates are emerging and while many of them are familiar names, some usual suspects on this list are nowhere to be found now. Of course, there's always the debate of whether any position other than quarterback belongs (all positions belong, by the way; the league just puts mostly quarterbacks because they get the most fan attention). And there's at least one defensive player who is definitely in the conversation at this point.

Don't believe that? Try looking at a guy who is on pace to break a single-season record while leading the entire league by a mile in the most popular defensive statistic category. He plays for a team that is suddenly a powerhouse because of its stifling defense and he's the main reason why.

Of course, there's the one familiar name at the top that has been there since opening night and will remain there until he wins the award later this year, but we can't spoil everything! Here are the top five NFL MVP candidates after three weeks of play.

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5. Justin Houston

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Houston is a guy you've probably never heard of, but he leads the league in sacks by a large margin and is a big reason why the Chiefs' defense has propelled the team to a 3-0 start. Look for a record-breaking year from Houston and a playoff berth for KC.

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4. Tom Brady

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady isn't having a season to remember, but the Patriots are 3-0 because he's been able to somehow overcome his top weapons being out because of injury, roster moves and/or murder.

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3. Marshawn Lynch

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Marshawn Lynch doesn't have any record-breaking stats thus far, but he is carrying Seattle's dominant offense and making life easy for Russell Wilson. He'll easily eclipse 1,500 yards again this year and lead the Seahawks deep into the postseason.

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2. Drew Brees

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Drew Brees isn't getting any attention yet, but his Saints are quietly 3-0 and he's again throwing for a ton of yards and keeping them in close games. That will soon change for the better.

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1. Peyton Manning

1. Peyton Manning
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Peyton Manning is by far the best player in the NFL thus far. He's been flawless through three games and his Broncos are atop all the power rankings for good reason. Look for Manning to win his fifth MVP award later this year.