Top 5 NFL MVP Candidates Heading Into Week 13

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NFL's Top 5 MVP Candidates Heading Into Week 13

Peyton Manning
USA TODAY Sports

The playoff stretch run of the 2013 NFL season is well underway and the play on the field is testament to that as teams are playing wilder, more high-scoring games than ever before. We’re seeing more last-minute, game-winning drives, one-possession final scores and prolific comebacks each and every week than we ever have before…and we love it! But the best part is the MVP race, which has mirrored the playoff competition as tighter, more unpredictable and wide open than ever. And put simply, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

The greatest factor of this year’s MVP race is it’s not dominated entirely by quarterbacks, even though signal-callers are putting up more ridiculous stats than ever before, and that’s two years after we saw three 5,000-yard passers in one season! That should tell you that the play on the field by these other skill position players is off the charts if they’re able to keep up with the pretty boys in the MVP race (a.k.a. popularity contest).

So as we head into the home stretch of the season, let’s take a look at the top five MVP candidates and how they relate to their teams’ chances of making the playoffs in this incredibly competitive NFL season.

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5. Tom Brady

Tom Brady MVP
USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady is having a subpar season by his own prolific standards, but Tom Terrific was masterful in a comeback win over the Broncos with a makeshift receiving corps outside of Rob Gronkowski. Brady makes everyone around him better and that’s why he’s on this list.

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4. Calvin Johnson

Calvin Johnson MVP
USA TODAY Sports

The biggest freak in the NFL has almost 1,200 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns through only 11 games and Calvin Johnson (a.k.a. Megatron) is proving that he might actually be a real-life transformer.

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3. Jamaal Charles

Jamaal Charles MVP
USA TODAY Sports

As the only real weapon in the Chiefs’ offensive arsenal, Jamaal Charles has been asked to do it all even with opposing defenses turning all of their attention his way. But that doesn’t matter because this guy is a total stud.

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2. Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning MVP
USA TODAY Sports

Peyton Manning falls from the top spot on our list after squandering a huge lead to his biggest adversary, Tom Brady, on Sunday Night Football. While he may still be the best quarterback in the league, he’s no longer the most valuable.

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1. Philip Rivers

Philip Rivers MVP
USA TODAY Sports

Philip Rivers has done more with less than any quarterback in the NFL while turning the Chargers from an afterthought to a surprise playoff contender. If Rivers can take his stable of unnamable receivers to the playoffs, he should undoubtedly be the MVP.

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