One week down, 16 to go, and already we have some phenomenal options to pick from for MVP. Now, there’s roughly 30 options so far for MVP. For now, I’ll stick mostly with household names who happened to perform well in Week 1. Yes, players like Willie Snead and Spencer Ware really balled out, but we’ll need to see it for a few more weeks. So first, here’s some honorable mentions
Keenan Allen (WR, Chargers)
Obviously, Keenan Allen will not be winning the 2016 MVP award due to a devastating ACL injury. But he deserves a shout out. The Chargers looked like a legitimate Super Bowl contender while he was on the field. He was absolutely abusing the former defensive rookie of the year. Once he went down, the offense went stagnant, scoring only 6 points for the rest of the game. If that isn’t value, I don’t know what is. Get well Keenan.
The Offensive Lines… All of the Good Ones
So many offensive lines will not get credit this year… It’s really a shame because one single player can’t really win MVP. But the Raiders, Steelers, Colts and Saints are just a few teams that really benefitted from their offensive line play. So kudos big guys, keep doing what you’re doing.
So now, here’s the list.
- Antonio Brown (WR, Steelers)
What can I say? This guy is incredible… The chemistry he has with Big Ben is absolutely unreal. How do you stop him. While Josh Norman actually did contain when he covered him, Breshaud Breeland, who’s pretty talented, didn’t stand a chance against Brown. Brown accumulated 8 receptions for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns. He could easily shatter records this year as long as he and Ben both stay healthy.
2) Drew Brees (QB, Saints)
I really don’t care about the loss… This guy is unbelievable. Most elite quarterbacks happen to be part of great organizations… Brady and the Pats, Ben and the Steelers, Rodgers and the Packers, etc. Meanwhile, Brees continues to carry this Saints team. If not for him, this would be one of the worst teams in the league. The Saints have a chance to win ANY game as long as Brees is under center. He threw for 423 yards and 4 touchdowns with a 66.7 completion percentage. He might go for his FIFTH 5000 yard season this year. For now, he deserves this slot.
3) Amari Cooper (WR, Raiders)
Wow, this guy can ball. In case it isn’t obvious, this won’t be a quarterback heavy list. I refuse to just put 10 quarterbacks who won this week on this list. There’s something about Cooper that just oozes greatness. He already seems like the type of player who will remain durable and consistent for years to come. And his chemistry with Derek Carr is fantastic. He reminds me of our #1 candidate, Antonio Brown. Cooper caught 6 passes for 137 yards, and every single one felt huge. He’s a special player, and until we see things start to get more clear, he earns the 3rd spot on my list.
4) Andrew Luck (QB, Colts)
How weird is it that my top two quarterbacks happened to be on losing teams? Well, Andrew Luck was the best quarterback in the league this week… It’s not his fault the Colts defense is awful, just like Drew Brees and the saints. Andrew luck earned the top quarterback grade according to Pro Football Focus. He also completed 66% of his passes for 385 yards and 4 touchdowns. Amazing what this guy can do when he has a decent offensive line. Hopefully we see more of it.
5) Ben Roethlisberger (QB, Steelers)
Congrats to the Steelers for having TWO top 5 MVP candidates. Big Ben continues to do his thing, throwing for 300 yards and 3 TDs against a pretty good secondary in Washington. He also completed 73% of his passes. As long as he and Brown stay healthy, this team can compete with anybody.
6) Aaron Rodgers (QB, Packers)
Aaron Rodgers falls a little bit because his statline wasn’t as great, but he made some fantastic throws. Did you see this one? How does he do that? Most QBs can’t make that throw with a clean pocket… That’s just inhuman. He also did put up 199 yards and 2 TDs, which isn’t very impressive for him, but it certainly wasn’t bad.
7) Harrison Smith (FS, Vikings)
Harrison Smith continues to be the best player that nobody ever really talks about outside of r/nfl on reddit… But wow, he’s good. This Vikings defense is loaded, but without Smith, they likely wouldn’t be where they are now. He’s the heart and soul of this team, and he continues to play perfect football. Watch him this Sunday, hopefully the world learns more about him.
8) Von Miller (OLB, Broncos)
Let’s just let Miller represent the whole Broncos defense. Dirty play aside, they continue to enforce their dominance on the league’s top offenses. Wade Philips is the real genius here, but Von Miller is still a freak. He did have a sack against Carolina, and will likely have many more throughout the year.
9) Jameis Winston (QB, Buccaneers)
Where did this Jameis come from? He was incredible. He looks like a completely new player. Mature, accurate, good pocket presence. This young team is starting to come together, as the offensive line also played well. I like Jameis, I really do hope he puts on a great show this year. He’s off to a great start, completing 72% of his passes for 281 yards and 4 touchdowns.
10) Matthew Stafford (QB, Lions)
When Andrew Luck and the Colts scored that go-ahead touchdown, I thought it was over. I thought the Lions would pull a typical Lions and blow it. Instead, Matthew Stafford marches the team down the field for a game winning field goal. I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve been underrating him. It seems like he’s gained some confidence in his other options, and is adjusting to life without Calvin just fine. 340 Yards, 3 touchdowns and a 79.5% completion rate is about as good of a game as you can ask for. Keep on going Matt.
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Photo Credit – http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/news/antonio-brown-twerk-touchdown-celebration-steelers-redskins/14tu9eibe13pr1tq2xbwtzrhvc