Sports Illustrated’s Peter King started his annual MVP Watch, which I’ll post separately from the weekly rankings because he is actually one of the 50 Associated Press voters.
1. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay. I know it’s stunning to hear this, and to even think of this, but Rodgers has amassed just half of the best season a quarterback has ever had. Can he play the second half at the same level?
2. Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants. “Which Manning?” my buddy Florio asked me Sunday night when I told him I was putting Manning in my MVP top five. He’s a wiseguy. Friday on our NFL preview show on Versus (shameless plug: “NBC SportsTalk,” 6-7 p.m., Fridays), Florio put Peyton Manning fifth. Eli’s second on my list after his scintillating victory in Foxboro — and after his terrific play in the Giants’ 6-2 start. I didn’t have Eli on this list as of Friday, but he shot up the list Sunday evening.
3. Tom Brady, QB, New England. On pace to pass Dan Marino’s all-time yardage record, comfortably.
4. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans. On pace to pass Dan Marino’s all-time yardage record, comfortably.
5. Matt Forte, RB, Chicago. On pace to challenge the record for yards from scrimmage in a season.