Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is looking for his third MVP award. (Associated Press)
Pro Football Talk’s Gregg Rosenthal produces his midseason MVP list without too many surprises. At this point, it’s probably more important who is listed second (Tom Brady) behind Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers: There’s really not a close second.
Rodgers might wind up with the highest yards-per-attempt since 1954. It’s hard to come up with a player similar to Rodgers historically. Steve Young may have the closest match to Rodgers’ combination of athleticism and precision passing. How do you defend this guy?
2. Tom Brady, Patriots: It’s a huge drop to No. 2 on the list, but the last few games have obscured that Brady has been dealing. His yards-per-attempt average is the highest of his career, even besting his 2007 campaign. No one completes more passes to well covered receivers.
3. Matt Forte, Bears: When everything else on the Bears offense breaks, Forte still works. No player accounts for a higher percentage of his team’s yards and it’s not even close.
4. Fred Jackson, Bills: The most underrated back of his generation is finally getting his due. Like Forte, Jackson has an outside shot to break the league’s yards from scrimmage record.
5. Drew Brees, Saints: The bad games tend to be quite bad, but the Saints would experience a Colts-like fall without Brees running the show.
6. Eli Manning, Giants: Only Aaron Rodgers is throwing for more yards-per-pass. That will be tough to keep up as the schedule gets more difficult.
7. Calvin Johnson, Lions: Detroit’s entire offense often comes down to “Throw the ball up to Megatron.” And it works.