Tag Archives: Eli Manning

Clamor begins for Rodgers repeat

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the overwhelming favorite to win the MVP.

Dozens of analysts from ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo! and NFL.com made their annual preseason predictions, including for MVP.  Defending MVP Aaron Rodgers received 20 votes. Everybody else received 24 votes combined.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (20)
Michael Silver, Yahoo!
Andrew Brandt, ESPN
Jeffri Chadiha, ESPN
Dan Graziano, ESPN
KC Joyner, ESPN
Mike Sando, ESPN
Adam Schefter, ESPN
Kevin Seifert, ESPN
Bill Williamson, ESPN
Matt Williamson, ESPN
Don Banks, Sports Illustrated
Jim Trotter, Sports Illustrated
Tom Mantzouranis, Sports Illustrated
Adam Schein, NFL.com
Steve Wyche, NFL.com
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com
Michael Lombardi, NFL.com
Adam Rank, NFL.com
Jeff Darlington, NFL.com
Dave Dameshek, NFL.com

Saints QB Drew Brees (8)
Jason Cole, Yahoo!
Pat Yasinskas, ESPN
Kerry J. Byrne, Sports Illustrated
Andrew Perloff, Sports Illustrated
Jeff Diamond, Sports Illustrated
Bucky Brooks, NFL.com
Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, NFL.com
Marc Sessler, NFL.com

Patriots QB Tom Brady (6)
John Clayton, ESPN
Ashley Fox, ESPN
Jamison Hensley, ESPN
Chris Burke, Sports Illustrated
Gil Brandt, NFL.com
Chad Reuter, NFL.com

Texans RB Arian Foster (3)
James Walker, ESPN
Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com
Eddie George, Yahoo!

Giants QB Eli Manning (2)
Paul Kuharsky, ESPN
Dennis Dillon, Sports Illustrated

Falcons QB Matt Ryan (1)
Bill Barnwell, ESPN

Broncos QB Peyton Manning (1)
Peter King, Sports Illustrated

Eagles QB Michael Vick (1)
Ian Rapoport, NFL.com

Bears QB Jay Cutler (1)
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com

Cowboys QB Tony Romo (1)
Dan Hanzus, NFL.com

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Packers’ loss may cost Rodgers votes

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers lost some MVP momentum in a 19-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, his second consecutive game with a passer ratings below 100. (Associated Press)

Will Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers unanimously win the NFL MVP? What was a mildly intriguing question before Sunday became a full-fledged debate after a wacky week in which Rodgers struggled while Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady shined. Green Bay Press-Gazette reporter Pete Dougherty examined the issue before Week 15’s games, getting MVP voters to share their thoughts:

Gary Meyers, New York Daily News: “Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Eli Manning are all having MVP-type seasons, and in another year it might have given me something to think about. But not this year. Not the way Rodgers has played.”

Alex Marvez, Foxsports.com: “Rodgers is setting a new standard for quarterbacking. How could anyone else get a vote?”

Howard Balzer, The Sports Xchange: “The only way I would think of voting for someone other than Rodgers is if the Packers crash down the stretch (unlikely), and the Saints and Brees go nut. Even then it would be a close call.”

Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY: “To be fair to the process I’m considering Brees but am indeed pretty solid on Rodgers.”

John Czarnecki, FoxSports.com: “Fans everywhere are fascinated with Tim Tebow, but I don’t see many picking him for MVP despite his unbelievable winning streak.”

Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com continues his contrarian streak by suggesting Rodgers might not even win his first MVP after losing to the Chiefs. My guess is his first 13 consecutive sublime performances will resonate with voters, although the recency effect does give Brees a chance if the Saints finish 13-3 and he breaks Dan Marino’s single-season passing yardage record.

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Filed under 2011 media support

King adds defender to MVP watch

49ers defensive end Justin Smith replaces Bears running back Matt Forte in the latest MVP watch from Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, one of 50 voters for the Associated Press award.

1. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay. His MVP to lose with seven games to play.

2. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans. No quarterback through 10 games of an NFL season has thrown for more yards than Brees’ 3,326 this year.

3. Tom Brady, QB, New England. Pats haven’t lost three straight since the first year Brady was a full-time starter. Doubt it’s a coincidence.

4. Justin Smith, DL, San Francisco. In Week 4, he sprinted, caught Jeremy Maclin from behind as the Eagles were going in for the winning score, stripped the ball and ended the game. On Sunday, with the Niners clinging to a 27-20 lead and the Giants at the Niner 10 threatening for overtime, Smith stopped running back D.J. Ware on third-and-two for no gain, then forced an incompletion from Eli Manning to Jake Ballard on the last New York snap of the night. If any defender in the league deserves to be on this list after 10 weeks, it’s either he or Darrelle Revis, and today, with the Niners 8-1, I’m picking Smith.

5. Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants. Almost brought the Giants back from way down for the second weekend in a row against a good team on the road.

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Brady leads pack chasing Rodgers

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.

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Quarterbacks top King’s MVP Watch

Eli Manning's comeback victory over the Patriots thrusted the Giants quarterback into the MVP race.

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.

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Filed under 2011 voters

Reporters begin making their case

Bills running back Fred Jackson, right, runs away from Redskins safety Laron Landry during Sunday's game in Toronto. (Associated Press)

With the NFL regular season almost halfway over, mainstream reporters have started to make their pitch for local MVP candidates. I’ll probably address the Peyton Manning scenario later (not realistic, but an interesting discussion), but will focus on active players as I cull the interesting arguments:

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Filed under 2011 media support