Tag Archives: Matt Forte

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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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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