Can the Texans produce a league MVP?

September, 19, 2013
9/19/13
10:17
AM ET
Our Dan Graziano took a look at some potential MVP candidates and made sure to include players from every undefeated team. He ran into the issue that winning the league's MVP award is incredibly difficult for players who don't play quarterback or running back. Thus a list that includes eight quarterbacks (or as Graziano calls it, the MVPosition), a linebacker and a defensive tackle (and a disclaimer of knowing some of the guys on the list would never be named MVP).

Cushing
That linebacker would be Texans madman Brian Cushing, who has two sacks and an interception return for a touchdown so far this season. Graziano notes how good the Texans' defense was before Cushing was hurt last season.

I have no doubt Cushing could have an incredible season. And his impact on the Texans' defense cannot be overestimated. It's huge.

But in order for a defensive player to win MVP, especially if Peyton Manning continues at this rate, the player has to be even more than that. Last season some around here argued that if J.J. Watt didn't win MVP, it would be clear the award was simply an offensive award. I'd say if Watt bettered his 2013 season he'd have a shot at being named MVP. That seems like the only likely scenario for a Texans player gaining that distinction.

Tania Ganguli

ESPN Houston Texans reporter

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