Mike Sando's MVP Watch
November, 17, 2010
By Mike Sando | ESPN.com
The strongest argument against Michael Vick as a legitimate MVP candidate -- that he hasn't played enough this season -- should start working in his favor.
The man has more rushing touchdowns, four, than workhorse backs Steven Jackson, Frank Gore, Maurice Jones-Drew, Thomas Jones or Matt Forte.
Every other player in the league with more than two TD passes has also thrown an interception. Every other player with more than six TD passes has at least three picks. Vick has 11 TD passes, no interceptions and the highest passer rating in the league.
Have you seen Vick throw the football? I'm not sure NASA could engineer a device capable of producing tighter spirals on intermediate and deep passes.
Have you seen Vick run the football? Vick has 40 fewer rushing yards than Marshawn Lynch. He has run for more first downs than Ricky Williams, Shonn Greene or LeGarrette Blount. He has five runs of at least 20 yards, same as Adrian Peterson and more than Jackson, Jones-Drew or Peyton Hillis.
Vick was third on my MVP Watch list in late September before an injury sidelined him. He's back on the list at No. 3 after accounting for six TDs during his historic performance against the Washington Redskins on Monday night.
Quibbling over playing time becomes increasingly futile as Vick keeps producing. Vick belongs on the list because the production is there, the winning record is there, the value is there and the evidence suggests he'll continue on a similar trajectory.
Tom Brady, Philip Rivers and Vick surged past a curiously slumping Peyton Manning into the top three spots.
Brady's fiery performance in victory at Pittsburgh set him apart this week. His New England Patriots are tied for the NFL's best record. They've also scored more points than any team in the league. Rivers has the stats, obviously, and he'll remain in the conversation as long as the Chargers continue their recent improvement in the standings. Manning will presumably bounce back after posting passer ratings below 70 in back-to-back regular-season games for only the third time in his career.