Mike Sando's MVP Watch
He did not crack the top 10 this week, a scenario once as unfathomable as Manning's recent run of flawed performances.
Rank 'Em: NFL MVP Candidates
How do you size up the NFL MVP race? Peyton Manning fell off our ballot this week due to a four-interception debacle against the Chargers. He's been replaced by a surprise candidate on a surprise team.
Manning has failed to post a passer rating higher than 69.8 in four of his past seven games. For reference: Derek Anderson's season rating for the Arizona Cardinals is 68.2.
Manning is the 15th-rated passer in the NFL this season. He has gone from No. 1 on the MVP Watch list Nov. 10 to fourth a week later, fifth last week and unlisted entering Week 13.
A home date with the Dallas Cowboys in Week 13 might help Manning recapture his familiar form. The Cowboys' opponents this season have 23 touchdown passes, nine interceptions and a 101.4 rating.
1. TOM BRADYQuarterback | New England Patriots ... Next Game: 12/6 vs. NYJ ... Last Week: 1
Brady has 13 TD passes without an INT in his past six games, five of them victories for New England. He's the NFL's second-rated passer. Brady and three others are tied for the league lead with 23 TD passes. The others have combined for 40 picks. Brady has thrown four.
Week 12 at DET
The Chargers are above .500 for the first time this season after winning four in a row. Rivers has posted a passer rating in triple digits every game during the winning streak. Rivers failed to throw a TD pass in Week 12, his first game without one this season, but the Chargers won comfortably and Rivers completed a season-high 82.6 percent of his passes.
Week 12 at IND
3. MATT RYANQuarterback | Atlanta Falcons ... Next Game: 12/5 at TB ... Last Week: 6
Ryan has seven TD passes without an INT in his past four games. His team has won five in a row. Ryan completed a season-high 85.7 percent of his passes against Green Bay. He has not thrown a pick since Oct. 24. The Falcons have won their past six games decided by seven or fewer points since a 15-9 defeat at Pittsburgh in the opener.
Week 12 vs. GB
4. MICHAEL VICKQuarterback | Philadelphia Eagles ... Next Game: 12/2 vs. HOU ... Last Week: 4
Vick continues to lead the league in passer rating. The INT he threw during the Eagles' 31-26 defeat at Chicago was his first of the season. Vick has seven passing TDs and four rushing TDs in the Eagles' past four games. Vick has a 113.7 rating on third down with four TDs and no INTs.
Week 12 at CHI
5. DREW BREESQuarterback | New Orleans Saints ... Next Game: 12/5 at CIN ... Last Week: 3
Brees ranks tied for the NFL lead in TD passes and fourth in passing yards. His Saints own two victories over teams that currently have winning records (Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh). Brees has 15 INTs, two off the league high. He has thrown at least one pick in seven consecutive games.
Week 12 at DAL
6. JOE FLACCOQuarterback | Baltimore Ravens ... Next Game: 12/5 vs. PIT ... Last Week: 8
Flacco has completed at least 71.4 percent of his passes in three of the Ravens' past four games. He has 13 TD passes with two INTs over his past six. The Ravens have won four of five. They face Pittsburgh at home in Week 13. Flacco's 18-yard TD pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh in the final 32 seconds beat the Steelers in Week 4.
Week 12 vs. TB
7. MATT CASSELQuarterback | Kansas City Chiefs ... Next Game: 12/5 vs. DEN ... Last Week: NR
Former Chiefs starter Steve DeBerg finished the 1990 season with 23 TD passes and four INTs. Cassel has 22 and 4 with five games to play. Only Vick, Brady and Rivers have higher ratings this season. Cassel has 10 TDs and no INTs in his past three games, beating up on Seattle, Arizona and Denver. He has 18 TDs and one INT in his past seven games. No QB in the league can match those numbers.
Week 12 at SEA
The Packers lost a tough one to Ryan's Falcons, even though Rodgers passed for 344 yards while completing at least 71 percent of his passes for a third consecutive game. Leading a 16-play, 90-yard drive to tie the score in the final minute should have bought Rodgers a shot at overtime. Instead, a long kick return and a penalty helped move Atlanta toward the winning field goal.
Week 12 at ATL
9. DWAYNE BOWEWide Receiver | Kansas City Chiefs ... Next Game: 12/5 vs. DEN ... Last Week: NR
Bowe has set franchise records for most consecutive games with a TD catch (seven and counting) and most TD receptions in a season (14 so far). Bowe needs 10 TD catches over the final five games to break Randy Moss' single-season NFL record. His next game comes against a Denver defense that allowed three Sam Bradford scoring passes in the first half Sunday.
Week 12 at SEA
10. ARIAN FOSTERRunning Back | Houston Texans ... Next Game: 12/5 at PHI ... Last Week: NR
Foster is the only player on the list from a team with a losing record. The Texans did win Sunday. Foster has an NFL-best 1,147 yards rushing after gaining 143 yards against Tennessee in Week 12. He is averaging 104.3 yards per game and has 12 rushing TDs. Both figures lead the league. He's on pace for 1,668 yards this season.
Week 12 vs. TEN