Rich Kane/Icon SMIEli Manning returns to the MVP Watch list after leading the New York Giants to a 5-2 record.Sorry, Peyton Manning fans.
The Indianapolis Colts' injured quarterback won't be appearing on the MVP Watch list following a spirited debate on the subject last week. His team has gone from perennial double-digit winner to 0-8 without him, but the award will ultimately go to someone demonstrating value by his presence, not absence.
Speaking of absences, there are a few notable ones this week.
Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy stands out as the most obvious one. He's gaining as an MVP candidate as long as the Eagles continue their rise from a 1-4 start to the season.
The MVP Watch list this week features only players from teams with winning records. Minnesota's Adrian Peterson was the lone exception last week, ranking 10th despite the Vikings' 1-6 record (now 2-6).
NFC East blogger Dan Graziano nominated McCoy and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning for consideration this week. I went with Manning at No. 10 for now, bumping Peterson from the list and leaving McCoy on deck. McCoy's Eagles can get to 4-4 with a victory over Chicago on the Monday night stage.
It's always tough balancing individual and team performance.
Jared Allen and DeMarcus Ware are on pace to set the single-season record for sacks. Their teams aren't doing as well, however, and that hurts their MVP candidacies.
The last 25 MVPs have played for teams that averaged 12.8 victories and 3.2 defeats. Only one team during that time, the 9-7 Detroit Lions with Barry Sanders in 1997, produced an MVP with fewer than 10 victories. And Sanders was co-MVP with Brett Favre that year, not an outright one.