Mike Sando's MVP Watch

October, 21, 2009
10/21/09
1:09
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Matt Schaub and Joe Flacco missed the MVP Watch cut this week despite impressive performances in Week 6.

Their teams have .500 records and that gave me an out when trying to find spots for other deserving players.
Rank 'Em: MVP Candidates
How do you size up the NFL MVP race? The Vikings, Saints, and Broncos both remained undefeated last week, primarily due to big-time games from their MVP candidates. Who is the best player in the NFL?
Cast your vote


The top three this week -- Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Brett Favre -- were easy choices. They've been the key players for undefeated teams, with Favre making significantly more plays down the field in recent weeks.

Tom Brady is arguably too high at No. 4. I'll be disappointed if the "Hatriots" out there don't call me on it, but six touchdown passes in one week seemed to serve notice that Brady could be back.

The list features only one defensive player, another point of contention in past weeks. I've tried to make the MVP Watch list realistic. Quarterbacks and running backs tend to win the award.

That said, Denver's Elvis Dumervil returned to the list after a one-week absence. He's up to 10 sacks, putting him on pace for nearly 27.

1. PEYTON MANNING
QB | Indianapolis Colts (Last Week: 1)
2009 PASSING
CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT
133 181 1,645 73.5 9.09 80 12 4 2 114.1
A bye week to prepare for the Rams? Some things in life just aren't fair.

2. DREW BREES
QB | New Orleans Saints (Last Week: 4)
2009 PASSING
CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT
110 159 1,400 69.2 8.81 58 13 2 4 118.4
If your defense has a weakness in coverage, Brees is going to find it.

3. BRETT FAVRE
QB | Minnesota Vikings (Last Week: 2)
2009 PASSING
CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT
124 178 1,347 69.7 7.57 63 12 2 14 109.5
Favre has averaged 9.3 yards per attempt in his last three games, up from 6.0 in his first three.

4. TOM BRADY
QB | New England Patriots (Last Week: NR)
2009 PASSING
CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT
156 241 1,724 64.7 7.15 48 12 2 7 99.0
Six TD passes in one week leave Brady tied with Favre for third in the league.

5. KYLE ORTON
QB | Denver Broncos (Last Week: 7)
2009 PASSING
CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT
124 194 1,465 63.9 7.55 87 9 1 9 100.1
He's on pace for 24 TDs and three INTs. Those are 1990 Steve DeBerg numbers.

6. ELI MANNING
QB | New York Giants (Last Week: 3)
2009 PASSING
CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT
101 166 1,390 60.8 8.37 58 11 3 3 102.2
If only he could have faced his own defense instead of the Saints' unit.

7. BEN ROETHLISBERGER
QB | Pittsburgh Steelers (Last Week: 6)
2009 PASSING
CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT
150 207 1,887 72.5 9.12 52 10 6 16 104.5
No. 1 in yards per attempt (9.1 to Peyton's 9.09) and one of two QBs completing 70 percent of his passes.

8. ELVIS DUMERVIL
DE | Denver Broncos (Last Week: NR)
2009 TACKLES MISC.
TOT SOLO AST SACK STF STFY FF BK
23 22 1 10.0 0 0 2 0
At least 2.0 sacks in four of six games during a 6-0 start. Not bad.

9. JAY CUTLER
QB | Chicago Bears (Last Week: 5)
2009 PASSING
CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT
110 172 1,201 64.0 6.98 68 10 7 10 86.9
I considered moving Matt Schaub into this spot, but Cutler's Bears have a winning record.

10. ADRIAN PETERSON
RB | Minnesota Vikings (Last Week: 10)
2009 RUSHING 2009 RECEIVING
ATT YDS AVG LNG TD REC YDS AVG LNG TD
121 624 5.2 64 7 14 85 6.1 18 0
Second only to Chris Johnson in total yards per game among non-QBs.

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