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Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Mike Sando's MVP Watch

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Go ahead and pencil in Drew Brees, Peyton Manning or both for MVP honors this season.

Their stat lines and combined 26-0 starting record separate them from all challengers.

That leaves Philip Rivers on the outside even though he's playing like an MVP for San Diego. Rivers hasn't thrown as many touchdown passes as some of the other candidates, but he has also avoided costly mistakes despite playing in an aggressive passing offense.

Rivers has yet to throw more interceptions than touchdown passes in a game this season.

None of the other top passers can make that claim.

Brees had a three-pick, one-touchdown game against the Dolphins. Manning had a two-pick, one-touchdown game against the Ravens. Brett Favre had a one-pick, no-touchdown game against the Steelers. Aaron Rodgers had a three-pick, two-touchdown game against the Bucs.

And so on.

Rivers' consistency and the Chargers' winning streak move him into the periphery of the MVP discussion -- quite an accomplishment given the stellar nature of the competition.