Mike Sando's MVP Watch
November, 16, 2011
By Mike Sando | ESPN.com
AP Photo/Tony GutierrezA strong performance against Buffalo helped land Tony Romo a spot on the MVP Watch list for the first time since September.Tony Romo's impeccable first-half performance for Dallas against Buffalo moved him onto the MVP Watch list at No. 9.
Aaron Rodgers remains the prohibitive favorite, of course, and to demonstrate the surety of his footing atop the MVP mountaintop, I considered whether he would remain No. 1 even if Romo impossibly duplicated his recent first-half performance in every half for the remainder of the NFL season.
The answer: he might, thanks to the stats and the Packers' undefeated record. But let's do the math.
Romo completed 18 of 19 passes for 237 yards and three touchdowns in the first two quarters of the Cowboys' 44-7 victory.
No quarterback could ever produce such numbers in every half, of course, but if Romo did so for the final seven games, his stat line at season's end would look like this: 452 of 575 passing (78.6 percent) for 5,826 yards with 58 touchdowns, seven interceptions and a 137.4 NFL passer rating.
Rodgers is currently on pace to finish the season with these numbers: 382 of 524 passing for 5,100 yards with 50 touchdowns, five interceptions and a 131.2 NFL passer rating.
That means the dream-land projections for Romo would produce relatively small advantages for the Dallas quarterback in yards per attempt (10.1 to 9.7) and touchdown percentage (10.1 to 9.5), but Rodgers would still have a lower interception percentage (9.5 to 12.2). And the Packers would finish the season 16-0, which would make Rodgers the MVP favorite, in my view.
Look, I'm not sure how many more ways we can break down Rodgers' dominance, but if you've got ideas, please do share them.
A couple more notes on Romo, courtesy of NFC East blogger Dan Graziano:
- Sunday was the first game since Week 2, when Romo broke his ribs, that he played without the Kevlar vest. He is finally fully healthy.
- Also, rookie DeMarco Murray has rushed for 601 yards in the last four games since taking over as the starter for the injured Felix Jones. The emergence of a running game has provided a major boost to Romo, whose big game Sunday came despite Miles Austin's injury-related absence.
Now, our weekly look at Rodgers and nine players I've singled out for consideration should something change unexpectedly.
1:00 PM ET Cleveland Baltimore 1:00 PM ET Dallas Washington 1:00 PM ET Indianapolis Tennessee 1:00 PM ET Jacksonville Houston 1:00 PM ET San Diego Kansas City 1:00 PM ET New York Miami 1:00 PM ET Chicago Minnesota 1:00 PM ET Buffalo New England 1:00 PM ET Philadelphia New York 1:00 PM ET New Orleans Tampa Bay 4:25 PM ET Carolina Atlanta 4:25 PM ET Detroit Green Bay 4:25 PM ET Oakland Denver 4:25 PM ET Arizona San Francisco 4:25 PM ET St. Louis Seattle 8:30 PM ET Cincinnati Pittsburgh