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Dan Graziano's MVP Watch

Unlikely candidates Jimmy Graham, left, and Ndamukong Suh make their MVP Watch list debut. Getty Images

Before you start, don’t even start. The Watch doesn’t know what to tell you. This week’s list came out a weird mess, with pass-rushers and tight ends thrashing around in spots that always go to quarterbacks. Blame it on Peyton Manning, who’s been raising the bar too high for some uber-reliable usual suspects to touch on their tippy-toes and has been making spots 2 through 10 feel irrelevant.

The Watch is aware that linebackers and tight ends and cornerbacks can’t win the MVP award, but there are too many good-team quarterbacks playing poorly (see spots 8 and 10), and too many of the truly brilliant individual performances are happening on losing teams. J.J. Watt, LeSean McCoy, Philip Rivers: Bravo, but you’re not making this list if your team has lost more games than it’s won. And don’t you even start, Tony Romo. Don’t. Even. Start.

Yes, there are two Saints. There were actually three considered, because Cameron Jordan is playing defense as well as anyone and this was the week defense invaded the Watch. Down the road, someone will say to the Watch, “Remember that week when you had three defensive players, a tight end and two running backs on the list?” And the Watch will laugh, just once, then point excitedly over that person’s left shoulder and run away really fast while his head is turned.

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