You can't just put the same 10 guys on the MVP Watch list every week. The ebb and flow of the NFL season just doesn't allow for it. Plus, it wouldn't be fun.
But when players leave the list, it sometimes makes the Watch feel wistful. Sometimes disappointed. Sometimes silly for having put the guy there in the first place. One a player has appeared on the MVP Watch, he carries that with him forever, like a badge of honor. Watch alumni are always welcomed back, and are always remembered. "Hey! I remember that guy," the Watch was just saying to Mrs. Watch while watching Tom Brady's big game Sunday. "Good for Tom. Been wondering what he was up to."
Three players from last week's list fell off this week's, for three different reasons. Herewith, a (possibly temporary) Watch requiem for this trio:
Aaron Rodgers: The MVP Watch mainstay falls into injury timeout, as his busted collarbone will keep him from playing for the near future. Godspeed, Aaron. Hope you get upgraded to Grill Class on your way back.
Earl Thomas: Nothing against the man. He's a beast. But you just can't watch the Seattle Seahawks and come away with any other conclusion than Russell Wilson as their MVP. Thomas is Shaq to Wilson's Kobe. Or Kobe to his Shaq, if that's how you saw it. Little Steven to Wilson's Bruce -- how about that?
Andy Dalton: You make your Watch debut and then, the very next day, you throw three picks in a loss to the Miami Dolphins? Andy, the Watch takes this kind of thing personally. Or Watchally. Either way, thanks for nothing.
Fortunately, the man in the top spot was off this past week, so he wasn't going anywhere. And it remains hard to imagine what could happen to knock him off the No. 1 perch.