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Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Mike Sando's MVP Watch



Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


Peyton Manning could legitimately win MVP honors just about every season.

No player in the NFL is more important to his team, and few put up better stats more consistently.

Let's not hand him a fourth award prematurely.

There's a certain someone from a certain NFC North team making a quick climb up the MVP Watch list. Brett Favre, whose inclusion on the list in past weeks drew ridicule, rose six spots to No. 2 after another unforgettable performance, this time against his former team on "Monday Night Football."

I'll admit to having thought Favre was close to finished and the Vikings were misguided for waiting him out. Through four games, however, Favre has already justified the investment, no matter what happens next. He's the difference between 4-0 and 2-2 or worse for the Vikings. Yes, the Vikings are happy to have a quarterback completing nearly 70 percent of his passes with an 8-to-1 ratio of touchdowns to interceptions.

1. PEYTON MANNING, Indianapolis Colts (Last Week: 1)
2009 PASSING
CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT
97 137 1,336 70.8 9.75 80 9 3 2 114.5
Three-time MVP has been unstoppable even, with Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon among his primary targets.

2. BRETT FAVRE, Minnesota Vikings (Last Week: 8)
2009 PASSING
CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT
85 125 837 68.0 6.70 43 8 1 9 104.7
No apologies for including Favre on the MVP Watch list this week. He's on pace for 32 touchdown passes with four interceptions, by the way.

3. DREW BREES, New Orleans Saints (Last Week: 2)
2009 PASSING
CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT
87 129 1,031 67.4 7.99 58 9 2 4 108.4
The pressure is off to a degree now that the Saints are getting contributions from their defense. The unit has three touchdowns thus far.

4. ADRIAN PETERSON, Minnesota Vikings (Last Week: 4)
2009 RUSHING 2009 RECEIVING
ATT YDS AVG LNG TD REC YDS AVG LNG TD
84 412 4.9 64 5 8 56 7.0 18 0
Despite a couple of quieter weeks, the NFL's second-ranked rusher is on pace for 1,648 yards and 20 rushing touchdowns. Not bad.

5. JAY CUTLER, Chicago Bears (Last Week: NR)
2009 PASSING
CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT
83 129 901 64.3 6.98 68 8 5 8 89.3
Seven touchdown passes with only one interception during three consecutive victories since the Week 1 debacle against Packers. Bears have scored more points each week.

6. TOM BRADY, New England Patriots (Last Week: 9)
2009 PASSING
CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT
108 174 1,129 62.1 6.49 36 4 2 4 83.7
The individual stats aren't yet there for Brady, but those will come. Pats rank second in first downs per game and tied for sixth in third-down conversions.

7. ELI MANNING, New York Giants (Last Week: 3)
2009 PASSING
CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT
79 125 1,039 63.2 8.31 54 8 2 2 104.1
Chiefs, Bucs and Redskins have cleared an easy path so far. Plantar fasciitis might be his toughest opponent for the time being. Bye doesn't come until Week 10.

8. JOE FLACCO, Baltimore Ravens (Last Week: 5)
2009 PASSING
CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT
95 151 1,103 62.9 7.31 72 8 3 5 94.3
The Ravens like him so much, they might have overlooked their ground game in Week 4. Stats holding up despite 37.8 attempts per game.

9. ELVIS DUMERVIL, Denver Broncos (Last Week: 10)
2009 TACKLES MISC.
TOT SOLO AST SACK STF STFY FF BK
17 17 0 8.0 0 0 1 0
This is getting ridiculous. Two-sack game against Cowboys gives him 8.0 for the season and at least 2.0 in each of the past three games.

10. DARREN SHARPER, New Orleans Saints (Last Week: NR)
2009 TACKLES 2009 INTERCEPTIONS
TOT SOLO AST SACK STF INT YDS AVG LNG TD
14 10 4 0.0 0 5 275 55.0 99 2
Averaging 55 yards per return on a league-high five interceptions, with two touchdowns for a 4-0 team. Not bad at age 33.