Top Five NFL MVP Candidates (Non-QB Edition)
3. Aldon Smith
A record Monday Night Football five 1/2 sacks vs. Chicago. 19.5 this season so far. He most likely will obliterate the record 22.5 Michael Strahan amassed as fast as food slips through the gap in Mike's teeth. With Justin Smith at his side and Patrick Willis at his back, there will be absolutely nothing stopping this freakish 6'4" defensive end from getting to the quarterback. He has 33 1/2 sacks in two years. Totaling more than Reggie White's 31 and Derrick Thomas' 30. Rest in peace sirs.
4. Von Miller
Sixteen sacks from the linebacker position. Six forced fumbles from shook ball carriers closing their eyes and clenching their teeth before he lines up the hit. One pick that went for six. The bespectacled one looks like one for the ages. Denver has two MVP candidates. Looking at the field he plays on from above, Miller is a lightning bolt of devastation. 23 years old...Mike Singletary in a Broncos uniform.
5. J.J. Watt
He is the defensive end that did this craziness. Come on now. Sixteen passes batted down. LeBron James would have problems getting the ball over this cat to a wide open receiver. In a quarterback's eyes, his hands must resemble those huge number one sponge jawns sold at every arena. Seventeen sacks. Crazy disruption coming off the edge. Dominates games in ways not seen in a while because of all he does. Incredible athletic talent. Oh yeah, the Houston Texans are successful in large part because Watt makes head turning plays that are almost a caricature of what players in his position normally do.
Top Five (Non QB) MVP CANDIDATES
Last year Aaron Rodgers took home the trophy and since the turn of the century, quarterbacks have won the NFL MVP award nine times. Peyton Manning has four MVP trophies alone (sharing with Steve McNair in '03). Running backs are the remaining recipients–Marshall Faulk in 2000, Shaun Alexander in 2005 and LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006. QBs do their thing and this year, if it was all about field generals, I'd make Tom Brady the winner, followed by Peyton Manning and Robert Griffin III ( leads the league in QB rating, has thrown for 2,906 yards, 18 TD's, only four picks and run for 748 yards now). Is it time that a quarterback award is handed out similar to the MLB Cy Young? I say yes. Until then, players like the five candidates referenced here might go unnoticed by history. Yes, other positions have awards and other honors are handed out as well, but this is a year where multiple records could fall. To only acknowledge a quarterback as MVP would be the wrong thing to do.
1. Adrian Peterson
Listen, Peterson's knee was obliterated. He had major reconstruction surgery in '11 and returned opening day. He's a running back. Do you understand how incredible this is? He's averaging six yards a carry. Every team in the league knows he's getting the ball. How can he not be MVP? His quarterback is struggling with multiple sub-100 yard passing games. Percy Harvin is out. Should be easy for defensive coordinators. You would think putting eight in the box would slow Peterson. Nah. He's averaging 157 yards per game in his last seven outings and averaging 2.7 yards after first contact. Eric Dickerson and his 2,105 yardage record better watch out.
2. Calvin Johnson
Megatron. Say it to yourself. Now tell your toddler son to say it as well with bass and watch his face. Hype huh? Calvin Johnson has an NFL league leading 1,546 yards in 13 games (118.9 average). He caught 12 for 207 vs. Minnesota on November 11. Jerry Rice's 1995 receiving record of 1,848 yards is in serious jeopardy. Only three receivers have ever totaled 1,500 yards in consecutive seasons. Johnson is now one of them with Marvin Harrison and Andre Johnson being the others. Of all the dysfunction in Detroit, Johnson is the only constant.