Before we get to the NFL picks for the week (already 0-1 damn it, but at least Colston caught a touchdown pass; I told you to leave the line up alone Scott) let’s talk about the MVP race in the National Football League.
Has there ever been a more worthless list of candidates? When you think about it, any one of about 12 players could win it but are hardly worthy. They’ll get first place votes by default. This could be the worst MVP race in years. (Where are you Tom Brady?) Since there seems to be no clear favorite, or even a group of two or three guys standing out, I think the league should vote to not hand out an MVP this year.
Let’s take a look at the top candidates in no particular order.
1. Kurt Warner – Really? You think he is the most valuable player in the league? The Cardinals are even good but because they are usually horrible and they throw the ball 853 times a game people think Warner is good again. Do you really think he deserves to be listed with Brett Favre as the only three-time MVP winners? What an insult to Joe Montana, Steve Young and every other quarterback who you know, is actually good.
2. Eli Manning – Really? Why? Because the Giants are the best team in the NFL? That’s not a good enough reason. They aren’t the best because of Eli. They are the best in spite of Eli. It’s the running game and defense that carries this team. Not Eli.
3. Drew Brees – Putting up the best numbers, record-setting numbers, but can’t win constantly. As much as I hate the idea that the MVP has to go to a team in the playoffs, Brees isn’t the MVP because he can’t even get his team to .500.
4. Adrian Peterson – May be the strongest candidate listed yet. The Vikings are going to the playoffs and it’s not because of their passing game or quarterback play. Everyone knows AP is going to run the ball and very few teams can stop him.
5. Matt Ryan – Probably rookie of the year in a great rookie class because no one expect anything from the Falcons this year. He has been very good and does what he is suppose to do. If the Falcons make the playoffs, he very well could win the MVP based on the “oh my gosh” factor alone.
6. Michael Turner – If AP doesn’t win NFC Offensive Player of the Year, Turner will. Turner has turned into everything the Chargers hoped he wouldn’t. But as good as he is, if you are voting for a Falcon, you’re voting for Ryan.
7. Peyton Manning – Where were you the first five weeks of the season when I still had hope in the fantasy world? Peyton is funny. Peter King has him No. 1 on his MVP list (but No. 2 on his man crush list behind Favre) and ESPN doesn’t even have him in the top seven. If someone can be that far apart in different polls, he isn’t the MVP.
8. Clinton Portis – MVP of the first half but has sucked as bad as the Redskins in the second.
9. Brett Favre – No, no, no, no!!! He has always been on of my favorite players (as you all know) but he really isn’t that good any more. Plus the Jets are going to choke the season away and miss the playoffs.
10. Chad Pennington – Really? No way. I love the Dolphins turn around (I called it) but if you are giving it to a Dolphin, it’s not Pennington. It’s the Brown/Williams combo.
11. Troy Polamalu/Albert Haynesworth/DeMarcus Ware – Let me make this clear: NO DEFENSIVE PLAYER SHOULD WIN THE MVP AWARD. The only time this was acceptable was when Lawrence Taylor dominated the league. If you have one defender as good as LT, then fine, a defensive guy can win it. But not if you only have three good defenders. Plus, they’ll all take votes away from each other.
There you have it. A crappy MVP list. Look through it again. Do you really see one guy who you can say, Yeah, he’s had a great year and is clearly the MVP? No. Who ever wins it this year should have an asterisk mark next to his name in the record books with the asterisk standing for “Won by default in a year no one really deserved the award.”
For the games… (I went 10-4 last week after somehow I forgot to pick two games. Oh well. Season standing at 113-81-1.)
Already lost the Chicago-New Orleans game.
ATLANTA vs Tampa Bay – Tampa Bay is fading like Jeff Garcia’s hairline.
WASHINGTON at Cincinnati – Be on upset alert, Redskin fan. I don’t think it happens but I really wouldn’t be surprised. I don’t think the Redskins want to play this season anymore. But neither do the Bengals so there you go. It could be a crappily good game.
INDIANAPOLIS vs Detroit – You knew the Lions were going 0-16 the day they signed Drew Henson. I mean the guy hasn’t played football in two years and he was horrible then.
KANSAS CITY vs San Diego – One of these days when I pick the Chiefs to win, they are going to reward me.
SEATTLE at St. Louis – I sure hope this game isn’t on TV.
MIAMI vs San Francisco – I wish there was a way for Miami and the Patriots to make the playoffs but one good team in the East is going to give up their spot to the horrible team from the West (Broncos).
NY JETS vs Buffalo – Only a team playing as bad as Buffalo could give the Jets some false hope for the final two weeks.
HOUSTON vs Tennessee – At the beginning of the year, Jeff Fisher said he would continue to play his starters for the full 16 games, no matter what the playoff situation was. Somehow I think that philosophy changes when you can rest your starters for two weeks and still have a third week to play them before the playoffs.
JACKSONVILLE vs Green Bay – The Packers are the better team but seem to find a way to lose every game.
MINNESOTA at Arizona – This is how you play physical, Cardinals.
CAROLINA vs Denver – Both teams probably go to the playoffs. But the Panthers got the make up to be a Super Bowl contender, the Broncos, you just can’t trust to win a game ever, yet they still do.
PITTSBURGH at Baltimore – In the “I hope the stadium just blows up” game of the week.
NEW ENGLAND at Oakland – Not that he’ll read this, but my deepest sympathy to you, Matt Cassel, as you morn the loss of your dad. Could be a Brett Favre Monday Night-like game for Cassel. The team seems to be really rallying around him.
NY GIANTS at Dallas – Remember when Romo got hurt and everyone thought the Cowboys were going to miss the playoffs, then Romo came back and everyone thought they’d go to the playoff, and now they all think they’ll miss the playoffs again? Well, they lose and don’t make the playoffs.
PHILADELPHIA vs Cleveland – Cleveland has won two of their four games on Monday night. I highly doubt, with Ken Dorsey, they make it a perfect 3-0 on MNF.
Enjoy the weekend. I’m heading to Columbus this afternoon so look out Graig.