Mike Sando's MVP Watch
Rank 'Em: NFL MVP Candidates
How do you size up the NFL MVP race? Rank who you think should be leading the pack after Week 8.
Manning's durability at age 34 might command more attention if he possessed half of Brett Favre's dramatic flair. That Manning does not makes him easier to take for granted.
Favre might qualify as most durable, but no quarterback can match Manning for quiet consistency. He's automatic.
Manning is on pace for more than 32 touchdown passes and fewer than five interceptions despite playing without Austin Collie, Dallas Clark, Garcon, Anthony Gonzalez and Donald Brown at various points this season.
Four other players have at least 13 TD passes this season. Manning has 13 more TDs than INTs, however, and no one comes close to matching that differential. Tom Brady and Philip Rivers are plus-eight. Kyle Orton, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matt Ryan, Matt Cassel and Vince Young are next at plus-seven.
Week 8 vs. HOU
2. TOM BRADYQuarterback | New England Patriots ... Next Game: 11/7 at CLE ... Last Week: 2
Brady's stats have leveled off over the last four weeks. He has four TDs and two INTs over that stretch. But his overall numbers are excellent and the Patriots are leading the league with a 6-1 record.
Week 8 vs. MIN
3. DREW BREESQuarterback | New Orleans Saints ... Next Game: 11/7 at CAR ... Last Week: 8
Brees completed 77.1 percent of his passes in beating Pittsburgh and it wasn't even his highest completion percentage of the season. He leads the NFL in TD passes, but Brees also has nine INTs in the Saints' three defeats.
Week 8 vs. PIT
4. ARIAN FOSTERRunning Back | Houston Texans ... Next Game: 11/7 vs. SD ... Last Week: 6
Only Adrian Peterson has more rushing yards this season, but Foster's team is the one with the winning record. Foster bounced back from two down weeks with a 102-yard game against the Colts. He also caught nine passes.
Week 8 at IND
5. RODDY WHITEWide Receiver | Atlanta Falcons ... Next Game: 11/7 vs. TB ... Last Week: 5
White is averaging 122.3 yards per game over his last four games, with a 201-yard game before the Falcons' bye. White's longest reception has covered only 46 yards this season, however, and that's a low figure for him. He had a 90-yarder last season and a 70-yarder the year before.
Week 7 vs. CIN
Johnson still ranks third in rushing this season despite failing to get much going over the Titans' past two games. He faces a Miami Dolphins defense in Week 9 that has allowed only two rushing plays of 20-plus yards this season. Only Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have allowed fewer. Johnson has already faced both of those teams.
Week 8 at SD
His most recent sack was a signature play during a shutout victory over the New York Jets. Matthews leads the league in sacks with 9.5. The New York Giants' Osi Umenyiora could conceivably catch him if Seattle gives up sacks the way it did last week.
Week 8 vs. NYJ
8. MATT RYANQuarterback | Atlanta Falcons ... Next Game: 11/7 vs. TB ... Last Week: NR
Ryan is averaging two TD passes per game over his last six starts and the Falcons have won five of them. His third-down passer rating (96.5) is higher than on other downs, an indication Ryan is playing well in important situations.
Week 7 at CIN
9. JOE FLACCOQuarterback | Baltimore Ravens ... Next Game: 11/7 vs. MIA ... Last Week: 10
There's much to like about the Ravens' 5-2 record and Flacco's performance over the past two games in particular. He's thrown one INT in his last five games.
Week 7 vs. BUF
10. AHMAD BRADSHAWRunning Back | New York Giants ... Next Game: 11/7 at SEA ... Last Week: NR
Hakeem Nicks represented the Giants on the MVP Watch list a week ago. Bradshaw takes his turn this time. He leads the NFL with 10 carries of at least 20 yards. His next opponent, Seattle, has allowed seven such plays this season, tied for 10th-most in the league.
Week 7 at DAL