2014 NFL Picks and Predictions: MVP Power Rankings – Week 15: We have hit the home stretch of the NFL season, and with 14 weeks in the books, just three games remaining in the regular season. Just about every division is still up for grabs, and while teams are fighting for a playoff spot, the top players in the league are jockeying for positon in the MVP race. A lot can happen in the coming weeks, and although a couple of players have distinguished themselves from the pack, nothing is set in stone. With that in mind, here is how I see the top MVP candidates stacking up heading into Week 15 of the NFL season.
1. Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback, Green Bay Packers
Rodgers has been brilliant throughout the season, guiding the Packers to a 10-3 record in the process. His 35 touchdowns are just one off the league lead, and his three interceptions are the fewest among any full-time starter. Meanwhile, Rodgers leads all quarterbacks with a 119.0 passer rating and 8.78 yards per pass attempt. He has also thrown at least three touchdowns in eight of the 13 games so far. His combination of arm strength, accuracy and mobility is unrivaled right now, and with three more solid starts, he should secure his second MVP.
2. Andrew Luck, Quarterback, Indianapolis Colts
Although he has thrown 13 interceptions this year, Luck is currently leading the NFL in passing yards, and he tied for the lead with 36 touchdowns. He has rushed for 250 yards and three scores while putting the Colts atop the AFC South with a 9-4 record. Without a competent running game, Indianapolis has leaned heavily on Luck all year, and he has answered the call. It is clear that is the type of difference maker that can make any team a playoff contender.
3. J.J. Watt, Defensive End, Houston Texans
Watt is a one-man wrecking crew on defense for the Texans, forcing constant double teams while remaining one of the best playmakers on the defensive side of the ball His 14.5 sacks rank third in the NFL, and he has 24.5 tackles for loss overall. He also has three forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, and an interception returned 80 yards for a score. Watt has also blocked a kick and deflects countless passes at the line. By the way, he also has three receiving touchdowns as a red zone option. The Texans are currently 7-6, and if Watt can help them sneak into the playoffs while adding a few more big plays down the stretch, he could make a legit push for the MVP.
4. Peyton Manning, Quarterback, Denver Broncos
Manning is definitely the victim of his own success to a degree. He currently ranks first in the NFL with 36 passing touchdowns, fourth in passing yards and third in passer rating for a 10-3 team. However, he has slowed down just a bit in recent weeks, but since he is coming off a record-setting MVP season, his current numbers seem like a letdown. Fair or not, I don’t see Manning winning another MVP unless he closes the year on an incredible hot streak.
5. DeMarco Murray, Running Back, Dallas Cowboys
If you are looking for the reason that the Cowboys haven’t completely imploded yet, look no further. Murray has been an absolute workhorse, toting the ball a league-high 320 times for a league-best 1,606 yards. In fact, he has rushed for 375 more yards than the next closest player. His nine rushing scores are also tied for the most in the NFL, and he has chipped in 53 catches, as well. If he runs Dallas into the postseason and approaches 2,000 yards in the process, he make a strong push in the final weeks.
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