At this point J. J. Watt seems like a lock for Defensive Player of the Year. Can he garner enough votes for a run at league MVP?
READ MORE:Philadelphia Eagles versus Washington – Eagles hope to keep playoff hopes alive against Robert Griffin III San Francisco 49ers replacing Harbaugh – 49ers looking for young offensive mind to replace Harbaugh if he leaves New Mexico Bowl preview – Utah State takes on UTEP
In Week 16 of the NFL season Patriots QB Tom Brady plays what might be the last game against one of the most troublesome foes he’s ever faced in Jets head coach Rex Ryan. At the same time, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers will be trying to give his stats a major boost against one of the worst defenses in the league at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ home. And of course there’s J. J. Watt, the star DE for the Houston Texans who will try to give his team one last chance at the playoffs with a game against the heavily-favored Baltimore Ravens, with only QB Case Keenum to keep the offense churning.
All three of those players have been the glue to making the playoffs or generating huge turnarounds (or both) and will have each of their individual performances under the microscope as the season winds to a close. Brady and Rodgers are fighting it out in their respective conferences to determine their playoff seeding and are seen as the two QBs no playoff team wants to have to play in their stadium. Watt is most likely on the outside looking in, but if the Texans can somehow win the final two games because of his performances, he has as good a shot as any QB.
Here are the top five candidates for NFL MVP heading into Week 16:
Aaron Rodgers – The only way Rodgers wins the award is if he beats the Detroit Lions in the final week to clinch the NFC North title. And not just beat the best defense in the NFL, he has to beat down that defense, if he wants to take home the MVP award this year.
Tom Brady – As easy as things have been for Brady and the Patriots this year, it may actually be even easier for them to dominate the AFC East over the next few years with Jets head coach Rex Ryan on his way out. No other team except the Ravens and Giants have given Brady more headaches over the last six years than Rex Ryan’s Jets.
DeMarco Murray – If Murray can reach the 1,800-1,900 rushing yard marks in these final two games he may be the leading candidate for Offensive Player of the Year. If he manages to play great through his current and lead the Cowboys to the playoffs his MVP case will experience a major boost.
J. J. Watt – This guy has done just about everything except return a punt or a kickoff for a TD. And the way things are going in Houston don’t be surprised if the Texans try something like that to keep their fragile playoff hopes alive. All kidding aside it would be a grave mistake for the NFL to overlook the impact Watt has had on the NFL and on the Houston community as a whole by denying him the MVP award just because doesn’t take snaps for the best team in the league.
Marshawn Lynch – With the Seahawks poised to steal the NFC West out from under the Arizona Cardinals and clinch Home Field advantage throughout the playoffs, the league really needs to recognize the impact the almost-soon-to-be-retired star RB has had on the entire Seattle Seahawks culture.