Chargers QB Philip Rivers is quietly putting together one of the best performances this season.
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In 2012 Peyton Manning came back from an injury to win Comeback Player of the Year. The following season he had arguably the greatest passing season for a QB in NFL history. Chargers QB Philip Rivers is showing a few parallels with Manning: recovered from a down year to win the award and is now leading the San Diego Chargers on arguably the most impressive 2-1 team in the AFC. Philip Rivers is accurate, has a great receiving corps, an improved defense that the team hasn’t had since 2009 and a dependable workhorse back in Ryan Mathews. As soon as this team becomes fully healthy again, Rivers and the Chargers will lead a tear through the NFL, possibly even through the Broncos as well.
Here are the 5 leading candidates for NFL MVP through the first 3 weeks:
Peyton Manning – The reigning champ currently leads the NFL with a 7.2% TD percentage. Factor in that the Seattle Seahawks could only put away his Broncos after preventing him from getting the ball in overtime last week and Manning might be undefeated.
Philip Rivers – The Chargers QB is completing over 68% of his passes, and is in the top 10 of every major passing category in the NFL right now. Factor in that he has led the Chargers to wins over a great defense in cold Buffalo and a home win over the defending champion Seahawks, and Rivers is making a hard case to ignore for his candidacy.
Matt Ryan – Falcons QB Matt Ryan rightfully earned an Offensive Player of the Week award after throwing for 286 yards and 3 TDs against the Buccaneers while posting an incredible 87.5% completion percentage. In addition to setting numerous Falcons records, Ryan is quickly establishing the Falcons as one of the top teams in the NFC not playing in Seattle.
Marshawn Lynch – “Beast Mode” as he is so often called has scored a TD in each of the first 3 games and leads the league with 5. In a Seattle offense that is so well balanced, Lynch could easily lead the league in scoring this year – both in rushing TDs and total TDs. That kind of offensive production in the league’s best team could push him over the edge for an MVP award.
Andy Dalton – It’s hard to argue with 3-0. While not statistically leading the NFL is any major category, he is the leader of arguably the most impressive of the three remaining undefeated teams. Dalton has been efficient beyond reproach and even catches the ball when the opposing team can be fooled. But the most stunning stat through the first three games is that he has not been sacked ONCE.