With one week remaining in the 2014 NFL regular season, we can only see three deserving MVP candidates. Here’s a breakdown:
1. Tony Romo, Cowboys
Seriously, almost all of the numbers point to Romo, including the fact the Cowboys are 11-2 in games he has started and fashion in uninterrupted fashion. Not only does Romo have the NFL’s highest passer rating, but he leads the league with a completion percentage of 70.3 and a yards-per-attempt average of 8.5.
And before you argue that he’s getting more support than Aaron Rodgers, consider that Green Bay’s defense and offensive line are higher rated, and that Eddie Lacy has been just as good as DeMarco Murray down the stretch. Their situations are quite similar, yet Romo has been substantially better throughout the month of December, as well as in key situations.
It’s hard to argue he hasn’t been the best quarterback in football in a year dominated by players at that position.
2. Aaron Rodgers, Packers
Rodgers has been so pedestrian in December that it’s hard to see how he could beat out Romo, who has better numbers lately and overall and has had just as much team success (if not more). That touchdown-to-interception ratio of 36-to-5 is still off the charts, but that alone shouldn’t give him the MVP.
Rodgers has a mediocre 86.5 rating this month. And yes, he’s been dealing with a calf injury, but let’s keep in mind that Romo’s been recovering from two fractures in his back.
3. J.J. Watt, Texans
Rather than MVP, the CFL does something called “most outstanding player.” And if that was the name of this award, Watt would be the runaway winner. After another strong performance — 11 pressures, a sack, seven tackles and a season-high eight stops — against the Ravens, Watt now has a PFF grade in the triple digits. That’s simply unheard of, and is nearly three times higher than the next-best 3-4 defensive end.
Watt is having the best defensive season I’ve ever witnessed, but on a non-playoff team in an era/season dominated by quarterbacks, it’s still going to be difficult for the league’s most outstanding player to be considered its most valuable player.