The 2018 NFL regular season is now entering the home stretch, which means it’s no longer too early to gauge the MVP race with a straight face. Entering Week 11, here’s a look at the top six candidates in the race for the most illustrious individual award in professional football.

1. New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees (last week: 1): The NFL record for completion percentage in a single season is 72.0, set by Brees last season. More than halfway through this year, Brees is at 77.2! The league’s highest-rated passer has truly mastered the position, and his Saints are becoming Super Bowl favorites at 8-1.

2. Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (last week: 2): The second-year Texas Tech product doesn’t have rate-based stats like Brees, but he leads the league in passing touchdowns and yardage and ranks third in yards per attempt and second in passer rating for a 9-1 Chiefs team.

3. Los Angeles Chargers QB Philip Rivers (last week: 4): Yet another triple-digit passer rating for the 36-year-old, who has done that eight times in nine games. Six more in his next nine and he’ll be the first-ever quarterback to post a rating of 100 or higher 14 times in a single season. Oh and the Bolts are 7-2.

4. Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley (last week: 3): The league leader in touchdowns and scrimmage yards is now extremely unlikely to break LaDainian Tomlinson’s single-season touchdown record, but he still has 232 more yards and three more touchdowns than anybody else in football for a 9-1 team.

5. Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff (last week: 6): Under center for that 9-1 team is Goff, who ranks second to only Ryan Fitzpatrick with a 9.4 yards-per-attempt average and is the league’s fifth-highest-rated passer.

6. Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald (last week: NR): That’s right, three Rams with outside shots. That’ll probably prevent any of them from winning this thing, but Donald is running away with the Defensive Player of the Year award with a league-high 12.5 sacks.

Fringe candidates: Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan, Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at theScore.com, a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at CBSSports.com, Deadspin, FoxSports.com, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Comeback Media, but his day gig has him covering the NFL nationally for Bleacher Report.