The 2016 NFL MVP race: Who leads the pack?

Laith Malhas 17:50 20/12/2016
Who gets your pick?

There are six stars in this year’s MVP race with a legitimate chance of claiming the honor and with the season winding down to the last two weeks, players can still sway vote’s in their favour.

The MVP race is a bit complicated this year, as front runner Tom Brady can make a solid case for MVP but some pundits believing Brady is unworthy after missing four games at the start of the season while serving his suspension for the deflate-gate debacle.

Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott are on the same team which might hinder their chances, quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers and Derek Carr of the Oakland Raiders both have a chance and Matt Ryan has positioned his Atlanta Falcons in 1st place in the NFC south division.

All-in-all it is a competitive group up for this year’s award and, here, we look at how the ballot could shape up.

But first, an initial chance to vote. Don’t worry, you can also vote at the bottom of the page if you need a little gentle persuasion first.

1) TOM BRADY (QB) – NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

The numbers Brady has posted are phenomenal for a shortened 12 game season. Brady has thrown for 3,064 yards with 22 touchdowns and only two interceptions with a passer rating of 109.7 just behind Matt Ryan who is in first place. “Tommy Boy” is on pace to position New England with a first round bye and a possible home field advantage throughout the playoffs if they win the last two games. His suspension may lose the race for Brady as those casting votes hesitate to back him when others on the list played full seasons and were not suspended. However, in a vacuum it is undeniable that Brady continues to perform at an MVP level and the numbers back it up.

2) MATT RYAN (QB) – ATLANTA FALCONS

Matt Ryan is having a phenomenal season so far. He currently holds the number one spot in passer rating at 114.8 and has thrown for 4,336 yards with 32 touchdowns and seven interceptions.The Falcons are 9-5 with two tough games coming up against the Carolina Panthers and division rivals New Orleans Saints. Atlanta now holds first place in the NFC south division with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a game behind. Ryan’s MVP hopes will depend on whether the Falcons make the playoffs or not and winning the next two games will put an exclamation mark on his superb season.

3) EZEKIEL ELLIOTT (RB) – DALLAS COWBOYS

The only non quarterback on the list has a great MVP case. Elliott is having an amazing rookie campaign and is running roughshod over NFL defenses.”Zeke” has rushed for 1,551 yards with 13 touchdowns coupled with a league leading 310 attempts, he also leads the league in yards per attempt at 5.0 and yards per game with 110.8. Hard to argue with those numbers especially with the Cowboys winning record of 12-2 taking first place in the NFC and booking their ticket to the playoffs.

4) MATTHEW STAFFORD (QB) – DETROIT LIONS

The numbers for Stafford this season are not spectacular, but when you consider what the quarterback is working with it is very impressive.The Lions virtually have no running game, ranking 29th in total team rushing, which adds onus on Stafford and his receivers to generate offense for the team as outside of Golden Tate, there are no well rounded receivers for Stafford to target. Despite that Detroit are 9-5 in the NFC North division. Stafford has tallied 3,720 yards with 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions, his passer rating is 95.8 landing him 11th in the standings. The Lions must make the playoffs if Stafford wants to solidify his MVP season.

5) AARON RODGERS (QB) – GREEN BAY PACKERS

Can Aaron Rodgers bounce back from a terrible start to the season and be in the MVP discussion? Well, the numbers suggest so. Rodgers leads all quarterbacks with 34 touchdowns after beating the Chicago Bears last Sunday in dramatic fashion. He is currently fifth in passer rating at 100.3 with 3,781 passing yards and seven interceptions. The Packers are in second place in the NFC North with an 8-6 record and will assume a wildcard position. If Rodgers manages to win the next two games and post high numbers like he did in the Bears game, he could have a chance to turn the tables.

6) DEREK CARR (QB) – OAKLAND RAIDERS

The franchise quarterback is reviving a team that has been destitute since 2002. After the win over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, the Oakland Raiders clinched a playoff berth after 14 years of missing the post season. Carr is performing at a high level despite struggling with a finger injury. He has thrown 25 touchdowns to six interceptions and tallied up 3,705 yards and a 95.2 passer rating. With these solid numbers, Carr has led the Raiders to the playoffs with a first place position in the AFC West at 11-3, assuming Oakland wins the last two games of the season with Carr’s usual numbers, many will consider him in their MVP vote for 2016.

Honorable mentions go to Dak Prescott, the rookie quarterback has been playing at an extremely high level for the Dallas Cowboys. But playing with the dominant offensive line and Dez Bryant as his primary receiver, coupled with Ezekiel Elliott running the ball seems to diminish a bit of Prescott’s value to the team with all the talent around him on offense.

Let us know what you think of the MVP race, Share with us your thoughts by commenting below, using #360fans on Twitter or getting in touch via Facebook.

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