The NFL MVP race is quite muddled a fourth of the way through the season, as no one has really emerged as the clearcut frontrunner in the MVP race. Most of the usual suspects have taken themselves out of the race with injuries or subpar play, opening the door for several new faces (specifically defensively) to insert themselves into the race. Here are the top 6 MVP contenders so far this season:
6) Sam Bradford, QB, Minnesota Vikings
Bradford may seem like a surprise entrant on this list, but he has helped guide the Vikings to a 4-0 record despite being acquired just a week before the season started. He's been efficient, completing 70 percent of his passes for 719 yards and four touchdowns - without turning the ball over. As long as the Vikings continue to win, Bradford's buzz will continue.
5) Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
The Wentz Wagon has taken Philadelphia by storm, surprisingly leading the Eagles to an undefeated record as a rookie despite barely playing in the preseason. He has shown amazing poise and decision making, throwing for five touchdowns and zero interceptions in three games. Most of his work has come against lackluster teams, but really made his mark with their 34-3 win over the Steelers. If he keeps up this level of play, he might be in for more than just Rookie of the Year at the end of the season.
4) Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams
It's incredibly hard for a defensive player to get MVP consideration, let alone a defensive tackle, but Donald's dominance has been obvious for two years now. He leads the NFL in quarterback hits, using his insane combination of strength and speed to wreak havoc on opponent's backfields. However, Donald needs to rack up more than 1.5 sacks - and for the Rams to keep winning - for him to continue to rise.
3) Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
No Le'Veon Bell (for thee first three games), no Martavis Bryant, no Ladarius Green, no problem for the Steelers offense - largely due to the play of Big Ben. Roethlisberger threw for as many touchdown passes (five) as incompletions last weekend against the Chiefs defense that had intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick six times the week before. He is now tied for the NFL lead in touchdown passes with 11.
2) Von Miller, LB, Denver Broncos
The top defensive player on our list, Miller has carried over the momentum from his outstanding play during last year's postseason run. Through four games, Millers has 5.5 sacks and a forced fumble, but what has been most impressive is the timing of those plays.
He sacked Cam Newton on the Panthers' final drive to preserve a Week 1 victory for the Broncos. Then, he got a strip sack on Andrew Luck to preserve Denver's Week 2 win over Indianapolis - one of three sacks he had in that game. Miller has undoubtedly been the most disruptive force in the league so far this year.
1) Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
However, Ryan gets the nod in the top spot for now. Along with leading the Falcons to a 3-1 mark so far this season, he leads the NFL in passing yards (1,473) and touchdowns (11). Atlanta's offense currently averages of 478.8 yards per game, which is better than the 2011 Saints' average of 467.1 yards - the NFL single-season record - and Ryan is a big reason why. Their next two games against the Seahawks and Broncos will tell us if Ryan's MVP candidacy is real or just an early season mirage.Back to the NFL Newsfeed