Here at Bang the Book, we are beginning our update for the MVP odds on a regular basis. Here is our first look through 12 weeks of play at some of the favorites as well as the odds to win the 2011 MVP that can be found below…
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers: Rodgers just continues to roll, and it doesn’t seem like there is much stopping him from taking home the MVP award this year. Sure, we aren’t all that certain that we are willing to lay 1 to 6 odds, knowing that one injury or a string of a couple of bad games could take him out of the race entirely, and it’s not as though there aren’t any other legitimate candidates. Still, Rodgers has a QB rating that has been above 120 for the whole season, something that no one has ever been even remotely close to pulling off, and he is on a clip to throw for 48 TDs this year, just two shy of the mark set by QB Tom Brady four years ago when his Pats went 16-0 in the regular season.
Arian Foster, Houston Texans: Two weeks ago, we mentioned that Foster had a great shot of posting a comeback and winning the league’s MVP award because of the fact that QB Matt Schaub was out of the lineup. Now, backup QB Matt Leinart is out as well. It could get better than that for Foster, though. He is 12th in the league in rushing with 805 yards, and he will certainly move past Marshawn Lynch on Sunday. A lot of the backs in front of his, such as LeSean McCoy, Maurice Jones Drew, Lynch, Beanie Wells, and Steven Jackson play on bad teams, while Fred Jackson and Adrian Peterson have been hurt. With a score this week, he will join some fairly elite company with double digits worth of touchdowns, and he basically did all of this damage in just eight games. Don’t count Foster out quite yet.
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints: As long as the Saints are winning and as long as Brees is the league leader in passing yards, we have to keep him on the short list of players that are capable of winning this award. We’re splitting hairs with Brees as to whether or not he has the better numbers of QB Tom Brady, but unlike Brady, he can work the ball up the field and make the tremendous play. Brees has better targets to throw to, and he has a significantly weaker rushing game. Three TD passes this week gives him 30 for the year, and he could quite possibly get to the 4,000 yard barrier with 311 yards this week.
Matt Forte, Chicago Bears: There is no denying the fact that Forte is deserving of some MVP consideration, but we just aren’t all that sure that the Bears are going to be a playoff team this year. As long as the sentiment is there that Chicago just isn’t all that good, Forte doesn’t stand a chance even though he is third in the league in rushing with 985 yards and is still the leading receiver for the Bears with 52 receptions and 490 yards.
Tom Brady, New England Patriots: The Brady Bunch is back in the scoring saddle again, and as long as that is still the case, we have to keep Brady on the front burner as a potential MVP candidate. It is clear that the Patriots would have zero chance of winning games without Brady, as the passing offense is basically all that this team has going for it. The defense has been brutal at times, and the rushing game, though has some good names, isn’t all that swift. This team has already thrown the ball 421 times this year, a far cry from the 278 times that it has run the ball. Brady will also have two 1,000 yard receivers this year in WR Wes Welker and TE Rob Gronkowski, and WR Deion Branch might not be all that far behind with a few good games.
Odds to Win 2011 MVP (as of 12/3/11)
Aaron Rodgers 1 to 6
Arian Foster 15 to 1
Ben Roethlisberger 15 to 1
Calvin Johnson 50 to 1
Drew Brees 5 to 1
Eli Manning 50 to 1
Frank Gore 20 to 1
Joe Flacco 50 to 1
Matt Forte 15 to 1
Matthew Stafford 30 to 1
Tom Brady 10 to 1
Tony Romo 20 to 1
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.