(Carr photo courtesy of the Oakland Raiders)
Talk of Fame Network
Your Talk of Fame Network hosts all casts their ballots this week with the Associated Press for the NFL MVP award. Now it’s your turn. Who’s the NFL MVP?
We’re asking our listeners and readers at the Talk of Fame Network in this week’s poll to decide the most valuable player this NFL season. The field is wide open with passers and runners and you’ll probably find the choice as difficult as we did. Past MVPs Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are on the ballot as well as a couple of rookies, Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott of the Cowboys. So who’s your pick? Here’s your slate of MVP candidates:
Tom Brady, New England. Sat the first four games with an NFL suspension for his role in Deflategate but returned with a vengeance, leading the Patriots to an 11-1 finish and the top seed in the AFC playoffs with an overall 14-2 record. He threw 28 touchdown passes against only two interceptions. He passed for 400-plus yards against both Cleveland and Baltimore and also had three other 300-yard games. He finished second in the NFL in passing with a 112.2 efficiency rating.
(Brady photo courtesy of the New England Patriots)
Derek Carr, Oakland. Quarterbacked the Raiders to both their first winning season and first playoff berth since 2002. He won 12 of his 15 starts before suffering a broken fibula in the 15th game, which ended his season. He threw 28 TD passes against only six interceptions. He passed for 513 yards in a game against Tampa Bay and had three other 300-yard games. He finished eighth in the NFL in passing with a 96.7 efficiency rating.
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas. The fourth overall pick of the 2016 draft, Elliott became the first rookie to lead the NFL in rushing since Edgerrin James in 1999. He won the rushing title with 1,631 yards — 318 more than anyone else – despite sitting out the season finale. He rushed for 15 touchdowns and added another score on an 83-yard reception against Pittsburgh. He rushed for 100 yards seven times and his legs allowed the Cowboys to control the clock for almost 32 minutes, thus protecting a rookie quarterback and an average defense.
(Elliott photo courtesy of the Dallas Cowboys)
David Johnson, Arizona. The NFL leader in both yards from scrimmage (2,118) and touchdowns (20). Johnson finished seventh in the NFL in rushing with 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns and led all NFL running backs in receptions with 80 for 879 yards and four more scores. Johnson had a 100-yard receiving game against Minnesota and also rushed for 100 yards four times. He had three touchdowns rushing against both the Jets and Seahawks.
(Johnson photo courtesy of the Arizona Cardinals)
Dak Prescott, Dallas. A fourth-round draft pick last April, Prescott was forced to play because of summer injuries to Tony Romo and Kellen Moore. Prescott tied Ben Roethlisberger the NFL record for wins by a rookie quarterback with 13 and set rookie records for completion percentage (67.8) and passing efficiency (104.9). He also broke Brady’s record for consecutive passes without an interception to start a career (176). Prescott threw 23 TD passes against only four interceptions in delivering the Cowboys an NFC East title and top seed in the NFC.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay. Rodgers led the NFL in touchdown passes with 40 and finished fourth in passing with a 104.2 efficiency rating. When the Packers were 4-6, Rodgers talked of running the table to salvage the season and did just that, winning the final six of the seasons to claim the NFC North. Rodgers did not throw an interception over his last seven games, covering 241 passes. Rodgers passed for 300 yards five times and threw only seven interceptions on the season.
(Rodgers photos courtesy of the Green Bay Packers)
Matt Ryan, Atlanta. The NFL passing champion with an efficiency rating of 117.1. Ryan passed for an NFL runnerup 4,944 and 38 touchdowns against only seven interceptions, leading the Falcons to an NFC South title with an 11-5 record and a first-round bye. Ryan passed for 503 yards in a game against Carolina and threw for 300 yards in four other games. He also was the only quarterback to throw a TD pass in all 16 of his team’s games this season.
(Ryan photo courtesy of the Atlanta Falcons)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit. Playing without Calvin Johnson for the first time in his career and without a running game (the Lions finished 30th in rushing), Stafford still quarterbacked the Lions to a wild-card playoff berth. He set an NFL-record with eight fourth-quarter comeback victories to fuel a 9-7 season. Stafford threw for 4,327 yards with 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He passed for 300 yards four times and played the final four games of the season with a dislocated middle finger on his passing hand.
(Stafford photo courtesy of the Detroit Lions)