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AFC South MVPs

Discussion in 'Tennessee Titans and NFL Talk' started by NewsGrabber, Dec 11, 2008.

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    Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky No Albert Haynesworth. No Peyton Manning.

    The eight of us who blog by division here at ESPN.com were asked for a one-through-five MVP ballot earlier this week.

    Today's Hot Read is on the top six, but here are the results in their entirety. Voting was on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis, and first-place votes are in parentheses:

    1. Kurt Warner 32 (5)
    2. Eli Manning 19 (1)
    3. Drew Brees 16
    4. Adrian Peterson 14 (1)
    5. Michael Turner 9 (1)
    6. Troy Polamalu 6
    7. Albert Haynesworth 5
    8. Brett Favre 4
    9t. Jay Cutler 3
    9t. Peyton Manning 3
    9t. Clinton Portis 3
    9t. Chad Pennington 3
    13. James Harrison 2
    14. DeMarcus Ware 1

    I hope the actual MVP becomes clearer in the final three weeks. I hope it doesn't automatically default to the best-rated QB on a playoff team and I regret not finding a spot to cast a vote for Wes Welker.

    I went: Turner, Eli Manning, Warner, Haynesworth and Peyton Manning.

    So there isn't much suspense about two of my AFC South team-by-team MVPs, but here they are...

    [IMG]Johnson Houston Texans, Andre Johnson, wide receiver

    Despite a quarterback position in flux because of injury and illness for Matt Schaub, Johnson is second in the NFL with 92 receptions and second in the NFL with 1,201 yards. That comes out to seven catches and 92 yards a game, which are incredible numbers when you consider that defenses are absolutely coming into games determined to key on him.

    Johnson also scores well as a locker room guy -- he's not a diva like so many high-production receivers. He's a quiet worker and a true pro. The Texans can tell everyone on their team to follow their leader without reservation.

    [IMG]Manning Indianapolis Colts, Peyton Manning, quarterback

    Is he meeting the statistical standards he set for himself in two MVP seasons? No. But Manning has led a scrappy, resourceful team that could have been done after a month or six weeks back to significant playoff life. The Colts figure to march into the postseason as the AFC's top wild card and rate as an opponent no one will be excited to draw.

    Manning has dealt with an injury-depleted offensive line, sometimes having to help with the group's adjustments when rookie Jamey Richard has played for the injured veteran Jeff Saturday. And during Indianapolis' current six-game winning streak, he's thrown 12 TDs and just three interceptions.

    [IMG]Jones-Drew Jacksonville Jaguars, Maurice Jones-Drew, running back

    The Jaguars' running game hasn't been what the team expected, in part because it lost three of its top six linemen. Even so, in an overall miserable season, it's hard to look through the roster and find a better candidate.

    With 607 rushing yards and 462 more receiving, he's accounted for 26 percent of the team's offense. In a passing offense lacking weapons and unable to throw deep, he's caught 50 passes, the second-best total for a running back in the NFL. He's also struck a pretty good balance of being upset about how things have unfolded for his team while expressing his frustration.

    [IMG]Haynesworth Tennessee Titans, Albert Haynesworth, defensive tackle

    To me he rates as the best player on the best team in the league. Haynesworth may not be as dominant as he was when healthy last season, but he's been a constant and he's a guy offenses simply have to slow down in order to have a chance to be effective. He's suffered some from the absence of the end who plays beside him -- Kyle Vanden Bosch missed the better part of five games and still has a groin issue.

    Haynesworth's 8.5 sacks are an impressive total for an interior lineman and he very much qualifies as a tone-setter for a defense that doesn't worry so much about yards as it does about points (Tennessee is No. 2 in scoring defense) and third-down efficiency (also second).



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