The League

Mark Maske
Staff Writer

Mark Maske

Writes the NFL News Feed blog

It's Warner, For Now


A lot still could change between now and the end of the season because I'm still not sure we know for sure which teams are the league's best beyond the Titans and Giants. But right at this moment I'd have to make Kurt Warner my MVP pick just ahead of Clinton Portis and Adrian Peterson.

Drew Brees is putting up huge numbers for the Saints. He's on pace to break Dan Marino's single-season NFL record for passing yards. But the Saints aren't winning. The Cardinals are. It's Warner, not Brees, who is the NFL's top-rated passer. My MVP formula is to pick the player most responsible for his team being successful, so that starts with a team that's actually being successful.

The Titans and Giants are the league's two best teams, but I don't see an MVP on either one. Some will make a case for Kerry Collins. But to me, the Titans win games number one because of their dominant defense, and number two because of their running game. I know they have strayed from that formula at times, and I know Collins has made a major difference since taking over for Vince Young. But I'm not even sure he's the MVP of his own team. What about Chris Johnson? What about Albert Haynesworth, Keith Bulluck, Cortland Finnegan, Michael Griffin or someone else on that defense? Collins is the 21st-rated passer in the league. I know numbers don't always tell the entire story. But they do tell part of it.

You can make a case for a dominant runner like Peterson or Portis or even Michael Turner, although I would argue that Matt Ryan and Roddy White are just as important to the Falcons' success as Turner is.

You possibly could make an MVP case for a defensive player like Joey Porter or James Harrison.

But it's a quarterback-driven league and, to me, right now Warner is the pick.

Subject to change, of course.

By Mark Maske  |  November 12, 2008; 12:58 PM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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