2011 NFL Power Rankings: Tom Brady and the Top AFC Candidates for NFL MVP

The last five NFL MVP’s have come from the AFC, and the chances of the streak continuing are very strong.
The NFL MVP award typically goes to a quarterback, but occasionally a running back will win the award. 
Tom Brady is coming off one of the best seasons of his career, and he is the clear favorite for NFL MVP again in 2011. 
He is always a contender for the award, and with Ochocinco as his main target Brady will excel once again in 2011. 
But who else in the AFC has a shot to take home the MVP honors? 
Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts, Phillip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers, and Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans are the top AFC contenders for NFL MVP along with Brady. 
Manning won back-to-back NFL MVP Awards in 2009 and 2009, and he is looking to reclaim that honor after poor showing in 2010. 
Last year wasn’t the best of seasons for Manning, but with a healthy core of receivers he will flourish in 2011. Having Dallas Clark back as a safety net will greatly increase Mannings’ numbers. 
If the run game is still nonexistent then expect Manning to let it loose once again, and if the talent around doesn’t get injured, then the Colts are going to be very dangerous this year. 
Phillip Rivers had a fantastic season in 2010, but because Brady had an even better year, people forget how good Rivers did with no big name receiver.
With Vincent Jackson playing the entire season this year, Rivers will still put up solid numbers. In order for him to win the MVP Award he has to win. The Chargers weren’t able to win their division in 2010, and that cannot happen in 2011 if Rivers expects to win the MVP this season.
Chris Johnson will have to rush for over 2,000 yards again if he wants to be considered for the NFL MVP. When he reached that in 2009, he only scored 14 touchdowns, and that will have to improve if he wants to win the NFL MVP Award. 
He is currently holding out of training camp, but once he gets paid then he can get to work.
I’m not worried about his hold out affecting his performance. Johnson has to help the Titans win if he wants to be the first running back to win the NFL MVP Award since LaDainian Tomlinson did it in 2006.
In the end, Tom Brady is the best of all of these guys, and he will continue to dominate the NFL and win the MVP.

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