The first quarter of football is over and it’s been full of surprises and heart breaks already. Nobody would have imagined that with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and running back Adrian Peterson out with season-ending injuries that the Vikings would be undefeated. Rookies have taken the league by surprise and have shined like never before. The Super Bowl runner-up, the Carolina Panthers, have been off to a horrible start, winning only one game so far. With plenty of football left in the year, here are some of the early candidates for the MVP watch.
Matt Ryan, quarterback, Atlanta Falcons
With a shaky NFC West division that has the potential to crown a different division winner each year, the Falcons have been off to a hot start and have a two-game lead over the rest of the division. Ryan has been off to a tremendous season already, throwing for 1,473 yards and completing 72.1 percent of his passes. He’s also thrown 11 touchdowns with only two interceptions on the season. Ryan has led the Falcons to a 3-1 start, and if he continues to torch up opposing defenses and win games, then there has to be some serious talks about the Falcons’ quarterback winning the MVP award.
Von Miller, linebacker, Denver Broncos
With the Broncos beginning their season after quarterback Peyton Manning’s retirement, their defense has started where they ended last year; a force to be reckoned with. Through four games, Miller has already accounted for 5 1/2 sacks, 10 solo tackles and five assist tackles. Miller also has a forced fumble and pass deflection under his belt. The reigning Super Bowl MVP is looking to lead his undefeated team to another championship and is already on path to win the regular season MVP.
Dak Prescott, quarterback, Dallas Cowboys/Carson Wentz, quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles
Yes, these two rookies have taken the league by surprise and have swayed the opinions of many. Prescott took over for injured Tony Romo before the season started, while Wentz was the second overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft. They have both combined for 1,781 passing yards with eight touchdowns already. They have a combined total of 78 rushing yards and Preskott also has two rushing touchdowns. The one thing that has many shocked is that both rookie quarterbacks have thrown zero interceptions so far. These two rookies are out there playing like veteran quarterbacks and could possibly be in talks at the end of the year for this award.
Antonio Brown, wide receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers are predicted by many to be one of the teams left standing when it’s all said and done, and a big reason for that has to be receiver Antonio Brown who surprises fans week in and week out. Brown already has 369 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Many defenses can’t find an answer for Brown and end up double-teaming him in coverage. That still doesn’t faze him. If Brown continues to light up the league, then count him in for the award.