Top Five: NFL MVP candidates entering Week 8

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,NFL,Jeffrey Tomik

After seven weeks, no one really has separated himself in the NFL MVP race. With quarterbacks usually dominating the award, here's who has the best chance to win:

5. Robert Griffin III, Redskins » The rookie quarterback is third in passer rating (101.8), first in completion percentage (70.4), 12th in rushing yards (468) and second in rushing touchdowns (six). The biggest thing working against the 22-year-old is the Redskins' 3-4 record.

4. Matt Ryan, Falcons » The biggest thing working for Ryan is the Falcons' 6-0 record. He's putting together the best season of his career with 1,756 passing yards, 14 touchdowns and six interceptions. He's fourth in the NFL with a 98.8 passer rating.

3. Aaron Rodgers, Packers » He may have set the bar too high for himself after last year's record-breaking MVP season. It will be tough to match his 122.5 passer rating with 45 touchdowns to just six interceptions. As an encore, Rodgers leads the league with a 109.6 rating and 19 touchdowns.

2. Eli Manning, Giants » The two-time Super Bowl MVP leads the league in passing yards (2,109) and has become the best quarterback in the clutch. Last week was his eighth game-winning drive in the fourth quarter or overtime since the start of last season.

1. Peyton Manning, Broncos » Big brother has won this award four times and has the best storyline to go along with his MVP-caliber stats (1,808 yards, 14 touchdowns, four interceptions and a 105.0 passer rating). He went through a gauntlet to start the season, but the Broncos' schedule eases up enough for Manning to stuff his stats and improve on Denver's 3-3 record.

- Jeffrey Tomik

jtomik@washingtonexaminer.com

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