PFW associate editor Kevin Fishbain presents a running meter that indicates the Patriots' top five MVP candidates through their most recent game.
1. QB Tom Brady: Brady did not have to do much to collect his 100th career victory as the special teams and the defense dominated in the Patriots' victory over division-rival Miami. Brady was accurate on Monday night, completing 19-of-24 for 153 yards and a TD. He has nine TDs and just two INTs this season. But on Monday night, he was mainly a cheerleader but engineered scoring drives when he needed to.
2. WR Wes Welker: Brady's favorite target was not heard from until late in the second quarter Monday night, and then he got into a rhythm. Welker led the Patriots with eight catches for 70 yards, consistently burning Dolphins CB Benny Sapp. He leads the Pats this season with 26 receptions and is tied with Randy Moss for the team touchdown lead with three.
3. TE Aaron Hernandez: The rookie was quieter on Monday night, relative to his last two performances. He had five catches for 29 yards and one big play that was called back because of a holding call. People expected big numbers from Hernandez against a Dolphins team that struggles against tight ends, but Hernandez never got that big play he had gotten in each of his first three games. He still leads the Patriots (and all rookies) with 240 yards receiving.
4. FS Patrick Chung: Chung had an incredible game on Monday night, accounting for 21 Patriots points. He's a free safety, not a quarterback. Chung blocked a field-goal attempt that was picked up by CB Kyle Arrington and returned for a TD. He blocked a punt that the Patriots recovered, and they scored on the ensuing possession. And then he took one in himself, intercepting Dolphins QB Chad Henne and taking it 51 yards to the house. Chung is second on the team with 34 tackles this season.
5. RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis: Green-Ellis makes the list this week after a 16-76-1 output on Monday night. With Fred Taylor nursing a toe injury and Kevin Faulk on I.R., Green-Ellis has taken over as the primary back for Bill Belichick. And carries were not shared equally, either, with Green-Ellis collecting twice as many carries as Sammy Morris. Green-Ellis leads the team in rushing this season with 47-215-2.