PFW associate editor Kevin Fishbain presents a running meter that indicates the Patriots' top five MVP candidates up through their most recent game.
1. QB Tom Brady: While it may be difficult for one wide receiver to consistently get big numbers in the Patriots' spread offense, Brady can continue accumulating stats no matter whom he throws to. Thanks to a big fourth quarter, Brady has thrown for 1,203 yards and 10 TDs with four INTs. (One of those picks came on a Hail Mary at the end of regulation on Sunday.) With WR Deion Branch in the fold, Brady showed the offense can still roll without WR Randy Moss.
2. TE Aaron Hernandez: The rookie had his first drop of the season in overtime of Sunday's win over the Ravens, and then it happened again. Hernandez did finish the game with four catches for 61 yards on six targets, and losing Moss didn't seem to have an effect on how open Hernandez would be. He leads the team with 301 yards receiving, but he has yet to find the endzone.
3. WR Wes Welker: Welker leads the team with 33 receptions and three receiving TDs. He had seven catches for 53 yards on 11 targets on Sunday. His targets should go up with Moss gone, and with Branch's resurgence, Welker should still find ways to get open on offense. Branch may be Brady's new favorite target, but that doesn't mean Welker won't continue to rack up targets and receptions this season.
4. ILB Jerod Mayo: Mayo had a huge game on Sunday, recording 18 tackles, the second-best output of his career. He leads the team with 61 tackles and trails Redskins SS LaRon Landry by just two tackles for the league lead. He is one of the main reasons the Patriots were able to slow down Ravens RB Ray Rice.
5. RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis: While he lost some carries late in the game to RB Danny Woodhead, Green-Ellis is still the top back on the Patriots, leading the team with three rushing TDs. Green-Ellis had just 20 yards on 10 carries in the win over the Ravens, but he added a TD run. Green-Ellis is averaging just over four yards a carry.