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Patriots MVP meter: Week Eight

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Recent posts by Kevin Fishbain

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Posted Nov. 01, 2010 @ 6:16 p.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

PFW associate editor Kevin Fishbain presents a running meter that indicates the Patriots' top five MVP candidates up through their most recent game.

1. ILB Jerod Mayo: Taking a closer look at all the stats, and considering the offense's recent struggles, Mayo jumps out as the team's top MVP candidate after Week Eight. People are wondering: how do the Pats have the best record in the league (6-1) with the 28th-ranked defense and 31st-ranked passing defense? Well, their run defense, with Mayo playing a key role, is 11th in the league, and the Pats are making crucial stops and tackles at critical moments, keeping teams from achieving first downs. Mayo leads the league with 86 tackles and is the most valuable player on the defense. The defense is playing just well enough to allow the Pats to keep winning, and Mayo should be rewarded for that

2. QB Tom Brady: He had a better game against the Vikings on Sunday, completing 16-of-27 passes for 240 yards and a TD, than he had the previous week against the Chargers. He has gone two games in a row without throwing a pick and holds a 96.6 passer rating. Brady's success can be shared with the offensive line that kept him off the ground for the first time since the season opener. After throwing eight TD passes in the first three games though, Brady has thrown four in the past four games.

3. RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis: The "Law Firm" had the best game of his career, rushing for 112 yards and two TDs, and was dominant in the second half. On the Pats' final scoring drive, Green-Ellis carried the ball seven times for 62 yards, capping it off with his second TD of the game. He gained 6.6 yards per carry and did what most backs fail to do — ran all over the Vikings' defense.

4. TE Aaron Hernandez: The rookie had his quietest game since Week One with just two catches for 33 yards on Sunday. He still leads the team with 388 receiving yards and is second behind Bucs WR Mike Williams for the rookie lead. Hernandez will need some big games and to find the endzone if he wants to become the first tight end to win league rookie of the year honors.

5. RB-WR Danny Woodhead: The smallest guy on the field made one of the biggest plays on Sunday, catching a pass from Tom Brady on 3rd-and-12, breaking a tackle and scampering for 16 yards and a critical first down in the fourth quarter. Woodhead also took a direct snap and ran three yards into the endzone for a game-tying TD in the second quarter. He has 314 total yards (fourth on the team) and three total TDs (tied for second). Woodhead has performed admirably in replacing veteran RB Kevin Faulk.

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