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: Brady is going through one of the best stretches in his career during the Pats' five-game winning streak. He threw for a season-high 369 yards in Sunday's brutal weather conditions. The league's top MVP candidate comfortably leads the NFL with a 109.9 passer rating and is also tops in the league with 29 touchdown passes. He has tossed only four picks, having not thrown one in eight games.
2. WR Wes Welker: There is no question that Welker has regained his speed coming off ACL and MCL injuries. He is third in the NFL with 80 catches after posting an 8-115 performance in Sunday's win. It was his highest receiving output of the season. During the past five games, Welker is gaining 12 yards per catch.
3. CB Devin McCourty: The injury all eyes will be on this week is McCourty's rib injury that knocked him out of Sunday's game in the first half. Before the injury, though, he made three crucial plays. He stopped Bears RB Matt Forté for a loss on a 3rd-and-1 on Chicago's first series, deflected a pass on the Bears' next third-down attempt and stripped WR Johnny Knox on the first play of Chicago's third drive. Gary Guyton scooped up the fumble and took it back for six. The rookie stopped the Bears' first three drives and is tied for the AFC lead in interceptions with six.
4. WR Deion Branch: Think Branch is happy to be back with Brady? He has 469 receiving yards in the past five games, the second-most in the league during that span. He posted 8-151-1 receiving on Sunday, including a 59-yard TD catch to end the first half. Branch is gaining 93.8 receiving yards per game during the win streak. He has tied his career high with five TD catches.
5. RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis: The Law Firm had no problem with the Bears' run defense, rushing for 87 yards on 21 carries. He is gaining 4.5 yards per carry during the win streak and has 11 rushing touchdowns on the season. With all of Brady's success, Green-Ellis is finding room to run and making a serious name for himself.