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Patriots MVP meter: Week 17

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Posted Jan. 03, 2011 @ 1:54 p.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

PFW associate editor Kevin Fishbain presents a running meter that ranks the Patriots' top five MVP candidates up through Week 17.

1. QB Tom Brady: While there shouldn't have been much of a debate, any question on whether Brady would win the league MVP award ended with Michael Vick's poor effort in Week 16. In a meaningless season finale, all Brady did was complete 10-of-16 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns, good for a 145.6 passer rating. He finished first in the league in touchdown passes (36) and QB rating (111.0).

2. ILB Jerod Mayo: Mayo finished the season as the league's leading tackler with 175. The Pro Bowler had six tackles on Sunday, including a sack and a tackle for loss. For the season, he had two sacks, five QB hits, five passes defensed and three fumble recoveries, bolstering the Patriots' run defense.

3. RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis: The Law Firm became the first Patriots back since Corey Dillon in 2004 to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season. Green-Ellis concluded his breakout season with 80 yards on 20 carries and his 13th rushing touchdown — tied for second in the league. He had a 4.4 rushing average in 2010.

4. CB Devin McCourty: The rookie was named to the Pro Bowl and picked off his seventh pass of the season on Sunday, this one while covering Dolphins No. 1 WR Brandon Marshall. McCourty finished the season with 82 tackles, three for loss, and two forced fumbles. He led all rookies in interceptions and helped a Pats defense lead the league in takeaways. He also had nine special-teams tackles.

5. NT Vince Wilfork: Wilfork was having an underrated season before a big game against the Packers in Week 16. He received a well-deserved Pro Bowl bid and stepped up in the season finale with two sacks. He had 57 tackles on the season and a team-high eight tackles for loss. He anchored a Patriots run defense that finished the regular season ranked 11th in the league.

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