Each week, Gregg Rosenthal picks the top way-too-early NFL MVP candidates. The top spot remains unchanged this week.
1. J.J. Watt, Houston Texans
Each week, we wait for Watt's pace to slow down. It still hasn't happened. He has entered the zone Julius Peppers occupied for me for years. I have to watch Watt every snap when he's on the field.
2. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Ryan has gotten off to slow starts in three consecutive games against lackluster defenses (Carolina, Washington and Oakland.) He can't have another three-interception game and stay this high on the list, but overall, his improvement remains the key to the 6-0 Falcons start.
3. Eli Manning, New York Giants
A composed game against the best defense in football moves Manning up one spot. His accuracy is better than ever.
4. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
5. Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings
Harvin leads the league in receptions. It feels like almost all of his yardage is made after the catch.
6. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins
He has transformed one of the NFL's lamest offenses to one that can bust open a big play at any moment. The base offense actually is conservative, and RG3 runs it beautifully. Suffice it to say, the RG3 Zone was a fun place to be this week as he keeps checking things off his rookie quarterback bucket list.
7. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
He's the NFL receiving leader in yards, and he ranks third in receptions and second in receiving touchdowns. Watch the Bengals enough, and you will become convinced they'd be 1-5 without him.
8. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
9. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
Just imagine how crazy his numbers would be if Eric Decker didn't fall down and Matthew Willis didn't run the wrong route.