2017 NFL Honors: Leading MVP Candidates

The race for the 2016 NFL MVP has been as competitive as it’s been in many seasons.

Many players around the league had huge statistical regular seasons and have made speculating who will win the award quite difficult for some.

That race comes to an end February 4 at the 6th Annual NFL Honors ceremony at Wortham Theater Center in Houston, Texas.

The show begins at 8 p.m. Eastern and can be seen on FOX

Here’s a look at some of the top candidates for the prestigious NFL MVP award:

Matt Ryan

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The field for MVP started and continued very close through the regular season, but Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan pulled away at the end and became the overwhelming favorite to win the award, according to current betting odds from Odds Shark.

Ryan had the best year of his nine-season career, going 373-for-536 (69.9 percent) for 4,944 yards, 38 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He led the Falcons to an 11-5 record and their second-ever Super Bowl appearance.

The Boston College graduate has received MVP praise from many players around the league:

Ryan threw the least amount of times since 2009, yet had career-bests in virtually all statistical categories.

Though he’s the favorite to win the award, Ryan won’t be attending the NFL Honors ceremony.

Aaron Rodgers

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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is a candidate to win the NFL MVP award. (Getty)

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers started the season at his slowest in quite some time. Through four games, Rodgers was ranked 26th in the league in yards per game, 28th in yards per attempt, 19th in QB rating and 31st in completion percentage.

But the two-time MVP rebounded quickly and had one of the best seasons of his career. He helped take the Packers from 4-6 to 10-6 and was key in the Packers advancing to the NFC Championship.

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Rodgers went 401-for-610 for 4,428 yards, 40 touchdowns and 7 interceptions during the regular season. His huge second half of the season led the Packers to a 10-6 record and the NFC North crown.

OddsShark has Rodgers as second to get the award (+500 on the money line).

Tom Brady

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New England Patriots Tom Brady is once again a candidate for the NFL MVP award. (Getty)

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is back in the Super Bowl and a top candidate in the race for MVP once again.

Brady missed the first four games of the season following a suspension for the “Deflategate” drama, but it didn’t matter, as Brady returned to form almost immediately. He was 291-432 passing for 3,554 yards, 28 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions.

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The Patriots finished the regular season 14-2 and cruised through the playoffs en route to Brady’s seventh time playing for the NFL crown.

OddsShark has Brady third on the money line (+900) for the MVP award.

Ezekiel Elliott

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Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott a candidate for the NFL MVP award. (Getty)

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was a force out of the backfield in his rookie season.

He led all running backs in the NFL with 1,631 rushing yards in his first season and was third in the league with 15 rushing touchdowns. Elliott is virtually a lock for the Rookie of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year awards.

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Elliott ran behind arguably the league’s best offensive line and made opposing defenses pay for it. He ran for over 100 yards in seven games and had at least 80 yards rushing in every game during the regular season but one (Week 1 against the New York Giants).

Elliott’s odds of winning the MVP award, according to OddsShark, are fourth best (+3300 on the money line).

Derek Carr

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Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr led his team to the NFL Playoffs. (Getty)

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr’s resume during the season was stellar. He led the Raiders to the NFL Playoffs for the first time since 2002.

Unfortunately, Carr’s season came to an abrupt end in Week 16 when he broke his fibula.

Up to that point, Carr was putting up gaudy numbers under center for the Raiders. He finished the season going 357-for-560 for 3,937 yards, 28 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.

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The Raiders went 12-4 during the regular season and Carr cemented himself as one of the league’s top quarterbacks.

He had an outside shot at winning the MVP award during the season and currently sits at (+5000) on the money line, fifth out of the the listed front runners.

Dak Prescott

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Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott impressed in his rookie season. (Getty)

Things appeared bleak when the Cowboys lost Tony Romo in the preseason with an injury. But rookie Dak Prescott rose to the occasion, and the Cowboys never looked back.

Prescott helped lead the Cowboys to a 13-3 record and the No. 1 seed in the NFC during the NFL Playoffs. He was 311-for-459 for 3,667 yards, 23 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. He was a dual threat out of the pocket, as well, running 57 times for 282 yards and 6 touchdowns.

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Prescott’s mobility and accurate arm made him tough for defenses to read. And with Elliott in the backfield, Prescott was able to use the play-action pass to his advantage. He burst onto the scene as an MVP candidate early in the season and it stayed that way throughout.

However, Prescott doesn’t stand much of a chance to win the MVP award, with his money-line odds at (+5000). But he figures to be higher up in the conversation as his career continues to unfold.

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