To quote the great philosopher Terrell Owens, "Get your popcorn ready."
No Owens is not making an NFL comeback. Instead, the popcorn needs to be popped for what could be the most entertaining battle for NFL MVP of all time. This might sound like a bit of an overstatement, but think about it.
J.J. Watt has been fantastic, but after seven weeks it is beginning to look like the 2014 MVP award will come down to either Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning or Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Watt deserves to be in the conversation, but in a league where the passing attack is front and center, the two quarterbacks will likely be the favorites.
After a "slow" start to the season, Rodgers has been dialed in and his play has drawn comparisons to his record breaking 2011 season, in which he was named league MVP. In 2014, Rodgers has thrown 18 touchdown passes to one (ONE!) interception. An already mind-boggling statistic becomes even more remarkable when you consider that one interception against Seattle hit Jordy Nelson in the hands and was tipped to the defender.
During the current four-game winning streak for the Packers, Rodgers has thrown 13 of his 18 touchdown passes and has zero interceptions. Last Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, Rodgers had as many incompletions has he did touchdown passes (three). One of the incompletions would have been a touchdown to Richard Rodgers had it not been slightly overthrown. Aaron Rodgers' angry reaction to that overthrow, with the game already well in hand for the Packers, shows just how much he is in a zone right now.
Rodgers' dominant play would be the headline around the NFL right now if not for one person: Manning. The news this week was all about the Broncos quarterback as he broke Brett Favre's career record for touchdown passes with 510. Manning has been equally as brilliant as Rodgers so far this season. He has 19 touchdown passes (tying Andrew Luck for the league lead) but has three interceptions.
With nearly identical stats and with both teams having the same amount of wins (the Broncos already have had their bye and sit at 5-1), the stage seems to be set for a battle for the ages for MVP. With Manning and Rodgers playing in opposite conferences, there is a very good chance that they could both face off in Arizona with Super Bowl XLIX on the line.
The MVP will be awarded during Super Bowl week at the NFL Honors award ceremony. A Rodgers vs. Manning Super Bowl would be a game for the ages already, but if both quarterbacks are the top two vote-getters for the MVP award, the game will be absolutely insane in terms of hype and television ratings.
There is one possibility that could be even more awesome (and currently is my prediction on league MVP seven weeks into the year): a shared award. It happened with Brett Favre and Barry Sanders in 1997, and Manning shared the award with Steve McNair in 2004. It's a rare occurrence but with the way both Manning and Rodgers are playing right now, how could you choose one over the other (fan bias aside)?
Think of that Super Bowl: two current NFL MVPs facing off in the league's championship game?
That has to be every football fan's ultimate dream.
It's easy to declare a tie right now, but there is a lot of football left to be played. Rodgers will have to shake off the Detroit Lions to win the NFC North (they already lost to Detroit earlier this season) and the Broncos could have their hands full with the San Diego Chargers and a resurgent Philip Rivers.
That means that Rodgers and Manning will be playing guns blazing the rest of the year and it should be an incredible show to watch. Everyone should feel fortunate to be able to watch such brilliant play at quarterback, no matter your team loyalty.
So, do you like your popcorn with butter or plain?