The NFL MVP award likely will not be a close race, as Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been the overall favorite for most of the 2015 season.
While playoff performance is not a factor in the MVP race, Newton has only shown why he should be the most valuable player with how he has played this postseason. Newton has been dominant and now has his team in position to win the Super Bowl after going 15-1 through the regular season.
Players like Carson Palmer, Tom Brady and Russell Wilson should end up getting consideration for the award, but this one is Newton's for 2015. Here is a look at the top candidates for the award, which will be given out ahead of the Super Bowl this week.
Cam Newton, Panthers
Newton has been the best player in football this season and after leading the Panthers to a 14-0 start, the award is his to lose and he likely will not be losing it. Newton accounted for 45 touchdowns this season and put up over 4500 total yards rushing and passing the ball. Newton only completed 59 percent of his passes, but his impact was about more than stats. Newton led his team to a 15-1 record and the top seed in the NFC and now he has them one win away from winning the Super Bowl.
Tom Brady, Patriots
In almost any other year, Brady likely would have won this award in a landslide, as he put up some of the best stats of his career despite the Patriots dealing with a ton of injuries. Brady threw for 4770 yards, 36 touchdowns and just seven interceptions this season while completing over 64 percent of his passes. Brady saw players like Danny Amendola, Dion Lewis, LeGarrette Blount, Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski all miss various amounts of time this season, yet he still put up great stats and had his team the second seed in the AFC playoffs.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals
Palmer also could have been in contention for the award had it been another season, as he put up career numbers with the Cardinals one year after suffering a serious knee injury. Palmer stayed healthy for all 16 games and finished the season with 4671 yards, 35 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while completing over 63 percent of his passes. The Cardinals finished second in the NFC and had one of the best offensive units in the league.