Shutdown Corner - NFL

Jacoby Ford(notes), WR, Oakland Raiders. That's as much of an impact I've seen any non-quarterback have on a game this year. Ford accounted for half of the Raiders touchdowns when he took the second half kickoff to the house, and at least three times, he went up in traffic and rescued one of Jason Campbell's(notes) wounded ducks from certain interception. Ford damn near won this game by himself, making impossible catches at crucial moments, when the offense wasn't going to come from anyone else.

Colt McCoy(notes), QB, Cleveland Browns. Peyton Hillis(notes) was the fantasy superhero, but don't overlook the importance of Colt McCoy's performance in Cleveland's mudstomping of New England. McCoy's numbers won't blow your mind or anything, but he was an impact player -- not a game manager. He made the right decisions, showed good mobility and made some really impressive throws on the run. Granted, some degree-of-difficulty points are lost because he was facing the Patriots defense, but he was damn good.

Philip Rivers(notes), QB, San Diego Chargers. The Chargers were victorious today in a very special handicap match against the Houston Texans and the San Diego special teams unit. That wasn't the only disadvantage for the Chargers, either: there was no Malcom Floyd(notes), no Legedu Naanee(notes), no Vincent Jackson(notes) and most importantly, no Antonio Gates(notes). What's a quarterback to do? Well, if you're Philip Rivers, you make superstars out of Seyi Ajirotutu(notes) and Randy McMichael(notes). They each caught half of Rivers' four touchdown passes, and Rivers also racked up 295 yards. If the Chargers don't win their division, it probably eliminated him from contention for the award, but it's not overstating to see that Rivers is playing MVP-caliber ball.

Michael Vick(notes), QB, Philadelphia Eagles. What have you heard as an explanation as to why Michael Vick's been able to perform so well this year? He's turned himself into a pocket passer and he's being smarter with the football than he was before his stretch in Leavenworth, right? All true, but that Vick's physical gifts haven't deteriorated is just as big a factor, and maybe more amazing. He launches a football in a way that a Jugs machine watches and says to itself, "Damn." Even on the same field with Peyton Manning(notes), Vick's frozen ropes stand out. The legs are still there, too. Vick still appears to be the fastest guy on the field when he takes off. It's amazing, but Vick is still the once-in-a-generation talent we thought he was when he went pro.

Dez Bryant(notes), WR, Dallas Cowboys. Through three quarters against the Packers, the Dallas Cowboys had 104 yards of offense. Bryant -- or, as I like to call him, "The lone remaining Dallas Cowboy with pride" -- had 70 of them. I know, a receiver on a team that got ground into a fine powder is an odd choice for the five MVPs list, but I think Bryant deserves a little recognition. He slipped in the draft because he supposedly had an "attitude problem," but as it turns out, he might be the only guy in Dallas without one. The Cowboys would be doing themselves a favor to send Bryant out of the country for the rest of this season, just so he doesn't have to be around the rest of those guys.

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