The case for ... Sam Bradford as NFL MVP

Despite two losses in Minnesota’s last two games—in which Sam Bradford has been sacked 11 times—I’m sticking with Sammy Sleeves as my MVP. When you’re treading water in the middle of ocean, as the Vikings were after losing Teddy Bridgewater in late August, the vessel that rescues you is extremely valuable, whether it’s a five-star cruise ship or something less glamorous. In his six starts, Bradford has completed 66.5% of his passes, and thrown eight touchdowns against a single pick. He’s displayed a deep-ball accuracy Bridgewater lacks, and defibrillated the career of kick returner/wideout Cordarelle Patterson. He’s done all this despite shoddy protection and feeble production from a rushing attack that has lacked Adrian Peterson since Week 2. A.P. should be back in the lineup by late-December, by which time the Vikings will surely have figured out a way to protect Bradford—fewer deep drops? Crank up the tempo?—who along with a gnarly defense will guide them on a voyage deep into the postseason. – Austin Murphy

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