Ryan Mathews for MVP?

DENVER, CO: Running back Ryan Mathews #24 of the San Diego Chargers rushes with the ball as defensive end Elvis Dumervil #92 of the Denver Broncos pursues at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Football Outsiders does a weekly article called Quick Reads showing you all the QB performances for the week, plus the top 5 RB and WR/TE performances and the worst RB and WR/TE performances. This season Ryan Mathews has become a regular in it. Here's what they had to say this week.

Last week we said the MVP race was likely to come down to Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Mathews, apparently, disagreed. He was first in overall DYAR among running backs this week, and he's first in total value on the season. He was also first in Week 2 and second in Week 3, and hasn't finished worse than 14th yet. Did we mention that he's on pace for more than 2,100 yards from scrimmage, or that the Chargers are 4-1 even though Philip Rivers is having something of a down year? Against Denver, Mathews had five ten-yard runs, including a 36-yarder, and also converted pair of third-and-1 opportunities.

The MVP award comes down to more than statistics, especially these advanced statistics that aren't close to being mainstream yet. However, if you are just trying to see which player has been most valuable to his team over the course of the first 5 weeks, then you'd have a hard time finding a candidate more worthy than the Chargers' own Ryan Mathews.

All VOA, DVOA, YAR and DYAR statistical values are developed, calculated and reported by Football Outsiders. Their explanation can be found here. The RB efficiency statistics can be found here. Quick Reads Week 5 is found here.

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