Matt Ryan finished atop our final MVP poll at the end of the regular season, but with the runner-up playing opposite him in Super Bowl LI, it doesn’t mean Ryan is a shoo-in to win.

Here are résumés for the top four contenders, as determined by our last poll, with the most compelling facets of their individual cases illustrated. A winner will be crowned Saturday night at NFL Honors.

Note: Statistics compiled with the help of ESPN Stats & Information and only reflect the 2016 regular season.

Anchored the highest-scoring offense in the NFL, ranking among the top three in most major passing categories. Sustained a high level of performance, leading the Falcons to the No. 2 seed in the NFC and their first Super Bowl berth since the 1998 season.


Played all 16 regular-season games with a defense that ranked 27th in points allowed

Threw touchdown passes to 13 different receivers, an NFL record per Elias

Finished with league-best 9.26 yards per attempt

2008 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year

No. 3 overall pick in the 2008 draft

*Tied with Matt Ryan for NFL-high five 90-plus Total QBR games in regular season

Statistically outperformed his 2010 MVP season in Total QBR, completion percentage and more. Also matched Matt Ryan’s league-high five 90-plus Total QBR games, despite missing the first four games.


Elevated scoring upon return in Week 5 (Patriots averaged 20.3 points per game in the first four weeks vs. 30.0 PPG in the final 12 weeks)

Threw two regular-season interceptions Deneme Bonusu in a season that featured 41 instances of quarterbacks throwing multiple INTs in a single quarter

Finished second in Total QBR (83.1) and passer rating (112.2)

Four-time Super Bowl champion

Three-time Super Bowl MVP

Two-time NFL MVP

Kept his promise to “run the table” from Week 11 on, ending the season on a six-game win streak en route to the NFC North title following a 4-6 start. There’s also his penchant for throwing Hail Marys, with three in the span of about 13 months, the last of which was his 64-yard heave to Randall Cobb just before halftime of Green Bay’s 38-13 victory over the New York Giants in the wild-card round.


Threw 18 touchdown passes without an interception over last seven games

Recorded a 71.0 completion percentage over the “run the table” stretch vs. a 63.17 percentage in previous 10 games

Had four completions and two TD passes when holding on to the ball for eight seconds or more. The rest of the league had one TD on such throws and six total completions

Super Bowl XLV champion

Super Bowl XLV MVP

Two-time NFL MVP

Powered the Cowboys’ offense to a 13-3 record and No. 1 seeding in the NFC, leading the NFL in most rushing categories. Cemented himself among the best rookie running backs in league history with his 1,631 regular-season rushing yards, which rank third all-time. Elliott was only 177 yards shy of breaking Eric Dickerson’s all-time rookie mark … and Elliott sat out Week 17.


Had 12 games with 20-plus rushes, which was four more than any other player

Accounted for 33 percent of Cowboys’ yards from scrimmage, the second-highest in the NFL

Averaged 4.85 yards per rush with eight or more defenders in the box pre-snap. The league average in that situation is 3.13 yards per rush

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