Super Bowl XLVII MVP: Who will win the coveted award in Sunday's Super Bowl in New Orleans?
By Paul Higham in New Orleans - Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: 01/02/13 10:46pm
Eli Manning: Super Bowl MVP
The Super Bowl MVP is the award handed out to the player who makes the biggest single contribution in which side takes home the Vince Lombardi Trophy, and this year there are plenty of candidates.
Here's who could be making the difference come Sunday and their odds of taking the MVP title with Sky Bet.
There is no doubt Lewis is the heart and soul of this Ravens team, having been involved in all 17 years of their new history, and he is looking to end his career on the highest of highs by bowing out with a Super Bowl ring. A triceps injury could have ended his season, but he came back stronger than ever and led the team in tackling during the play-offs - he's a former MVP of a Super Bowl-winning Ravens team and could just do so again. Must have a great shout in a close low-scoring game, especially at a great price.
Dislodged Alex Smith as quarterback in November, and the almost unknown second year man suddenly exploded into one of the most exciting dual threat QBs we've seen in the NFL. A huge man, he has a rocket arm as he almost became a baseball player in the Major League, but he is also a super-quick and powerful runner. As he can make plays with both his arm and his legs then he has a great chance of changing the game.
It's a quarterback-driven league, let nobody tell you anything different, and when it comes to MVPs the winning triggerman is often credited with leading the way. It's not always been that way for Flacco, but he has excelled this season, has a great arm himself, and has eight TDs and no interceptions this post-season. He could break the record on Sunday and that coupled with a win could give him the nod - although it'd be tough to dislodge the big story of Lewis.
The former Texas Tech Red Raider has enjoyed a breakout season and Kaepernick seems to have done him the world of good, as he finally looks like a first-round draft pick. 85 catches for 1,105 yards and nine touchdown passes are all career highs and it is his strength and power after catching the ball that means he can make big plays and catch the eye.
The veteran wideout shows no signs of slowing down this season after 65 passes for 921 yards, but in the play-offs he has really proved a huge asset. Not the quickest, but Boldin is a frightening physical specimen and is hardly ever beaten in a 50-50 catch situation, so he could see a lot of action in a tight game.
Rice has been the main weapon for the Ravens for a couple of years, and even though now they have opened up the playbook for Flacco, Rice is still right there in the mix. Maybe even more so now teams are worried about the deep pass, and Rice can run through the tackles, around them, and can also catch a pass and pose a threat in the passing game.
A sneaky wager could be tight end Vernon Davis, especially after his performance against Atlanta in the NFC Championship game. It took a while for him to sync up with Kaepernick, but he is a match-up nightmare and in a tight game that could be crucial. Too quick for linebackers, too big for the secondary, Davis can run, catch and find the end zone. He has some huge multi-touchdown games in the books and another one could put him close.
Initially his numbers took a hit with Kaepernick being able to run so well, but he has been a mainstay of the team for years and if anything he is now fresher and faster with his workload reduced a bit because of the new QB. He can find the end zone, and can break off the big runs the crowd loves - he's a bit of an outsider for MVP but still one to watch.
Safety Ed Reed is one of the best ball-hawks the game has ever seen - if there's an interception to be had chances are Reed will pounce, and that's just where he starts. Reed has nine interception TDs in his career and loves to keep the ball alive once in possession, it'll only take a few of those in a defensive arm wrestle to make him stand out.