MVP Watch: Gronk one of three Pats

Charles LeClaire/US Presswire

Rob Gronkowski has scored at least two touchdowns in five of the Patriots' 12 games this season.

ESPN's NFC West blogger Mike Sando hosts a weekly MVP Watch and this week's column sees tight end Rob Gronkowski climb into a top 10 list that already includes Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and wide receiver Wes Welker:

Three New England Patriots on the MVP Watch seems excessive. Could be that dreaded East Coast bias, except the MVP Watch guy, me, is a West Coast lifer and the NFC West delegate to the ESPN blog network.

Tom Brady certainly belongs on the list. The case for Brady's top receiver, Wes Welker, is an easy one to make. What's one more Patriot? Tight end Rob Gronkowski appears in the No. 10 spot this week for two basic reasons.

One, he's been phenomenally productive. Gronkowski has scored nine of his 14 touchdowns this season over the Patriots' last five games. New England is 4-1 during that stretch and 9-3 overall. Two, some of the other viable candidates aren't so viable at this point in the season. Matt Forte's injury likely removes him from the discussion. Calvin Johnson and the Detroit Lions have cooled considerably over the past month.

Here's the capsule on Gronkowski: