MVP Watch: Brady trailing Manning?

Does Tom Brady deserve the MVP more than Peyton Manning? USA Today Sports

Ballots for the vote on the NFL's MVP award are due today, and when the award is eventually announced, it figures to be a close finish among some of the NFL's elite players.

ESPN.com's NFC West blogger Mike Sando has run a Weekly MVP Watch, and he produced his final edition on Wednesday. In it, he tabs Patriots quarterback Tom Brady as the runner-up for the award behind Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.

Says Sando of Brady: "Brady finished second to Manning in QBR this season at 77.1, his best single-season score since missing 2008 with a knee injury. He threw 20 touchdown passes without an interception when opponents rushed him with five or more defenders. The Patriots led the NFL in points per game (34.8), point margin per game (plus-14.1), red zone efficiency (70 percent), third-down conversion rate (48.7) and interception rate (1.4). Brady made it all possible."

There was a time late in the season when it appeared that Brady had become the favorite to win his third MVP award (he also took home the hardware in 2007 and 2010), but a couple of uncharacteristic performances down the stretch may have pushed Brady behind both Manning and Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who nearly broke the NFL record for most rushing yards in a single season.

If Sando's estimation of Manning as MVP winner comes to fruition, it would be Manning's fifth time earning the league's highest regular-season individual honor, extending his own NFL record.

Brady had one of the best seasons of his 13-year career in 2012, setting a new career high in completions (437) and throwing for more than 4,800 yards for the third time. He also enjoyed a seven-game stretch in which he threw 19 touchdowns compared to just one interception.

To read Sando's entire list, click HERE.

Who do you think should be the NFL's 2012 MVP? Vote in the poll and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section.