Mike Sando's MVP Watch

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Peyton Manning could legitimately win MVP honors just about every season.

No player in the NFL is more important to his team, and few put up better stats more consistently.

Let's not hand him a fourth award prematurely.

There's a certain someone from a certain NFC North team making a quick climb up the MVP Watch list. Brett Favre, whose inclusion on the list in past weeks drew ridicule, rose six spots to No. 2 after another unforgettable performance, this time against his former team on "Monday Night Football."

I'll admit to having thought Favre was close to finished and the Vikings were misguided for waiting him out. Through four games, however, Favre has already justified the investment, no matter what happens next. He's the difference between 4-0 and 2-2 or worse for the Vikings. Yes, the Vikings are happy to have a quarterback completing nearly 70 percent of his passes with an 8-to-1 ratio of touchdowns to interceptions.

Three-time MVP has been unstoppable even, with Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon among his primary targets.

No apologies for including Favre on the MVP Watch list this week. He's on pace for 32 touchdown passes with four interceptions, by the way.

The pressure is off to a degree now that the Saints are getting contributions from their defense. The unit has three touchdowns thus far.

Despite a couple of quieter weeks, the NFL's second-ranked rusher is on pace for 1,648 yards and 20 rushing touchdowns. Not bad.

Seven touchdown passes with only one interception during three consecutive victories since the Week 1 debacle against Packers. Bears have scored more points each week.

The individual stats aren't yet there for Brady, but those will come. Pats rank second in first downs per game and tied for sixth in third-down conversions.

Chiefs, Bucs and Redskins have cleared an easy path so far. Plantar fasciitis might be his toughest opponent for the time being. Bye doesn't come until Week 10.

The Ravens like him so much, they might have overlooked their ground game in Week 4. Stats holding up despite 37.8 attempts per game.

This is getting ridiculous. Two-sack game against Cowboys gives him 8.0 for the season and at least 2.0 in each of the past three games.

Averaging 55 yards per return on a league-high five interceptions, with two touchdowns for a 4-0 team. Not bad at age 33.