Mike Sando's MVP Watch

Despite leading the league in rushing, Marshawn Lynch hasn't been able to crack our MVP Watch list. Steven Bisig/US Presswire

The NFL's leading rusher, Marshawn Lynch, came oh-so-close to landing on the MVP Watch list this week.

It was striking, however, that his dominant rushing performance in Week 5 failed to produce a victory over St. Louis. The Seahawks ran the ball almost at will in that game, but without a marginally productive passing game, they fell short.

That is the way of the NFL and probably explains why no running backs appear on the list this week.

Arian Foster ranked fourth heading into opening week. Jamaal Charles appeared at No. 9 last week after topping 200 yards rushing. No other running backs have appeared on the list at any other time. That wasn't by design. It has just worked out that way.

Sixteen quarterbacks, two receivers and two defensive players have appeared. We've had nearly as many referees as running backs, with Ed Hochuli making a just-for-fun appearance before the NFL and its officials finally settled their labor impasse.

Lynch has a good shot at appearing next week, particularly if the Seahawks win. He's facing a Carolina defense that has allowed a 100-yard rusher for three games running. Lynch has eight 100-yard games since Week 9 last season, most in the NFL by two games.

Editor's note: ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this item.