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Drew Brees on verge of winning first league MVP award

Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger have emerged as the frontrunners for the NFL MVP after Week 11 saw Patrick Mahomes and Todd Gurley fail to strengthen their case.

Drew Brees holds several major NFL passing records. By any measure, the Saints quarterback is one of the best players in NFL history.

But while Brees has made 11 Pro Bowls, only once has he earned first-team All-Pro. That year, 2006, Brees’ former teammate, Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson, gained 2,323 yards from scrimmage and scored 31 total touchdowns.

Tomlinson received 44 of 50 MVP votes, with Brees getting four and Peyton Manning two that season.

That’s as close as Brees ever has come to winning MVP. Until now.

Last weekend solidified Brees as the MVP favorite.

He is 9-1 with 25 touchdowns and one interception after the Saints won their ninth consecutive game with a no-doubt victory over the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles.

Brees has beaten the Rams, who beat Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs on Monday night.

Yes, Mahomes threw six touchdowns against the Rams, but he also had five turnovers. In the Chiefs’ other loss, Mahomes threw two interceptions against the Patriots and was outplayed by Tom Brady.

Mahomes is expected to have many more chances to win an MVP award.

Of the other candidates:

Philip Rivers’ poor decision, which stopped the clock late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Broncos, did damage to his campaign.

Jared Goff? Todd Gurley? Aaron Donald? That’s the problem with the Rams: Who is their MVP?

Brady is Brady, but this isn’t his best season with seven interceptions and a 94.7 passer rating.

Ben Roethlisberger might have the best shot to knock off Brees, with his 1-yard, game-winning touchdown run with five seconds remaining Sunday keeping him in the running. (No pun intended.)

The award, though, is Brees’ to lose.

And it won’t be a lifetime achievement award.

Brees, who twice has earned NFL Offensive Player of the Year and once was Comeback Player of the Year, is earning it by being the best player in the NFL this season.