Last week we mentioned in this space the Panthers were brewing up another MVP-caliber season from Cam Newton. Newton is definitely on the short list.

But why bother making it a short list for the MVP award? One quarter of the way into the season we did a full, long list of every starting quarterback in the NFL based on how we would put them in the current MVP standings.

Let's do the same at the arbitrary midpoint of the season as well; every team has played eight games now, so we have plenty to work with. So bear in mind the rankings this week are more cumulative based on how people have played over the course of a half season than it is reflective of who is playing well at this very moment. There's always a blend anyway, but this is highly specific about the criteria -- if there's anyone who only played a few games because of injury, they're going to be dinged. If your team looks like it might not make the playoffs at this point, you're gonna get dinged. 

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To the rankings:

QB Rankings Week 10
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
There are arguments against having Patrick Mahomes as the midpoint MVP, but those arguments aren't very good. He's come out of nowhere to destroy the NFL and is showing no signs of slowing down. A Week 11 matchup in Mexico City against the Rams awaits after the Chiefs dispose of the Cardinals this week. 
Drew Brees New Orleans Saints QB
An outstanding season from Drew Brees might very well be rewarded with a "lifetime achievement" MVP award -- Brees has somehow never won the hardware and is actually underrated in the pantheon of QBs. He would be a worthy selection based on his performance alone this year.
Philip Rivers Los Angeles Chargers QB
Speaking of underrated, Philip Rivers isn't getting enough love for what he's doing week in and week out at his age, just carving up defenses and playing some of the best football of his career.
Cam Newton Carolina Panthers QB
I would have Cam Newton fourth on my MVP list whether or not we're just talking about quarterbacks. He's played that well so far this season.
Jared Goff Los Angeles Rams QB
The biggest problem for Jared Goff, I think, is that people would tend to lean on Todd Gurley as a more worthy candidate. That's a mistake, given the size of the holes Gurley runs through and the throws that Goff is making this year.
Tom Brady New England Patriots QB
Just quietly grinding along and putting up nice stats with a great group of weapons, Tom Brady would definitely be a top-tier MVP option at this point, even if he's not having his greatest season relative to the rest of the pack. Brady suffers from voter fatigue.
Deshaun Watson Houston Texans QB
Is this too high for Deshaun Watson?? Maybe. He played with a half-punctured lung and he's put up big stats on a team no one believes should be in first place in the AFC South yet finds itself on a six-game winning streak.
Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers QB
The Le'Veon Bell situation doesn't look like it's getting resolved anytime soon but the Steelers are rolling regardless. Ben Roethlisberger gets credit for that.
Kirk Cousins Minnesota Vikings QB
Lack of a running game early on plus a less-than-stellar defensive performance could lead many people to pegging Kirk Cousins as the reason the Vikings are starting to put it together. He's had some huge throws and big moments this year.
Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks QB
The Seahawks are a couple breaks away from being right there in the NFC West and they're doing it without a ton of weapons on offense, which makes Russell Wilson an obvious candidate for MVP.
Matt Ryan Atlanta Falcons QB
The Falcons have managed to work their way to 4-4 somehow and it's largely because Matt Ryan and the offense are putting up huge numbers.
Andrew Luck Indianapolis Colts QB
The Colts are playing pretty well and although they've reduced Andrew Luck's passing attempts the last few weeks while leaning on a running game, Luck's presence is making a huge difference for Indy.
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers QB
Well this feels weird. Aaron Rodgers at 13th in the MVP ballot - the biggest problem is the Packers are not winning games, especially relative to what people want them to pull off given their quarterback. I can easily envision a scenario where he rips off a bunch of wins and gets involved in this race.
Carson Wentz Philadelphia Eagles QB
DO NOT YELL AT ME, EAGLES FANS. Carson Wentz would be much higher if he hadn't missed games to start the season.
Mitchell Trubisky Chicago Bears QB
Did you know that Mitchell Trubisky is on pace to become just the second player in NFL history with 3,500 passing yards, 30 passing touchdowns and 600 rushing yards? The other was Cam Newton in 2015 when he won MVP ...
Ryan Fitzpatrick Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
This also feels insane, but if the Buccaneers were to make some kind of run, it would be because Ryan Fitzpatrick has been starting more games than Jameis Winston and playing better.
Matthew Stafford Detroit Lions QB
Weird spot for Matthew Stafford, but if the Lions beat the Bears two times in the next three weeks and make a push up the NFC North standings he would get some buzz here. Again, we're at the halfway point right now.
Andy Dalton Cincinnati Bengals QB
Can the Bengals win the AFC North still? After losing Tyler Eifert they've been just OK on offense and now A.J. Green is going down for a few weeks. Andy Dalton could help his stock in a big way if the Bengals ripped off some wins without Green.
Joe Flacco Baltimore Ravens QB
The Ravens are starting to sputter and Joe Flacco is not playing well as of late. We are entering the "won't win MVP" portion of the program.
Marcus Mariota Tennessee Titans QB
We've seen some real moments for Marcus Mariota this year but nothing that's enough to actually put him in any kind of conversation. Unleash him already LAFLEUR.
Dak Prescott Dallas Cowboys QB
Maybe adding Amari Cooper will help Dak Prescott put up better numbers? He's actually been good statistically in recent games, but the Cowboys aren't winning right now and the schedule only gets tougher.
Alex Smith Washington Redskins QB
The Redskins are not winning because of Alex Smith and the passing game.
Case Keenum Denver Broncos QB
Case Keenum's had some moments but a lot of them have not been great moments. The Broncos passing game is hit or miss for the most part.
Derek Carr Oakland Raiders QB
It's almost unfair to blame the Raiders problems on Derek Carr, considering he's had his best defensive player and best offensive player taken away from him.
Baker Mayfield Cleveland Browns QB
Baker Mayfield has not led the Browns to many wins, but it feels like he might have a big Baker moment/game coming up at some point in the near future.
Sam Darnold New York Jets QB
The Jets produced some big wins with Sam Darnold under center, but he's been under siege lately and now will miss time with a sprained foot.
Josh Rosen Arizona Cardinals QB
Gonna keep my eyes on the Cardinals and Josh Rosen after seeing him produce in his first game with Byron Leftwich as offensive coordinator and watching him finish off a win late the week before the bye.
Brock Osweiler Miami Dolphins QB
What if the Dolphins keep winning with Brock Osweiler under center? Then what do we do?
Nick Mullens San Francisco 49ers QB
Should he be a top five option? You could argue for it. (Not really but he was definitely worth a win.)
Blake Bortles Jacksonville Jaguars QB
The Jaguars have been much worse than what people expected this year and a large reason has been their inability to produce at the quarterback position. Imagine them having an above average quarterback.
Eli Manning New York Giants QB
What if the Giants had an above average quarterback under center? Would they be above .500?
Nathan Peterman Buffalo Bills QB
The least valuable quarterback in the history of football. It really feels like we're picking on him too much.