MVP's in Atlanta, but it's not Vick 

October, 30, 2006
10/30/06
9:58
AM ET
OK, before you start firing off to me about the Mannings, the Bradys, the LTs, the Breeses, the McNabbs, and whomever else you deem worthy, let me tell you why my MVP of the first half of the season at least deserves consideration.

He hasn't gotten there with statistics, because for one he plays a position that doesn't typically tally record-setting figures. He'll also never have huge stats, most likely, because the QB he depends on to feed him the ball can be woefully inconsistent. But, reciprocally, when that QB is wonderfully consistent this MVP's numbers, especially his receptions for touchdowns, are among the week's best.

For you ESPN The Magazine junkies, I wrote five pages on the guy a few years ago, and particularly detailed how he uses his healthy and blessed rump to gain position on defenders. (His nickname is "Donkey Trough.") His 26 receptions might be tied for 46th, but he's the most important player - and one of the best blockers -- on a 5-2 team that, in addition to that woefully inconsistent QB, has had a defensive line crumpled with injuries.

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