Is Kurt Warner Still MVP Worthy?

The country took a while to believe in what the birds in the desert were doing, but wins and big numbers made believers out of the doubters. After a pair of consecutive losses, the league could jump off Arizona's bandwagon. New York and Philly punished Arizona for getting ahead of itself. Kurt Warner was on the lips of many for MVP, but is there enough time to prove he still deserves the honor?

The Arizona Cardinals had multiple ways to clinch the NFC West in the past two weeks. A win against the New York Giants would have done the trick. Plan number one didn't work out. Plan two was a win on Thanksgiving night at the Philadelphia Eagles. No need to send out a reminder, but that didn't work out either. Alright, plan three. The Seattle Seahawks needed to lose or tie as did the San Francisco 49ers. Seattle lost, but San Francisco pulled out an upset over the Buffalo Bills.

The Cardinals have another shot when they host the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. Plan four seems even better as Arizona can celebrate on its home field and on its own terms.

But what does all this mean for Kurt Warner? The New York Jets' game aside (three interceptions and four fumbles), week in and week out, he's been the pillar of perfection. The Giants and the Eagles didn't want anything to do with his streak.

Both teams yielded Warner's worst passer rating on the year (79.9 and 65.7). However, Warner is the top quarterback in the league in terms of passing completion, touchdown passes (tied with Drew Brees), first downs by passing and sits in the top five of almost every other category. Warner switches back and forth with Brees in a number of areas.

QB Kurt Warner

Brees could be Warner's biggest competition. He's doing everything right in New Orleans. Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan could see his name on the ballot as well. He's completely turned the Falcons organization around. It's rare that Michael Vick is even brought up anymore. RB Michael Turner could be a Co-MVP with Ryan. Turner's move to Atlanta cut down the tree, otherwise known as LaDainian Tomlinson, that was shadowing his talents.

The real measure of a MVP is the ability to make those around you better. A look at last year's Los Angeles Lakers backs Kobe Bryant's award.

Warner does have that quality. Steve Breaston is a great example. The unknown second-year receiver was called to action when Anquan Boldin was out. Breaston played for Warner who gave him the benefit of the doubt and built confidence in the young player.

A valid argument against Warner is whether he would be effective anywhere else but Arizona. He has the ideal situation in the desert with four solid receivers to throw to.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt wasn't really sold on Warner when he first got to Arizona.

"Well coming in to the Cardinals last year I didn't really know," Whisenhunt said. "I had heard a lot about Kurt, but there were also some skeletons in his closet from having fumbles and having turnovers.

"Last year in camp we saw him do some good things and then when he played some with Matt (Leinart) we kind of rotated the quarterbacks there for a little while and then when Matt got hurt and Kurt took over, even playing with a torn ligament in his elbow, he really started to show signs that, wow, this guy can still do it."

Whisenhunt says Warner has worked on ball security, moving in the pocket and being smart with decisions down the field. But last week against Philly, Warner didn't play with any of those attributes.

The Cardinals are impressed with what Warner has done this year. He's put astronomical numbers up, and the organization is excited that such a good guy, who works hard, has this type of success.

Warner has just four games left and a pending post season appearance to prove he still has one more MVP in him.

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