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Chargers.com Team Awards: MVP

We asked our panel of experts and insiders to select their choices for various awards for the 2017 season. We will reveal their answers over the coming days.

First up, a look at who is the 2017 Chargers MVP:

Ricky Henne – I highly suspect this will be a clean sweep, and it really should. After all, Philip Rivers is the epitome of what it means to be a Charger. I can throw out a boatload of impressive, historic stats, but in the end, it's what he means as the soul of the Chargers which is why he is the no doubt MVP of this team. As an honorable mention, I want to throw out an off-the-wall choice if going word-for-word the term "valuable." And that's Denzel Perryman. One tweet by ESPN's Bill Barnwell epitomizes why he deserves to be in the conversation, as what he meant to the defense when on the field compared to off is quite striking. Here's what Barwell said in Week 15 – "Chargers are allowing 2.45 yards after contact against the run with Denzel Perryman out and 1.41 yards with him on the field. Would be the difference between 32nd and 1st in the league this year."

Hayley Elwood – As the heart and soul of the Chargers' offense, Philip Rivers' play in 2017 proved number 17 is still competing at a high level. Rivers finished the 2017 season 360-for0575 (62.6-percent) for 4,515 yards with 28 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions. He not only helped guide his team to a 9-7 record after an 0-4 start, but he made history in the process. As the season came to a close, he became only the ninth player in NFL history to throw for 50,000 passing yards. Additionally, he tied Fran Tarkenton for sixth all-time in passing touchdowns in NFL history (342). I'm sure an argument can be made for Keenan Allen to take this honor, but for me, it all starts under center, which is why I couldn't pass up naming Rivers MVP.

Matt "Money" Smith – Philip Rivers. Had the Chargers won the division, he'd be in the conversation for NFL MVP. 2nd in Yards, 4th in Completions, 5th in TDs, and Top 10 in just about everything else. Rivers' taking over the offense after a 0-4 start was the driving force behind the turn around to the season. I mean 4,500 yards and 28 TDs....

Nick Hardwick – Philip Rivers. Philip directed and commanded what eventually became an efficient, pass-first offense after a beginning of the season that was sluggish, conservative and run first. When the keys of the car were handed to Phil, everyone's performance was elevated, including the run game.

Chris Hayre – It wouldn't be wrong to go Keenan Allen here, but Rivers made the NFL's top-ranked passing attack go. He secured his ninth 4,000-yard season and threw just 10 interceptions — his lowest total since 2009 — after throwing 21 in 2016. The O-line gets a massive assist, too, for keeping him off the turf. Rivers was sacked a career-low 18 times in 2017, which is 18 fewer than last season (36). Rivers also eclipsed 50,000 passing yards for his career, something only eight other quarterbacks in NFL history can say. Perhaps most importantly, the 36-year-old showed no signs of slowing down.

Browse through the best pictures of Philip Rivers during the 2017 season.

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