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Tough Choices for Rams

Who’s the most valuable player?

Ram quarterback Kurt Warner, the story of the year in the NFL, has a chance to break Steve Young’s 1984 passer-rating record of 112.8--he’s at 111.7--and needs one touchdown pass Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles to become only the second NFL quarterback to pass for 40 or more touchdowns in a season, joining Dan Marino, who has done it twice.

Teammate Marshall Faulk, meanwhile, needs only 36 yards Sunday to break Barry Sanders’ 1997 total-yardage record of 2,358. In Sunday’s 34-12 rout of the Chicago Bears, the versatile running back rushed for 54 yards in 10 carries and caught 12 passes for 204 yards in only 2 1/2 quarters, joining former San Francisco 49er Roger Craig, who did it in 1985, as the only players to amass 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season.

Warner, who tied an NFL record Sunday with his ninth 300-yard game of the season, probably has the better chance of winning the vote of a national panel of writers and broadcasters. Twice as many quarterbacks (26) as running backs (13) have been selected, with two linebackers, one defensive end, one defensive tackle and one kicker also having won.

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But Coach Dick Vermeil can’t pick.

He loves both guys.

“If I had a vote,” Vermeil said, “I’d tear it up and wouldn’t use it.”

Tight end Roland Williams has a solution: “I wish they could give the M and half the V to Kurt, and the rest of the V and the P to Marshall.”

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The winner--and Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts is also a strong candidate--will be announced Jan. 9.


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