Because the NFL opens voting so early and closes it before the season is over it's ballot time.
Quarterbacks (Pick 3)
Easy picks: Peyton Manning, Jay Cutler.
Peyton is the franchise. More than anyone else it's him that's responcible from bring the Colts from sub .500 to the first wildcard spot. His conventional numbers aren't up to his usual standard (on pace a carrer low in TDs, only his 3rd sub 4,000 yard season and the lowest yards per attempt since his rookie year) but Peyton has elevated his game both in recent weeks and in high leverage "clutch" situations giving the Colts the best 3rd down conversion percentage in the league. Jay Cutler leads the AFC in yards and his team is 2nd in 3rd down conversions. Their 3rd down mastery makes them DYAR (FO's counting stat)'s top 2 AFC Quarterbacks.
Worthy, but not getting my vote: Phillip "Laserface aka Marmalard" Rivers.
He gets points for leading the AFC in TDs and yards per attempt while throwing only 10 picks, but throws those points away and then some by being a giant douche.
My 3rd QB: Chad Pennington
Here is the updated stats table from this offseasons musical Quarterbacks act.
Chad's noodle arm has thrown for more yards, yards per attempt and yards per completion than the legendary gunslinger, while throw picks less than half as often. Sometimes you don't know what you've got until it's led a division doormat to within a game of you.
But, but, but.... : Brett Favre (see above table for why he shouldn't be considered.)
Easy Calls: Kurt Warner, Drew Brees
Both are legit MVP candidates and top quarterbacks. They are tops in the league in yards and TDs with excellent comp% and yards per attempt.
Worthy but not getting my vote: Eli Manning, Tony Romo,
Eli has taken a solid step forward, but he's not an elite QB yet. With a great line and dominating running game Eli doesn't have the totals or per attempt numbers of the 3 above him. Losing time to injury matters. Romo hasn't done enough in 8 games to top what the other 5 have done in 12.
As much as it pains me, my 3rd QB: Matt Ryan
Leads the league in DVOA, 3rd in the NFC in DYAR has thrown only 6 interceptions despite being a rookie starting from day one, 3rd best yards per attempt in the NFC