NFL MVP Race: Aaron Rodgers Was Better Than Drew Brees in 2011

Brent ArmstrongContributor IJanuary 2, 2012

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 08: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers talks with Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints after the NFL opening season game at Lambeau Field on September 8, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Saints 42-34. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

If you look at the statistics for NFL quarterbacks this season, Drew Brees is first in yards (5,476) and touchdowns (46).

He now holds the single-season record for yards and is fourth all-time in touchdowns in a season...

And he still wasn't the best quarterback in the NFL. 

Aaron Rodgers was the most efficient quarterback in the history of the league this season.

His quarterback rating (which judges a quarterback using all relevant statistics) of 122.5 was the highest of all-time, breaking Peyton Manning’s mark of 121.1, set in his epic 2004 season.

Brees lead the NFL in almost all passing categories, including pass attempts, and those extra passes exaggerated Brees’ numbers in every other statistical category. 

The Packers pulled Rodgers early in the fourth quarter in games against the Raiders, Bears and Vikings; the Saints left Brees in games that were well in hand, aiding him in his quest for records and statistics.

In 2011, Drew Brees threw 155 more passes than Aaron Rodgers.

If Rodgers would have thrown as many times as Brees did this season he would have thrown for 5,612 yards and 60 TD's.

Stats don't lie, it's just that sometimes you have to do a little math to make them tell the truth.

Rodgers only threw six interceptions in 2011 while Brees threw 14. He cost the Saints in both of their losses to far inferior teams in the Rams and Buccaneers, throwing bad interceptions that lead to the opposing team scoring points.

Even in Rodgers worst game of the season (at Kansas City) he didn’t throw any interceptions. 

In 15 starts this season, Rodgers never threw two interceptions in the same game. Brees had five multiple interception games, losing two of them. 

Another unmentioned advantage Brees had in 2011 was the location of the games he played.

Brees played a whopping 11 games indoors, where there is no weather and no wind. He has played one game outdoors since October 23rd. The games he did play outdoors were in places like Carolina, Tennessee, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville.

Of course, when he was forced into the open air outdoors, his production fell through the floor.

Indoors this season, Brees and the Saints averaged 45 points per game.

Outdoors, they only managed 26 points per game. Two of the Saints' three losses came in games played outdoors. 

Rodgers played eight of his home games outdoors, at Lambeau Field. He also played another five games outside, in places like Chicago, Kansas City and New York for a total of 13 games where he had to account for weather.

He was still more efficient than Brees. 

When you add all of this to the fact that in their only head-to-head battle this season, Aaron Rodgers outgunned Drew Brees in a game that the Packers never trailed in, it’s clear that the MVP award belongs in the hands of Aaron Rodgers.

If Drew Brees thinks differently, he’ll have to come up to Lambeau to try and make his case.