Is this the MVP?
That's the buzz these days.
Sure he's had a very good season, but so have many other quarterbacks on much better teams. So does RG3 deserve MVP recognition?
In a word, no.
The MVP of the NFL needs to be more than just a flashy, trendy player who's led his team to a below .500 record two thirds of the way through the season.
He'll win Rookie of the Year, no doubt, and will probably deserve that honor. After all, what other rookies are playing as well as Griffin? But has he been a difference-maker, enough to warrant such a high honor?
What often gets overlooked in the highlight reels are the opponents against which players often make excellent plays. People forget that just two weeks ago, the Redskins were 3-6, and looking listless.
While I'll be the first to admit that a win is a win and it doesn't matter who you play or how you get it, in deciding who should be NFL MVP, you absolutely have to take into account what the player accomplished and against whom those things were accomplished.
Will RG3 Have Long-Term Success in the NFL
It is for the same reasons that Peyton Manning does not deserve the NFL MVP award.
Manning has looked good against mediocre and bad teams and has done nothing against good ones (big garbage time yardage means absolutely nothing).
But back to RG3.
I do not believe in the dual-threat quarterback model and I'm not ashamed to say it. I don't believe the hype about RG3, just like I never bought it with Cam Newton, with Michael Vick, and others.
Many people will cite Steve Young as a "great running quarterback." Young ran on average 4.3 times per game. Not a lot compared to the modern dual-threat quarterback.
RG3 runs 9 times per game on average.
That's more than Michael Vick (6.6 runs per game), Cam Newton (7.7 runs per game), Tim Tebow (5.9 runs per game) and is four times more frequent than Ben Roethlesberger (2.3 runs per game).
Why do I make the above declaration? Why do I bring those stats up?
Because smart quarterbacks don't put themselves in position to get hurt. Smart coaches don't put their quarterbacks in position to get treated as a running back (and thus, with no quarterback rules protecting him).
RG3's affinity to run the ball has already led to one concussion.
That's not the sign of a mature player looking out for the long-term interests of himself or his team. That's a rookie trying to make a play that he shouldn't.
To his credit, RG3, like Michael Vick, Cam Newton, and Tim Tebow before him, excites fans, gets the media in a frenzy and makes some incredible plays on the field.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves.
He's young, raw, and defensive coordinators only have 11 game tapes on him. Give him Rookie of the Year if you have to give him something. Lets see how he's playing this time next year before we start talking about MVP.
After all, didn't we hear the same argument about Cam Newton this time last season? Does anyone think back now and say "boy Cam should have been MVP"? No. So let's not rush to hype RG3 up any more.
Years two and three need to be successes before I start thinking of RG3 as an MVP candidate. He will need to prove that he can stay ahead of the ruthless NFL defenses against which he now plays.
If he can prove, unlike every other dual threat quarterback, that he won't get "figured out" or become mediocre, then he'll deserve an MVP.
If he can't, he'll be just another novelty act quarterback who couldn't cut it in the NFL.
That's what I think will happen. But for his own sake, I hope he proves me wrong.
So no, he doesn't deserve an MVP award. Maybe he will someday. But today is not that day.