The MVP: Like It Or Not

James KeenContributor IIJanuary 5, 2010

I'm tired of the arguments. Everyone going back and forth screaming "Manning!", "Rivers!", "Brees!". I made a post last week about the MVP Award being a bit lop-sided and overrated since it always seems to be a quarterback. I would love to see another position get it. But since everyone else keeps screaming for a quarterback then I'll tell you who it should be. So I'll have to go against my last MVP article.

I narrowed it down to Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, and Phillip Rivers. At least we all agree on something finally. I tried looking at them in so many different ways that it's rediculous. All three of these guys are very worthy in my opinion, but we can only pick one. Right? I came up with 11 different categories. Yes 11, for "when we need that extra push over the cliff". They're are pretty basic for the most part, but should at least show a front-runner in this race for MVP.

The eleven categories, in no specific order are: passer rating, completion percentage, passing yards, touchdown passes, interceptions, rushing touchdowns, team defensive ranking, team rushing ranking, number of 1,000 yard receivers, record differential from 2008 to 2009, and strength of schedule (opposing team's season record).

The reason defensive ranking, rushing ranking, and number of 1,000 yard receivers is so important is mainly because teams with a better running game and defense have to rely less on the quarterbacks performance. Having said that, the teams record should not in anyway reflect the quarterback unless he indeed is the total cause. In the case of these three quarterbacks, it never is, or never has been for that matter.

Having the least amount of 1,000 yard receiver's on a team is more beneficial in this case than having several. For example: Peyton Manning passed for 4,500 yards and had two receivers with 1,000 yards or more. Drew Brees passed for 4,388 yards and only had one. You could say that Manning passed for more yards, therefore giving another receiver a chance to accomplish the 1,000 yard mark. Not always the case. New Orleans leading receiver was Marques Colston with 1,074 yards. He just barely hit the mark. Their second highest receiver in yardage was Devery Henderson with with 804 yards. Manning passed for 112 yards more than Brees. If you take that 112 yards and give it to Henderson you get only 916 yards. Close, but not quite.

When Drew Brees passed for over 5,000 yards he didn't have one single receiver go over 1,000 yards. Not one. How does that happen? By spreading the ball around, hitting the open receiver, and not having to rely on two "stars" to boost your production. I'm not saying the other two MVP candidates don't make their players better. They do. But they also have better receivers.

Here are the comparison's according to the eleven categories. All categories won by the particular quarterback will be highlighted in BOLD.

Peyton Manning: Passer Rating: 99.9/ Completion Percentage: 68.8%/ Passing Yards: 4,500 yards/ Passing Touchdowns: 33/ Interceptions: 16/ Rushing Touchdowns: 0/ Rushing Offense: 32nd/ Defense: 18th/ 1,000 yard rec: 2/ Record Differential: 2 games/ Opponents Record: 97-111

Drew Brees: Passer Rating: 109.6/ Completion Percentage: 70.6%/ Passing Yards: 4,388 yards/ Passing Touchdowns: 34/ Interceptions: 11/ Rushing Touchdowns: 2/ Rushing Offense: 6th/ Defense: 25th/ 1,000 yards rec: 1/ Record Differential: 5 games/ Opponents Record: 89-119

Phillip Rivers: Passer Rating: 104.4/ Completion Percentage: 65.2%/ Passing Yards: 4,254 yards/ Passing Touchdowns: 28/ Interceptions: 9/ Rushing Touchdowns: 1/ Rushing Offense: 31st/ Defense: 16th/ 1,000 yard rec: 2/ Record Differential 5 games/ Opponents Record: 99-109

Drew Brees: 6

Peyton Manning: 2

Phillip Rivers: 2

I think it's pretty clear who the MVP is. Take away the chase for an undefeated season and better record from Peyton Manning and statistically he did no better than Brees. Brees also out performed him last season while losing to Manning for MVP. Most say because the New Orleans Saints went 8-8. The team record should only be a minor part of the equation being that the quarterback doesn't play defense or special teams. Rivers and Brees both took their teams from 8-8 season to 13-3, while Manning went from 12-4 to 14-2. Only a two game difference.

My Vote: Drew Brees. Like it or not.