Michael Vick or Tom Brady: Who Is the NFL's Most Valuable Player in 2010
After 15 weeks of the NFL season, we have two players left in the MVP race: Michael Vick and Tom Brady.
Both have been extremely valuable to their team, and both deserve to be recognized for their outstanding play this year.
Tom Brady has led his workman-like team to an NFL best 12 wins.
Michael Vick started the season on the bench, but since then has led his young Eagles team into first in the NFC East with a chance to host a playoff game in January.
With two games remaining, who has the upper hand on the most prestigious award in the NFL?
Other MVP Candidates
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Matt Cassel - Chiefs
This week Matt Cassel showed just how valuable he is, as he led his Chiefs to another win, and a game closer to the AFC West Division title. After taking last week off due to an injury, and watching his hapless Chiefs get whooped against the San Diego Chargers, it is clear Cassel is very valuable to his team.
But the Chiefs are not a glamour team, and his stats aren't in the elite category in the NFL, so he's not getting this award.
Philip Rivers - Chargers
Rivers is playing lights out, but his Chargers are struggling to find a place in the playoffs.
Matt Ryan - Falcons
Matty Ice is tied for the best record in the NFL, but his team, especially the offensive weapons, are much better than his counterpart Tom Brady, and he's nowhere near as exciting as Michael Vick.
Michael Vick Has Been The Most Exciting Player Of This Season
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Coming into this week, Michael Vick deserved to be high on the list of potential MVP candidates, but after a sluggish first half in New York, it looked like he should be taken out of the running.
But then, for some reason, the Giants D started slipping, and Vick found that extra bit of speed and power to lead his team to one of the most amazing comebacks of the year, or any year for that matter.
The fact that number seven can run almost as well as any running back in the league, yet has the arm strength, and passing acumen to rival the games best quarterbacks, means he is a dangerous weapon that can go off at any time.
And when he does, we all just sit back and watch.
This wasn't Vick's only showcase half this year, if you remember on Monday night a few weeks back when he put on a performance for the ages against the Washington Redskins.
Two division foes, two of the best halves you'll ever see. Vick is amazing.
Tom Brady Has The Least to Work With
Leon Halip/Getty Images
If the casual fan looks at the roster of each team in the NFL, you'll probably recognize a handful of players. Yet, if you looked at the Patriots current roster before the season started, you'd probably wonder how this team expects to compete in the NFL.
Sure, Wes Welker has become a popular player, and Deion Branch (whose only claim to fame was winning the Super Bowl MVP after the 2004 season) is known by some of the more in-tuned fans. But who else would you recognize from this Patriots team?
If you don't follow Florida football, you'd never know who Aaron Hernandez is. If you aren't a loyal Chadron State follower or if you missed this seasons Hard Knocks episodes, then you probably haven't heard of Danny Woodhead. The only recognizable NFL players are Fred Taylor (who had a good run with the Jaguars) and Shayne Graham, who has stepped up in Steven Gostkowski's place, neither a major contributor to the current Patriots team.
Despite all of this, the Patriots have the best record in football, and are almost guaranteed a bye in the first round of the playoffs.
There is one reason for all of this: Tom Brady.
While the Eagles are a considerably young team in the NFL, if you look at Vick's weapons, there is almost no comparison. If you doubt that, rewind DeSean Jackson's last two game tapes. He may be in a close second behind Vick for the most exciting player of the year.
The MIchael Vick Story Has Been The Best Comeback Story This Year
Al Bello/Getty Images
We all know the story, he went from being one of the highest paid and most talented athletes in American sports to being thrown in jail, and left to think of what could have been.
Then, when he got out, the Eagles gave him a shot. This was more because Andy Reid wanted to help him, than because it was thought he could lead the Eagles at quarterback.
Of course we had the Donovan McNabb trade (don't the Eagles look brilliant for that move now), and the coronation of Kevin Kolb as the new Eagles franchise quarterback.
All the while, Michael Vick got back in shape, and learned how to become a QB in the NFL. When he got his chance earlier this year, he showed just how far he has come. And he hasn't stopped.
As good as this story is, it will not help his MVP chances. He is still thought of as a criminal by some people, and this isn't the Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Michael Vick deserves a ton for what he has gone through, and for picking himself up and shining brighter than he ever has. That should be reward enough, and I think to him, it is.
Who Has The Best Stats?
Tom Brady is the premier passer in the NFL this year, and his stats prove it.
Michael Vick, despite missing a few games, has put up some of the best fantasy stats at the quarterback position.
3398 yards, 29 touchdowns and four interceptions, 109.9 Passer Rating
2513 yards, 17 touchdowns and four interceptions, 104.3 passer rating
483 rushing yards, seven rushing touchdowns
These are two completely different quarterbacks, and its hard to quantify and compare them based on stats.
On paper, I'm giving this to Brady. He's been there all year, and leads the league with the most touchdowns thrown, while having the fewest passes picked off.
Tom Brady Deserves The MVP This Year
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
With a 29-4 touchdown/int ratio, a 12-2 record, home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, and doing all of this with nameless talent on his team, Tom Brady is the definition of what an MVP player should be.
Nobody is going to deny what Michael Vick has been able to accomplish this year, but unless he is able to carry the Eagles on his shoulders and put up two more games full of video game-like highlights, there is almost no question that Tom Brady deserves to win the MVP award
There are still two weeks left in the season, and things can change, but at this point, lock the Patriots up for the number one AFC playoff spot, and give the biggest award to the best player in football.
Then, go back and watch all those highlights from Michael Vick and realize just how special of a player he is. It makes me wonder: is he in a better place because of all the trouble he went through, or in spite of it?
Either way, I'm thankful he's back, and I'd love to see these two playing in Dallas come next February.