Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles (10-4) and Tom Brady of the New England Patriots (12-2) are the two most valuable players in the National Football League in 2010. That is a given, and it has spurred a massive media debate about which player should be the Most Valuable Player.
They will be co-MVPs, assuming neither of them has an abominable finish to the season.
Michael Vick has turned heads this year, and is having arguably the best season of his career. In one of the most remarkable comeback stories ever, Vick has gone from one of America's most hated people to one of America's most beloved football stars.
He leads all NFL players in Pro Bowl voting. That doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things, but it shows how much he has overcome in the public eye.
The numbers that Vick has put up this year have been remarkable: 2,755 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, five interceptions, a 103.6 passer rating, 63.2 percent completion rate, 613 rushing yards, eight touchdowns.
Vick has been marvelous, and is looking like an even better version of himself before the imprisonment. He seems to have improved every flaw that held him back in the past. He is a much more accurate passer, makes better decisions in the pocket and appears to be much more of a leader.
Not only is he having a great season, but he has two memorable "MVP moments." Yesterday's 21-point comeback against the New York Giants is certainly one of them.
Vick threw for 242 yards with three touchdowns and ran for 130 yards with a score on the ground. He led the Eagles down the field with no timeouts and just three minutes left to tie the game, setting up DeSean Jackson's game-winning punt return.
In Week 10, Vick opened the eyes of the football world. He had his greatest game ever, and it was perhaps one of the greatest individual games ever. Vick had 333 yards in the air and four touchdowns, 80 yards on the ground and two touchdowns, and a 71.4 percent completion rate in a 59-28 thrashing of the Washington Redskins.
The guy has been incredible, and is showing that he is one of the top-five talented players in the league.
Unfortunately, the only thing holding Vick back from running away with this award is the fact that he missed three games due to injury. Oh, and then there's Tom Brady.
Brady is the best player on the best team in the NFL, and is continuing to build his impressive resume for his eventual induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.
In a year where the Patriots faced an eight-week holdout from Pro Bowl left guard Logan Mankins, traded an all-time great wide receiver in Randy Moss, possessed the league's youngest defense at an average age of 25.6 years and built their offense around unknowns such as Ben-Jarvus Green-Ellis, Danny Woodhead, rookies Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady shined bright.
On the season, Brady has 3,561 yards passing, a league-leading 31 touchdowns, a league-low four interceptions (for qualified QBs), a 66.6 percent completion rate and a league-leading 109.9 passer rating.
Tom Brady has gone nine straight games without throwing an interception, and he has faced some pretty stiff competition all year. Baltimore, at San Diego, at Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, New York Jets, at Chicago, Green Bay are among the best teams in the NFL this year and perennially tough teams.
Brady just shrugged it off, though, and put up monster numbers on all of them.
Brady has shined the brightest when the spotlight is on the Patriots, and he has performed his best against some of the league's elite defenses.
In Week 10 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Brady threw for 350 yards and three touchdowns with a 69.8 percent completion rate and a 117.4 passer rating. The Patriots won the game, 39-26, and Brady carried them to that victory without question.
In Week 13, on Monday Night Football against AFC East rival the New York Jets, Brady threw for 326 yards and four touchdowns with a 72.4 percent completion rate and a 148.8 passer rating.
This race is almost impossible to decide, as both players have been fantastic all year long and instrumental to their teams' success. Both the Eagles and the Patriots could end up meeting in the Super Bowl in Dallas, and both Brady and Vick will forever be connected in history when they are named co-MVPs.
It would be unfair to leave one of them empty handed when the MVP is decided.