NFL MVP Race: Cases For and Against Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers
At a combined 11-1, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers are, as WWE's Triple H famously said in 2001, "the two most dominant men" in the National Football League today. Featuring two of the league's most explosive offenses (ranked first and second in scoring), Brady and Rodgers are not only threatening to reach Super Bowl 46, but also to break a decades-old passing record set by Dan Marino in 1984 for most yards in a season, which stands at 5,084.
Everyone seems to have unique opinions as to why each man is not only the best quarterback in football, but potentially the most valuable player in the league. While a lot of arguments are valid, here are some perspectives not only on the plus side but the negative side for each player. Think of it as playing devil's advocate.
Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Year-to-date stats: 2,163 yards, 16 touchdowns, 8 interceptions
- Rushing attack is ranked ninth, which makes play-action more lethal
- Protected by one of the best offensive lines in football (sacked only 11 times)
- Has some of the best records in December/January in NFL history as well as 14-4 in the postseason (9-2 at home in playoffs)
- Possesses arguably some of the best weapons in the league, including the best tight end combination
- Defense is ranked last in the league in most categories which either keeps him on the field longer or shorter
- Not very mobile, so can be sacked if under pressure
- Lost last three playoff games, last two at home and Super Bowl 42
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Year-to-date stats: 2,037 yards, 17 touchdowns, 3 interceptions
- One of the best mobile/pocket passers in NFL history (104:35 touchdown-to-interception ratio is best all-time)
- Very quick release which gets the ball on time to best receiving corps in the league
- Runs when he HAS to, not NEEDS to
- 4-1 career in postseason; 3-1 on road
- Mobility led to two concussions last season, causing one missed game
- Tends to hold on to the ball a little too long, resulting in a lot of sacks (115 since becoming starter in 2008; sacked league-high 50 times in 2009, 12 already this season)
- Has not had a home playoff start
- Not protected by strong running game (rushing ranked 24th)
Now clearly some of these can and cannot be counted against either quarterback. Both are fantastic signal-callers and there are plenty of other strong contenders, but these two are the main names that you hear when it comes to most valuable player, even in a season without Peyton Manning.
There are nine weeks left in the NFL season, so we will see if either of these quarterbacks becomes league MVP or even makes the Super Bowl at all. Both might try to one-up each other as the season progresses along, and other contenders will jump into the race. So the question becomes: Who is the NFL MVP if not Brady or Rodgers? Leave your comments below.
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