Three weeks from now, we'll have our playoff field set.
So let's try and figure out who the Super Bowl MVP is going to be!
Yes, that makes little to no sense, but we might as well look at the six teams that would be in today if the playoffs were to begin and assess the chances of certain players winning the Super Bowl MVP.
The Super Bowl MVP can wind up going to anyone on the team. Usually the smart money is on the award going to the Super Bowl-winning quarterback unless either one of his teammates breaks a significant record or his performance is anywhere between halfway decent and downright bad.
While a couple of the teams will have their quarterback as the Super Bowl MVP, not all of the teams on this list will.
Here's a look at the possible MVPs from each team in the playoffs today.
After all of this talk about how it's never the quarterback, I start with the best quarterback in the NFL (to everyone but Skip Bayless, don't worry Skip, you'll still like this slideshow).
Rodgers is right now on a higher plane than anyone in the NFL. The best quarterback will be a major factor in Green Bay's path to what looks to some people as an inevitable Super Bowl championship.
Much like Joe Montana in Super Bowl XXIV, a great passing performance in the Super Bowl will cap off an already great year.
In the history of the Super Bowl, a tight end has never won the Super Bowl MVP.
If the Patriots get to the Super Bowl, a huge reason for that will be because of their tight ends, specifically Rob Gronkowski.
And if the Patriots win the Super Bowl, Gronkowski will likely be their MVP.
Expect at least three touchdowns and 120 yards on seven catches from Gronk in a Super Bowl featuring the Patriots.
Sometimes one big play can be the difference between a team winning or losing the Super Bowl.
At times when that happens, the player responsible for that play could wind up with the Super Bowl MVP award.
That leads me to Darren Sproles, who is always a threat to break a big play.
A big play that could help New Orleans win their second title in three years perhaps.
If the Ravens win the Super Bowl, it will be because Ray Rice broke the Super Bowl rushing record (currently at 204 set by Timmy Smith in Super Bowl XXII).
Can Ray Rice break the record?
Factor in the fact that the Ravens will primarily turn to him during this playoff run, along with the fact that in the NFC, stopping the run isn't as important (since passing is the name of the game).
If Baltimore gets out of the AFC playoffs, then they'll likely take on a team who's rushing defense isn't as strong as the ones they had to face on their way to Indianapolis.
Too many factors in play to totally discount the possibility of the all time Super Bowl rushing record being broken, but unless the Ravens find themselves up against the 49ers, it is likely that that record will come close to falling at the hands of Ray Rice.
Add in about three touchdowns and you have yourself a Super Bowl MVP.
Ben Roethlisberger already has two Super Bowl rings, but in none of those games did he win the MVP.
He didn't deserve it in Super Bowl XL (far from it, his performance was downright atrocious), but in Super Bowl XLIII you could make an argument for him winning the award (which instead went to Santonio Holmes).
If Ben makes it back, it will be his fourth Super Bowl appearance, and if the Steelers win, he'll have to have a masterful performance in the game.
Since the voting is usually slanted towards the Super Bowl-winning quarterback, expect Ben to pick up the award if the Steelers take the Lombardi trophy home.
T. J. Yates and the Houston Texans continue to impress me every week.
Last week I compared this team to the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail because of their resiliency.
But maybe it's not just their resiliency, maybe Yates is just that good at quarterback and might wind up being their quarterback of the future.
If the Texans go far in the postseason, it will be due to their running game and defense, but Yates will have a lot to do with it, and with at least one playoff victory, we're in for a quarterback competition in Houston next year.
As for the Super Bowl? If Yates leads the Texans there, even if he doesn't win the MVP, Schaub can just start packing his things for either Washington, Miami or Seattle.
(Quick tangent: Is there a better year to be in need of a quarterback than the 2012 offseason? You have a strong quarterback draft class, Peyton Manning likely to be on the market, and Matt Flynn is a free agent. Plus, I have a feeling that two teams who already have a decent quarterback, like the Jets and Cowboys, could make a run at Peyton, and if any of those two teams winds up with him, you could see either Tony Romo or Mark Sanchez available. There's a buyers market for quarterbacks in 2012.)
You can't spell "Elite" without "Eli."
Look at that Giants team outside of Eli. They can't stop the run and their secondary can't cover anyone.
They're not the type of power running team that you normally associate with the Giants.
This season, the Giants have been all Eli all the time. You can't even say that he lost the games that they lost: it's been defensive failures.
None of this bodes well for the Giants to get back to the Super Bowl, but what does is Manning himself. Lambasted for saying he was elite like Tom Brady, he's proven it this year time and time again.
He'll have to be on his A-game for the Giants to get through the playoffs and win the Super Bowl, so in the chance that that happens, he'll be Super Bowl MVP running away.
Just for the record, here's the Super Bowl record for interceptions: three.
The record is held by Rod Martin who picked off Ron Jaworski three times in Super Bowl XV.
Darrelle Revis cannot only tie the record, but can also return one of them for a touchdown.
That would easily win him the Super Bowl MVP if the Jets get there and are able to win it playing the way that they play.
I'm still not totally convinced the Lions are making it to the playoffs, let alone the Super Bowl, but assuming they make the postseason, Johnson will be a big factor in continued success.
Calvin Johnson is another player who can set a few Super Bowl records if he gets there.
Can he break Jerry Rice's 215 receiving yards?
Jerry Rice won the Super Bowl MVP when he broke that record (in Super Bowl XXIII).
The only way the Falcons get out of round one is if their first opponent is the Saints (solely based on familiarity).
But if Atlanta does go on a Super Bowl run, Ryan has a good chance to win the award because he is the leader of the team.
But I did give odds for Ted Ginn Jr., so anything is possible.
Personally, I think the 49ers are the third-best team in the NFL (behind the Packers and Saints), and Ginn is definitely their biggest playmaker.
The odds may be steep, but a similar type of player has won the award before: Desmond Howard.
Ted Ginn Jr. winning the Super Bowl MVP would have to be in a similar fashion to Desmond Howard winning it: a special teams performance that is out of this world.
If anyone is capable of doing it, it's Ginn.
Now if you'll go excuse me, this Dolphins fan would like to go off and curse at Cam Cameron for bringing in Ted Ginn and his family at least a round too early in the draft and trying to make him a primary Andre Johnson/Calvin Johnson-esque receiver when he should really be what the 49ers use him as now: a speed threat and special teams weapon.
Yes, he's on this list.
Tim Tebow in the Super Bowl is for some vindication, but for others a moment to throw their hands up in the air.
Tebow is such a polarizing player that in Bleacher Report's debate about him, I said this:
If you think Tebow doesn't affect the defense, think again. This is a D that plays hard to keep it close even when things aren't looking well because they know that they'll always have a chance to win.
Nothing takes more pressure off of a defense than having the confidence in your offense.
If you doubt him, then you're likely going to take it like this:
So...you're saying that even Tebows OWN defense knows he can't go out and win games with a great performance so they play harder to make up for his deficiencies!
That's what I got out of your statement.
Normally when someone comes to a different conclusion then what I try to say, I get upset and privately call the person an idiot. I write as clear as day and try to leave as little room out for interpretation as possible.
But with two subjects in sports (Tim Tebow being one, the Miami Heat being the other) I know that if you have an opinion on them, you're stuck to that opinion.
I believe in Tim Tebow, so I know if someone else said that, I'd take that as them saying he just knows how to win.
I also know that if I didn't believe Tebow was a good quarterback, I'd take it the same way that gentleman took it.
Well, if the Broncos win the Super Bowl, throw out the numbers. Tim Tebow will win the MVP award.
Why? Because if the Broncos win the Super Bowl, it will be after he leads them on a game-winning drive.
Of course, it's silly to think about said stuff. I believe in Tebow as a winning quarterback, but the Broncos aren't making the Super Bowl this year.
*Attempts to duck lightning bolt.*