In the NFL, the greatest gift of all is that of a superb quarterback. With the incredible seasons that quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Tom Brady are having, it’s safe to say that fans of the Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots are very satisfied with their quarterback presents this holiday season.
This time a week ago, I was ready to hand Brees the league MVP after Rodgers’ lackluster effort against Kansas City. However, I’m officially recanting my MVP vote, thanks to Rodgers going off (yet again) against another unfortunate victim, the Chicago Bears on Christmas night.
The Packers' quarterback threw a career-high five touchdown passes as Green Bay clinched the NFC’s top seed against the Bears. For the season, Rodgers has an unparalleled 45 touchdowns and only six interceptions. He actually has a remote chance of catching Tom Brady’s record-setting 50-touchdown season of 2007 if he can repeat his Christmas performance against the Detroit Lions next weekend.
In my mind, the three best seasons from quarterbacks in recent memory are Peyton Manning’s 2004 (49 touchdowns), Brady’s aforementioned 2007 and Rodgers’ 2011. Manning and Brady both won MVP honors for their Herculean efforts; therefore, Rodgers will probably do the same.
Even with that said, maybe we can split that MVP trophy three ways, as both Brees and Brady are having pretty memorable seasons themselves. Barring injury, Brees is destined to break Dan Marino’s elusive 1984 passing-yardage record Monday night against the Atlanta Falcons.
That accolade alone makes Brees very worthy of some MVP votes. But if that wasn’t enough, Brees and his high-octane offense have the Saints in position to make some major noise (perhaps even Super?) in the playoffs. This will make the free-agent-to-be Brees a very rich man this offseason.
And while Brady won’t do it first, it's likely he’ll also break Marino’s once-elusive record next weekend against the Buffalo Bills. If you’re wondering why Brady is deserving of a third MVP title in his Hall of Fame career, consider the fact that—for virtually the entire season—the Patriots have statistically had the league’s worst defense, yet New England is one win from locking up the AFC’s top seed for a second consecutive season.
Either way, we’re splitting hairs here. Whether you’re a Pats, Saints or Packers fan, you’re resting a bit easier these holidays knowing you have an elite quarterback leading your team to glory on a weekly basis.
Here are some other ramblings from Week 16 in the NFL.