Aaron Rodgers Should Be NFL MVP Because His Packers Did 'Run the Table'

Mike Freeman@@mikefreemanNFLNFL National Lead WriterJanuary 2, 2017

DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 01: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates a win over the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on January 1, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. Green Bay defeated Detroit 31-24. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

DETROIT — I feel like we can run the table. I really do.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said that six games ago. The team was in disarray. Rodgers was seen as a falling star, a has-been on the decline. Then he called his shot. It was close to Jim Fassel saying the New York Giants were going to the playoffs. It was a batter pointing to the outfield fence. It seemed impossible, ridiculous, nonsensical and silly.

Yet here we are, and Rodgers' guarantee of winning six straight contests has come to fruition, and we should all learn, we should never forget or doubt, just how good this damn guy is.

I feel like we can run the table. I really do.

The guarantee is a small part of the reason why—after beating the Detroit Lions, 31-24, at Ford Field, to win the NFC North on Sunday—Rodgers should be the MVP.

It's not close. Rodgers may lose to Tom Brady or Matt Ryan, but the award should go to him.

His game against Detroit wasn't his greatest statistically, but it was among his most valuable. He did everything. He ran for firsts. Threw for scores. Dodged and weaved and Mike Vick-ed his way to touchdowns, like the one that put the game out of reach, for which he ran for what seemed like five hours and threw a football so perfectly it seemed impossible.

Late in the game, he caught the Lions napping and hurried the snap of the ball. Detroit was caught with 12 men on the field. The next play, the Packers got a first and the clock kept running. Typical Rodgers.

I feel like we can run the table. I really do.

Green Bay will host New York on Sunday, and while the Giants are hot and can beat any team, anytime, anywhere, the same could be said about Rodgers and his Packers.

During the six-game win streak, Rodgers has thrown 15 touchdowns and no interceptions—his last pick was on Nov. 13 against the Tennessee Titans. But his real MVP case, which differs from Brady's and Ryan's, is that he has won and made the postseason despite a crumbling infrastructure.

GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 11: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers hands the ball off to Ty Montgomery #88 during the first half of a game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field on December 11, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Dylan Bu
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

This year, the Packers lost their starting two runners to injury. They moved a wideout to the backfield. They brought in Christine Michael, who was cut by the Seattle Seahawks and before that played for the Dallas Cowboys and Washington. They have a guy named Ripkowski back there, for goodness' sake.

They lost another corner Sunday night. What is that, their 15th corner who's been hurt? Is Ty Montgomery going to play there too?

Jordy Nelson is excellent—the most underrated player in all of sports. No one outside of Packers fans had ever heard of Geronimo Allison, yet Rodgers turned him into a lethal player. The defense has played better, but it's not overly talented.

Everything has all been fueled by Rodgers. He has a league-high 40 touchdown passes. And he did all of this while fighting through a nasty calf injury.

They had fullbacks playing running back. Running backs playing wide receiver. Wide receivers playing running back. Safeties playing corner. 

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 01:  Tom brady #12 of the New england Patriots plays against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on January 1, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida. The patriots defeated the Dolphins 35-14.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

Brady would be a good choice for MVP. Ryan would be a good choice. Rodgers is the best choice.

I feel like we can run the table. I really do.

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 4: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons watches the action against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Georgia Dome on December 4, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

The argument against Rodgers is that he was mediocre for too lengthy a part of the early season. And? Yeah? So? Do we punish Brady for missing four games? Do we punish Ryan for having a mostly intact team all season? No and no.

Part of being an MVP is putting your team on your shoulders and carrying it. Was Rodgers part of the reason why the Packers had four straight losses and were 4-6 before running the table? Yes, but Ryan couldn't do what Rodgers just did. The Green Bay quarterback won six straight games and had seven straight contests without a pick while leading one of the most injured teams in playoff history.

Brady could do it, yes, but Brady wouldn't have extended plays the way Rodgers did against the Lions. The way Rodgers always does.

This isn't as much an anti-Brady or anti-Ryan vote as it is a pro-Rodgers one. The 33-year-old was on another level to finish the season. A higher one than Ryan or Brady.

NFL Network's research arm says only three players in history had previously gone at least seven games with an average of three touchdown passes and no interceptions in each: Brady in 2007 (he was the MVP that year), Peyton Manning in 2013 (ditto) and Rodgers in 2014 (ditto).

And Rodgers has done it again. And remember, he put up these numbers as Packer after Packer was carted off all season.

"It was a leap of faith," Rodgers said after the game of his guarantee.

It was more than that. It was a jump off of a mountaintop. If the Packers didn't win them all, Rodgers would have been ripped.

"I believe in myself and my abilities," he added. "But I also believe in this team."

MVP arguments cause people to lose their minds. On Twitter, when I suggested Rodgers is the MVP, people told me to fellate them and to kill myself (not necessarily in that order).

This vote for Rodgers isn't a vote against others, and it's not ignoring how great Brady and Ryan have been; it's just that Rodgers is more valuable to his team than the other candidates.  

I feel like we can run the table. I really do.

Rodgers called his shot, and he did it. Along the way, he took a physically beat-up team and carried it to a division title. He was statistically great, smart, athletic and a leader.

It's why he's the MVP.

     

Mike Freeman covers the NFL for Bleacher Report.

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