Usually around this time, we have a solid idea and guess on who’s going to win the league MVP. In 2013, Peyton Manning had it pretty much sealed up after throwing seven touchdowns in the first game of the season, in 2014, Aaron Rodgers went on a tear and finished that season without throwing an interception at home and last season, Cam Newton finally figured it out and tore defenses apart and led the Panthers to a 15-1 record (a 14-0 start), the NFC South division title, the top seed in the playoffs and he had the best season of his career without his top target in Kelvin Benjamin. So here’s the million dollar question: Who will win the league MVP this year? Let’s meet the candidates.
1. Tom Brady– 16 games, 12 games or however many games, before he made his season debut this year, we all stated he’d be on a tear after being suspended for the first four games and we couldn’t have been any more accurate with that statement. He only played in 12 games but threw a total of 28 touchdown passes and he’s shown no sign of slowing down as he approaches the age of 40. He was locked in and still put up impressive numbers even without his top playmaker in Rob Gronkowski. In those 12 games, the Patriots went 11-1 and finished the regular season with a 14-2 mark. I know I’ve been on record and I’ve stated that Tom isn’t as valuable as you think because they did win three of the four games they played without him but let’s also flip the coin to the other side. Without Tom Brady, the Patriots don’t have a first-round bye almost every January. They’d simply be a Wild Card team.
2. Aaron Rodgers– He’s won this award two times in his career already and he’s always considered to be a candidate year in and year out and we see simply how valuable of an asset he is to his football team. With Aaron Rodgers under center, you’re a lock to win at least 10 or 11 games. Without him, the Green Bay Packers are probably a five-win football team at best and we’ve seen what the Packers have looked like when he’s on the sideline. In 2013, Rodgers broke his collarbone and the Packers were a completely different team without him. He comes back in the final week of the season and in just one game, he gets the Packers to the playoffs and helps them clinch the division title. This season looked to be going down the drain as the Packers at one time were losers of six in a row. He said they could run the table and they did just that. He put the team on his back and finished the season with 40 touchdown passes.
3. Matt Ryan– He’s been questioned a lot over the years about his decision making, his leadership and holding onto the football and at the beginning of the year, not many would’ve considered him to be a candidate, especially coming off the season he did in 2015 and let’s not also forget this is the same guy that also got intercepted in practice a month before the season started (That’s where you laugh). This year, he put together arguably the best season of his NFL career. He threw 38 touchdown passes and only seven interceptions. Here’s more of the stats: He was second in passing yards per game with 309, third in completion percentage at 69.9 percent and he’s been the anchor of this Falcons offense that’s ranked number this year.
4. Derek Carr– What a year this guy had for the Oakland Raiders. He was my frontrunner throughout the year for the award then he got hurt, unfortunately. The case can even be made to still award him after we saw how poorly they played without him in the playoffs game against the Texans. He’s the main reason why the Raiders were in the hunt and in first place for a majority of the season. His numbers weren’t bad either. 28 touchdown passes and only six interceptions. He also completed 63 percent of his passes this year. The future is extremely bright for this guy.
My Winner: Matt Ryan will be awarded his first league MVP. He’s been the most consistent all season long, he averaged 7.9 yards per pass attempt, a new record set and he ranked first in basically every stat for a quarterback across the board. After a bad loss to Tampa Bay in week one, the Falcons reeled off four victories in a row including two over Carolina and Denver, the previous Super Bowl representatives. They hit a rough patch in the road, but finished the season with four straight wins to win the NFC South and clinch the two seed in the NFC playoffs. He also sealed the deal with his game on Saturday against the Seahawks.