Sorry, Tom Brady Is the 2017 NFL MVP
Tom Brady has just two MVP awards in his career. He deserves another.
That's right. The best quarterback (arguably the best player) of all time has just two AP MVP awards in 18 seasons in the league. Sure, he's had to compete with the Peyton Mannings and Aaron Rodgers of the world. Sure, he's known more for his postseason heroics rather than his regular season stats. Sure, young players like Todd Gurley and Carson Wentz deserve attention for what they have accomplished this year.
But still, you cannot ignore facts. The MVP award should go to the league's most valuable player. You have to put up great numbers (which Brady has), but you also have to take into account this: if you took out [insert player] and replaced him with an average, standard replacement player, where would his team be?
Remove Todd Gurley from the 11-5 Rams and put in an average backup running back. That would be a huge blow to the team and they almost certainly would not be in the playoffs right now. But they would definitely have finished better than their 4-12 record last season. Second-year QB Jared Goff has played very well and the Rams' decision to draft him number one overall is looking much better now. Los Angeles' defense is far from perfect, but they are more or less league average.
As an Eagles fan, I was sure Carson Wentz had this award in the bag... up until he got injured. Now, as much as it sucks for me to say it, there is no way you can give the MVP award to Wentz now. For the first time in a while, Philly sits at the top of the NFC thanks to Carson Wentz. Pick a game, any game, that Wentz started and you can see how good of a player he is. Nevertheless, he did have the benefit of a Top 5 defense and an underrated group of receivers that include play-makers Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, and one of the best tight ends in the league Zach Ertz. The Eagles still went 2-1 without Wentz and could have gone 3-0 had they actually cared about Week 17.
Now, we get to Brady.
Yet again #12 has put the Patriots in a position to make a run at another Super Bowl title. Aside from Tom Brady, New England had three Pro Bowlers, and two of them are at insignificant positions (fullback James Develin and special teamer Matthew Slater). For reference, Carson Wentz had five other Pro Bowlers, all at normal offensive or defensive positions. Let us also note that the Patriots' defense was great at keeping opponents out of the end zone, but still was near the bottom of the league in yards allowed. As far as offensive weapons are concerned, as a whole the Patriots' receiving corp and running back group are not on the level of Philadelphia's.
The MVP is a quarterback's award. Does that mean it is impossible for a non-QB to win it? No. Adrian Peterson rightfully won the MVP back in 2012 because he absolutely blasted away everybody at his position and carried his team on his back like few have at running back. That year, Peterson rushed for almost 500 yards more than the next guy and ended up with almost 400 more yards from scrimmage than any other player; he also averaged 6.0 yards a carry. That's crazy. Gurley had a phenomenal year, but he did not quite have an MVP year.
Back to the quarterback position. In addition to my other arguments, Wentz simply did not play enough to put up MVP numbers. He was one off the league lead in touchdowns, but he did not even hit 3,300 passing yards. Tom Brady posted 4,577 yards and had a better passer rating than Carson. So even if we were to just look at stats, Brady has him beat. A QB cannot win the MVP award in this day and age with less than 3,300 passing yards (yes, I know Steve McNair shared the award with Peyton in 2003 with only 3,215, but even that was a stretch back then).
I am a huge Eagles fan, and as a Georgia Bulldogs fan I have followed Todd Gurley since his college days at UGA. Gurley has proven he is the league's best running back and I am sure Wentz will win this award in the future. If I believed either of them deserved the award I would say it, but to be completely honest, Brady deserves a third MVP award this year. He definitely did not have the flashiest year, but the numbers and circumstances back him up. I would definitely not be surprised if the award was given to Gurley or even Wentz, but the rightful winner this year based on what the award is all about is Tom Brady.
Who is your 2017 NFL MVP?
© 2018 J Graham