There has been a great deal of talk about the quality of quarterback play in the NFL this year. Oddly enough, much of that chatter has revolved around a player that plays the game in a very unconventional way somewhat taking away from three quarterbacks that are having one of the best seasons in NFL history.
Tom Brady – 4,593 yards, 66.2% Comp (351-530), 35 TD, 11 INT, 106.7 RAT
Drew Brees – 4,780 yards, 71.5% Comp (417-583), 37 TD, 11 INT, 109.1 RAT
Aaron Rodgers – 4,360 yards, 68.1 Comp (322-473), 40 TD, 6 INT, 120.1 RAT
My goodness. All three players are having transcendent years, and all three players have a chance to (Brady and Brees will absolutely get it) shatter Dan Marino’s 27 year old passing record for yards in a season (5,084 yards). Brees could very well break it with 304 yards or more this Sunday with one more game to play, and Brady and Rodgers have a great chance to do so the last week of the season if everything continues as it already has.
Of these three players, Rodgers has certainly received the most attention because of his unbelievably hot start and the full year undefeated streak of his Green Bay Packers. Many have said for weeks that he has already earned the league MVP this season. It is hard for me to debate such a thing when you see the yardage he has amassed and his other-worldly TD:INT ratio, but don’t you think it’s important for us to reference the weapons they all have access to? Don’t you think it’s important for us to measure not just their quality of play, but also the value (Most VALUABLE Player…get it…VALUABLE is part of the name of the award…) they bring to their team?
Rodgers clearly has the best talent around him with Jennings, James Jones, Jordy Nelson, Donald Driver, Randall Cobb, and Jermichael Finley. The success Brees experiences mostly comes because of the comfort level he enjoys with his receiving corps because of how long they’ve played together. He does have a new and very good security blanket in Joey Graham as well. And Tom Brady continues to primarily throw to a 5’9″ (probably 4.7 sec 40 speed….maybe) receiver that isn’t beating anyone with his athleticism, an obviously lost a step Deion Branch and Chad Ochocinco, and two tight ends that most of the league overlooked because of their less than overwhelming physical skills.
I’m by no means saying that Brady deserves the MVP over Brees and Rodgers, but hasn’t he carried the heaviest load of the three quarterbacks this year (mediocre running backs, horrendous defense)? Isn’t he the most valuable player to his specific team right now? Hasn’t he done the most with the least? The Patriots continue to be the Miami Heat of the NFL…each week you can tell that the team across the ball from them has prepared especially hard to stop them. That game is their Super Bowl, but Tom Brady continues to come out and carve up any type of secondary or blitz packages you throw at him. Young and Montana had Rice. Manning had Harrison and Wayne. Brady has had….Wes Welker?
Regardless of who wins the MVP, there are three incredibly deserving players, and we know we have a must watch postseason ahead of us. Picture this…Packers v. Patriots on the turf in Indianapolis…could it get any better than that?