After Monday's stellar game against the Baltimore Ravens, it appears as if Tom Brady is the clear-cut favorite to win the MVP award. While Brady did miss the first four games of the 2016 season for his "role" in Deflategate and some people are holding that against him, he is currently in the midst of arguably the best season of his career at 39-years-old. In nine games, Brady has amassed a record of 8-1, while throwing 2,876 yards, 22 touchdowns, and two interceptions for a league-best 113.6 quarterback rating.
Most importantly, the Patriots are in the driver's seat for the #1 seed in the AFC, and may perhaps even finish the season with the best record in the NFL. Sure, the Patriots went 3-1 without Tom Brady, but there is no doubt in my mind, at least, that Tom Brady is one of the most valuable and impactful players in the NFL.
Sure, players like Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have had stellar seasons, but they feed off of each other. Without Elliott or the best offensive line in football, does anyone really think Prescott would be having this good of a season? Conversely, without Prescott and that stellar offensive line, I doubt Elliott would be having this good of a season. Furthermore, I am not convinced Prescott and Elliott will finish the season strong, as they are starting to be recognized by the national media and the grind of an entire NFL season is not something to be taken lightly.
Without Prescott and Elliott in the mix, some believe Aaron Rodgers should be considered for the award. Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are currently in the midst of a disappointing 7-6 season, but have won three games in a row and could threaten for a playoff spot. Last Sunday, the Packers bullied the Seattle Seahawks, as Rodgers threw for three touchdowns and a 150.8 quarterback rating. While that is all fine and dandy, I can't forget about the beginning of the season. Rodgers was BAD at points earlier in the season and, similar to what Brady does, needs to find ways to win when his team is not performing.
Don't get me wrong, Rodgers has had a fine season. His 32 touchdowns is the best in the NFL, but Rodgers has skills I have never seen before. He has a unique blend of arm strength, accuracy, and versatility once outside of the pocket that gives him one of the best skill sets I have ever seen. However, I don't think he is a particularly great leader, which is obvious when his team is losing.
I am a big believer in giving the MVP award to a team that, at the very least, makes the playoffs. If Rodgers cannot even will his team into the playoffs, how can we say he is the most valuable player in the NFL?