Tom Brady Would Be My 4th Choice For MVP

The majority of NFL MVP voters don’t vote based on the rather vague and hard-to-quantify “most valuable” criteria. They instead go for the “best performance” criteria.

If I had a vote, I’d vote for Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (1600 yards, 10 TDs, 6.0 ypc rushing; 211 yards, 5.6 ypr receiving). His performance is absolutely unrivaled in the sheer volume of impact plays.

While playing running back isn’t as mentally strenuous as quarterback, there’s no quarterback that’s accomplished the number of big plays Adrian Peterson has, all by himself. When you think about how bad the passing game’s been for the Vikings (27th in TD passes, 30th in net yards-per-attempt, no active WR with over 360 yards), it’s incredible that Adrian Peterson could – game after game – run for first down after first down to keep drives alive, and ultimately score enough to win 7 games.

My second choice would be Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (66.9% comp., 3297 yards, 7.5 ypa, 29 TDs, 8 INTs passing; 234 yards rushing, 5.1 ypc, 1 TD). Simply put, Aaron Rodgers has had more key throws and has been asked to make more higher-degree-of-difficulty throws than Tom Brady has. He doesn’t have the O-line that Brady has. He has had more key injuries to his weapons than Brady has had. He’s also had to overcome the adversity of being on a team more unfairly hurt by replacement refs (uncalled holding vs. 49ers, INT-turned-TD vs. Seahawks). His leadership has been huge for a team missing many of its finest players in CB Charles Woodson, WR Greg Jennings, OLB Clay Matthews and WR Jordy Nelson. He also plays in a division where their three divisional foes have all made the postseason at least once since 2009. The Jets are the only divisional opponent that the Patriots face that has made the postseason in that period, and their O-line, WR’s, and quarterbacking have been awful.

My third choice would be Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (66.4% comp., 2902 yards, 8.3 ypa, 18 TD, 4 INT passing; 748 yards, 6.7 ypa, 6 TDs rushing). Context is the key here. Griffin doesn’t have one future Hall of Fame tight end coming in when another one gets hurt. He hasn’t had 6 years of chemistry built up with his top target like Tom Brady has with Wes Welker. Griffin has bailed out a mediocre Redskins defense all year, making dazzling plays to put his team in the postseason hunt, all while missing his most explosive weapon, Pierre Garçon, for most of the year. His leadership has been great, though I never let that be a determining factor. It’s also an interesting discussion as to whether their 3-6 start took pressure off the team to play loose or if you give Griffin credit for performing with every game possibly being an elimination game.

I put Patriots QB Tom Brady (64.4% comp., 3833 yards, 7.7 ypa, 28 TDs, 4 INTs passing; 21 yards, 3 TDs rushing) in there at 4th. It’s not a knock against him at all. He’s doing an A+ job of what New England asks him to do. He executes his safe, high-percentage passes very quickly and accurately. In past years, he was asked to make deep throws and throws on the run. I’m impressed that he’s having the 4th best season of anyone in the league in what is year 13 for him. Unfortunately, a lot of quarterbacks would succeed in his situation. A lot of players with far worse offensive lines have similar or better yards-per-attempt and completion % numbers. It’s – again – the offensive line, continuity of the uptempo attack, and the emergence of the run game that keep him throwing TDs and keep him from throwing INTs.

You don’t give the NBA MVP to the power forward who’s only asked to get rebounds or to the NHL Player of the Year to a defenseman who only rarely shoots the puck. Let’s not forget that Matt Cassel and Kyle Orton both nearly brought their teams to the playoffs in the McDaniels offense.

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8 Responses to “Tom Brady Would Be My 4th Choice For MVP”

  1. dom says:

    Then explain last year how tom brady was so dominant without josh mcdanieals and with no running game. You do realize that the patriots offensive line has being dealing with injuries and retirements causing a lot of movements and third stringers to start right? He’s also had to let go of the ball in 70% of the time in 3 seconds or less.

    • Chris Bach says:

      The offensive playbook didn’t change much when McDaniels left.

      My argument is about MVP for 2012. No doubt Brady earned MVP’s in the past, and took the team on his back while he was in his prime and the run game and defense were only sporadically there from 2003-2009.

      I mention that he gets the ball out fast. It’s still more time more consistently than some QB’s have.

      The offensive line has been very good since the Arizona game. My argument stands that Tom Brady executes what they ask him to do to the fullest. He executes it even better than Peyton Manning or Drew Brees execute their offenses.

      I’m just saying that – based in part on some of the throws he missed in 2011 when attempting difficult throws – Aaron Rodgers and Robert Griffin III have made more difficult throws this year.

      • pete says:

        Hater, much?

        Seriously, you’ve ginned up some nonsense tp hide that you HATE Tom Brady. No? You have him behind RG3? That alone makes this entire article unworthy of any serious consideration.

        You’re right though, Tom Brady simply does a lot of dump off throws. Anybody could do it. Any QB can read a blitz and find an open receiver. That takes absolutely no pre-game study at all. Why, just ask Mark Sanchez. That’s why in a copycat league so many offenses run exactly the same O as the Patriots. Oh wait, no they don’t. I wonder what the Patriots have that the rest of the league does not?

        Mostly, though, you are right, Brady is just lucky enough to be surrounded by talent…which he has nothing to do with, which is probably why so many receivers like Deion Branch and Jabar Gaffney have gone on to do such great things in other places. It’s why Wes Welker has all those 100 reception years in Miami and why Troy Brown suddenly emerged as the best third down receiver in football at the end of his career.

        You should maybe start writing about cricket. With an hour or two of study, you’d already know more than you do about football.

  2. shawn says:

    MVP isn’t based on “difficult throws” it’s based on who is the most valuable to his team and right now it is clearly TOM BRADY! no one execute better than he out there and no one can shred defenses like he does. The vikings are a mediocre team with or without Adrian Peterson , how does that make him a mvp? And you put Aaron Rodgers in the convo just because he had more “difficult throws” heck ..Brady doesn’t need the need balls all the time, he can beat you on the quick release and no huddle offense. Look up at all the stats of the patriots and you will see how valuable Brady is to the success of the patriots .. Yeah yeah I already hear ya say but they went 11-5 with Cassel in 08 , but did they make the playoffs? NOPE so it wasn’t clearly enough.

    plus Brady has one of the youngest defense of the league and although they are now coming together and play at a higher level , the torche been on Brady’s shoulders for most of the season . And don’t forget the injuries on offense and o-line that he had to adjust to. If you can’t see that , you are clearly blind my friend!! don’t hate Tom Brady just because he’s great! Give him the credit he’ve earned!

  3. Michael says:

    to leave Manning off the list is absurd. I’m tired of people saying that the Bronco’s were a playoff team last year. they had an 8-8 record. the year Cassel took over in NE they had 11-5 record and missed the playoffs. last year the Bronco’s ranked 30th in points per and 24th in points per against. this year they rank 2nd and 4th. only one player is responsible for that and his name is Manning.

    AP is having an awesome year but 1) he only has 10 td’s and 2) his team likely won’t make the playoffs. he’s hardly MVP worthy. I love Rodgers… I think he’s the best QB in the league but he hasn’t been nearly as good as either Brady or Manning plus he’s been pretty unspectacular in their 4 losses. Manning had 5 td’s 0 int’s and nearly 700 yards against Houston and NE.

    to me the conversation starts and ends with Brady and Manning. I just see Manning having to do MUCH more in order for the Bronco’s to win. Houston couldn’t move the ball against NE’s defense and Brady was throwing to wide open people all night.

    RGIII has been amazing and definitely MVP worthy but him missing games will keep him out.

  4. Lisa says:

    Are you kidding me, Tom Brady is having an infinetly better year then both Rodgers and RG 3. RG 3 Back up QB just came in and looked just as dynamic as he does running the Redskins offense. Tom Bradys #1 weapon, ALL-WORLD TE Gronkowski is out, no problem. The O Line is a patchwork quilt of guys fashioned together and changed constantly due to injury. Adrien peterson is great but a RB does not have to operate an offense, they are just a peice in it, a QB is responsible to run every single play in an offense. WHAT A JOKE your stupid article is…

    • Chris Bach says:

      It’s honestly not that difficult to see where someone is lined up, then get everyone else lined up? College QB’s do this.

      Kirk Cousins – who had 2 INTs in just 9 attempts before the 4th quarter of his game on December 9th – have one good game likely means one of two things: He is either nearly as good as RGIII (not the first time this has happened to a team; See Steve Young, Matt Schaub, Matt Hasselbeck) or he is merely decent right now and has too small of a sample size.

      Adrian Peterson is just a piece, but the plays he makes – stiff-arming, making guys miss, powering through tackles – are ones that few others could make, and few others do make. The plays Brady does when he has good protection – making quick reads/throws to 2010 TD leader Brandon Lloyd, future Hall of Famers Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez, and to starting wideout on several Super Bowl teams Deion Branch – are ones that several other QBs can make and often do make less often (because they get lesser protection) to lesser talent, thus resulting in fewer points than the Patriots score.

      It really doesn’t matter how the Patriots O-line was put together. Other elite lines are not necessarily made up of 1st rounders or guys who’ve started since day 1.

      • Lisa says:

        Aaron Hernandez, as much as I like him, is NOT a future Hall of famer. Gronkowski is, not Hernandez. Wes Welker is great now but he was a very good player on other teams who has been elevated to “Great, Hall of Famer, best slot receiver in football” because Tom Brady makes him better. A MVP makes everyone he plays with better, thus the value in Most Valuable Player. If several QB in the league can make Brady’s throws then WHY DON’T THEY…again a ridiculous argument

        and about the O-Line you stated in your article that it was of the factors for his lack of interceptions, I just am making the point that this year as well as many in Tom’s career the line is hurt and miraculously whomever or whatever collection of players you put in front of him Brady is able to put forth a MVP caliber performance. His ability to play his position, to read defenses, to get rid of the ball, to limit turnovers, to protect the ball make his Offensive line look better then they are, again another reason why Tom is the MVP to his team and the MVP of the league.

        and unlike Adrian peterson who is al about himself, his stas, beating records, Me, Me, Me and my accomplishments Tom Brady is a consummate team player and leader who leads his team and that is what a MVP is

        Look at the loss to SF, I do not think that Adrian Peterson, RG III or Aaron Rodgers would of single handedly brough their team back to tie.