My NFL MVP Picks

5. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

Stats: 1,631 yards rushing, 5.1 average, 363 yards receiving, 15 rushing touchdowns, 1 receiving touchdown

Why he should win: He’s been the best running back in football by a comfortable margin…

Why he should not win: He’s a running back…

4. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

Stats: 11-1 as a starter, 67.4 completion percentage, 3,554 yards passing, 8.23 average, 28-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio, 112.2 rating, 83.1 Total QBR

Why he should win: He’s the QB on the best team in the league… Kept the Pats rolling in spite of the injury to Gronk… Set the single-season record for TD-INT ratio…

Why he should not win: He missed the first four games of the season, in which the Pats went 3-1…

3. Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders

Stats: 12-3 as a starter, 63.7 completion percentage, 3,933 yards passing, 7.04 average, 28-6 touchdown-to-interception ratio, 96.7 rating, 61.8 Total QBR

Why he should win: The main reason for the Oakland resurgence is the Raider offense, and Derek Carr made it go…

Why should he not win: His numbers pale in comparison to the other QBs on the list…

2. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons

Stats: 11-5 as a starter, 69.9 completion percentage, 4,944 yards passing, 9.26 average, 38-7 touchdown-to-interception ratio, 117.1 rating, 83.4 Total QBR

Why he should win: He’s putting up near record numbers for the best offense in the NFL…

Why he should not win: He has by far the most talent around him of any quarterback…

1. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

Stats: 10-6 as a starter, 65.7 completion percentage, 4,428 yards passing, 7.26 average, 40-7 touchdown-to-interception ratio, 369 rushing yards, 4 rushing touchdowns, 104.2 rating, 77.0 Total QBR

Why he should win: He has put up among the best numbers in the league while dealing with multiple Packer injuries… He led the Packers to six straight wins to bring them to the playoffs after his “I think we can run the table” comment…

Why he should not win: The Packers have had the worst season of the five teams represented on this list… He (supposedly) struggled earlier in the year…

Sure, you could argue that I’m just a homer. If Matt Ryan won the MVP, I would not be the least bit upset. He has had the best statistical season in the NFL this season. Just please, don’t try to tell me that Tom Brady should be MVP.

For the sake of argument, let’s compare the final 12 games of the season for Brady—the only games he played in—to the final 12 games for Aaron Rodgers.

Brady: 67.4%, 3,554 yards, 8.23 avg., 28 TDs, 2 INTs, 112.2 rating

Rodgers: 68.6%, 3,552 yards, 7.54 avg., 31 TDs, 4 INTs, 109.1 rating

There is no difference between them. Throw in Rodgers rushing totals, and one could easily argue that he has had a better 12-game stretch than Brady has had. And Rodgers played four extra games!!

And before you cry, “But Brady went 11-1!” remember a few things: 1) No one seriously questions that Bill Belichick is the best coach in the NFL; 2) Brady has some serious talent surrounding him, as seen by the fact that they went 3-1 without him; 3) Look at some of the patsies he beat! The 1-15 Cleveland Browns, the 2-14 San Francisco 49ers, the 5-11 New York Jets (twice!), and the 4-12 Los Angeles Rams.

None of this is meant to denigrate Tom Brady. (OK, maybe some of it is.) He is obviously a great quarterback, and, had he played the entire season, would absolutely deserve the MVP. But he didn’t He missed a quarter of the season. He lost a quarter of his overall value. He should not win the MVP.

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