Written by: Coleman Bahr – Staff Writer (@ColemanBahr)
Matt Ryan seems to be the heavy favorite to win the NFL MVP, but Aaron Rodgers is much more deserving.
In the world of sports, a “valuable” person is someone who makes the team exponentially better, and without them, the team would not be the same.
Without Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers would not even have a winning record, much less a spot in the NFC championship. Matt Ryan is merely a product of Kyle Shanahan’s system.
Kyle Shanahan has made football very, very easy for Matt Ryan, and if anybody deserves credit, it’s Shanahan. In the previous three seasons, Ryan had 75 touchdowns to 47 interceptions, and this season he has 38 touchdowns to just seven interceptions.
Not to mention, The Falcons arguably have the most complete offense in the league.
At running back, they have both Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, both of which make significant contributions in the run and pass game, and keep opposing defenses honest, which open things up in the passing game.
Their wide receiving corps is one of the best in the league too. Julio Jones is a top-three receiver in the NFL, accompanied by Mohamed Sanu, who set a career high in receptions this season, and Taylor Gabriel, who scored on 18% of his touches, and ran a 4.27 40-yard dash in the combine.
Matt Ryan’s job is made simple. In this clip, he hit a wide-open Tevin Coleman at the end of the first half against one of the best defenses in the league. However, it wasn’t a busted coverage that left Coleman open, but just innovative play calling. The safety had to choose between two options, leaving one guy wide open for an easy touchdown.
As for Aaron Rodgers, his options are more of a wasteland.
He lost both of his running backs, and now a wide receiver is the lead back. His number one receiver, Jordy Nelson, was a shell of his former self before returning to form on the back end of the season. Davante Adams has snake-like hands, and Randall Cobb hasn’t been completely healthy for most of the season.
Also, the Packers defense has been an absolute liability. They allowed at least 23 points in 10 out of 16 regular season games, including a stretch of four games where they allowed 38.3 points per game.
Matt Ryan has better offensive weapons, played 11 of his regular season games in a dome, and the coldest game he played in was 52 degrees. Rodgers only played three games in a dome, and he played four games in sub-40 degree temperatures.
We need to ask ourselves this: if Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan were to switch places, would we still be having the same discussion? The answer is no, because when Matt Ryan is not given the tools to succeed, he has proven to be a mediocre quarterback, and when Aaron Rodgers is given sub-par circumstances, he straps in, and takes his team to the NFC championship.
Aaron Rodgers doesn’t only deserve MVP because he’s more valuable to his team, but he’s just the better quarterback, plain and simple.