Evaluating the National Football League’s MVP race

Written by: Jack H. Day – Staff Writer (@GrandstandDay)

As the NFL is nearing its end of the 2016-2017 season, there are two players that stand out the most at a chance at winning the MVP. Both players have lead their team to the biggest stage of them all, the Super Bowl in Houston. That’s right, both Matt Ryan and Tom Brady should be the only two players being considered for the league’s MVP in 2016.

Ryan is having the best statistical season of his career throwing for 38 touchdowns, 4,944 yards, and seven interceptions. With Ryan leading his team with his stellar play, he has lead the Falcons to their second Super Bowl in franchise history.

Number two of the “Dirty Birds” proved all season long that his name should be honored in the MVP talks. Ryan does have Julio Jones, who makes his time a lot easier throwing the ball, but Ryan hit 13 different targets for a touchdown in 2016, a regular season record. Ryan is the face of one of the most high powered offenses in NFL history. When Jones is double covered, he finds other targets like Taylor Gabriel, Mohamed Sanu, or one of his explosive running backs.

What Matt Ryan has done in the 2016 season has been impressive to say the least. He has proven that his name belongs with the big dogs like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees. He has done what all the greats do, and made names out of wide receivers that people hadn’t heard of until this season. With Ryan leading such a high powered offense in the future, the Falcons are going to be a force to be reckoned with in the NFC for years to come.

Although Brady is not in the top two of the MVP rankings, he should be. Rodgers has every right being in the top three, but what Brady has done in 2016 should make the argument even stronger that he is the goat (greatest of all time). While only playing in 12 games, Brady threw for 28 touchdowns, 3,554 yards, and just two interceptions.

The league (Roger Goodell) would be furious if Tom Brady won his third league MVP of his career, after Goodell decided to suspend his least favorite player in the league for the first four games of the season. You would think that the league would want their fourth highest jersey seller to play in every game he had a chance to, but let’s save that argument for another day.

Brady’s stats would be right up there with Ryan and Rodgers if he would have played in his first four games. Brady had his favorite target Rob Gronkowski get hurt mid-season, and still hasn’t missed a beat. Brady has utilized Martellus Bennett, another good tight end that has been banged up all season long. Even though the playoffs do not come into consideration for the MVP running, Brady just dominated the Steelers defense and made Chris Hogan look like a top five wide receiver. Two of Brady’s top receivers in the regular season could go to another team, and not be nearly as good, just as Wes Welker once did.

Matty Ice is leading the poles for MVP currently, and it’s looking more and more likely that he is going to claim his first league MVP over Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. All three players can have an argument made for why they should be named MVP of the 2016 season, but Brady’s argument should be stronger than what it is.

Brady set an extraordinary record in 2016, becoming the NFL leader for most wins by a quarterback in the history of the game. If Brady wouldn’t have been suspended for the first four games, the chances of the MVP award being debateable would be slim to none. The numbers would have been right up there with Ryan and Rodgers, with a lot less help on his offense.

Whether or not people agree with the suspension of Brady, there is still no hiding that he was the most valuable player to his team in 2016. He makes New England’s offense so much more explosive. Over the years, the team has changed around him, and 12 has adapted and never missed a beat.

The MVP of the 2016 should indeed be the goat himself, Mr. Tom Brady.


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