As the NFL regular season has concluded and players are gearing up for the playoffs, the prized Most Valuable Player (MVP) award is still up for grabs. This award is extremely prestigious because it's only given to the player who is considered most valuable in the league. Historically, the MVP award has been dominated by quarterbacks, and this year is not likely to be an exception to that trend.
The question is which quarterback will win the coveted MVP award - or will it be shared? The heavy favorites are Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees.
There is no question that Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers is the most efficient quarterback in the league. Until week 15 of the regular season, this award looked like a sure thing for
Rodgers. The Packers' humbling defeat by the Kansas City Chiefs spoiled the Packers' perfect record and made Rodgers more vulnerable in the run for MVP. Rodgers was able to finish the season with 4,643 yards, 45 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions to go along with a 122.5 passer rating, which is a league best.
The Packers were able to finish the season 15-1, and lock up the top seed in the NFC. The single regular season defeat is not the biggest chink in Rodgers' MVP armor, however. That came in week 17 with a Packer win.
Rodgers sat out in week 17 in order to rest and avoid injury before the playoffs. The Packers started back-up quarterback Matt Flynn in a meaningless game against the Detroit Lions. The Lions were fighting for a higher seed in the playoffs after already clinching a wild card spot the week prior and the Packers had already claimed the number one seed. Flynn went on to throw for 480 yards, six touchdowns and only turned the ball over twice. His performance broke numerous Packer records, beating greats like Bart Starr and Brett Favre and even Aaron Rodgers. Flynn's performance brought serious skepticism in Aaron Rodgers eligibility for the award because it showed how many weapons the Packers have and led some to believe that even a back up quarterback can perform better than most starters. There is no denying Rodgers has had an unbelievable season regardless of how good the rest of his team is.
However, Rodgers isn't the only big name in the NFC. The New Orleans Saints are led by pro-bowl quarterback Drew Brees who has shattered records this year, and has really put himself in contention for MVP. Brees has thrown for 5,476, 46 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Brees has thrown touchdowns in 42 consecutive games and set a record with 12 games of 300 yards or more.
Brees' 71 percetn completion record edges out Rodgers' 68 percent so, by the stats, Brees is the most deserving. But stats can be deceiving. Brees played more minutes than Rodgers who sat out the fourth quarter when the Packers had big leads, and sat out week 17 entirely.
If you measure the quality of the quarterback by the success of his team, the Saints have not been as successful as the Packers. These teams played each other in the first week of the season when the Packers held on to a narrow win (42-34). That kind of win has to be credited mostly to the quarterback.
"I really think it is going to come down to personal preference," said Ashley Fox, an NFL columnist for ESPN.com. "Rodgers had been so good that if the Packers had gone undefeated, I think he would've won in a landslide. Now that they have lost a game in which Rodgers didn't play particularly well, the window -- in my opinion -- has opened for Brees. Now you can take your pick and not be wrong."
There have been co-MVPs in multiple years, however I do not predict that this year. The race between Rodgers and Brees will be very close, but one man will be taking home the beloved MVP trophy.
In any other year, these kinds of numbers would crush the competition. These two quarterbacks are putting up video-game like numbers, and are breaking records every week. Regardless of who wins MVP, both Rodgers and Brees have had a season for the ages.