Who is the real MVP?
With a week off before we see the Falcons and Patriots square off in Superbowl 51, let’s take a minute to break down the MVP race.
Here are my top 5 candidates in no particular order:
· Tom Brady
· David Johnson
· Ezekiel Elliot
· Matt Ryan
· Aaron Rodgers
Three of the five candidates made it to their respective conference championship games which bodes well for their chances. Now for the countdown
5. Tom Brady
The best ability is availability. Yes, he played outstanding in the 12 regular season games he suited up for, but let’s repeat *12* games. Maybe we could give Brady a pass if those were missed due to injury, but it was a suspension for something he brought upon himself with negative effects on the team.
4. Ezekiel Elliot
Zeke has been the best rookie RB since Eric Dickerson. However, for a large portion of the season everyone was arguing if he or Dak was the more valuable player to the team. Many pundits are even saying that the Cowboys MVP isn’t either of the rookie sensations, but rather the O-Line as a whole, which not many can argue with.
3. Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers was not his usual self early in the season. Through his first 10 games, he was an average QB at best with a PFF QB rating that ranked 17th out of 28 qualifying QBs. However, over the last 6 games of the season he had the best PFF QB rating by more than 10 points, and did not throw a single INT. He also was relying less on YAC with 61.7% of his passing yards coming through the air compared to just 50.5% through the first 10 games. Overall, 6 elite games do not make up an MVP season.
2. Matt Ryan
Much like our beloved 2015 Arizona Cardinals, the Atlanta Falcons didn’t come into 2016 with extremely high expectations in large part due to Matt Ryan. He has always been a better than average QB, but not one that will carry a team (much like 2015 Carson Palmer). This season he proved to doubters wrong. He was PFF’s second highest graded QB through the regular season (behind Tom Brady), was second in yards, and had a 38:7 TD:INT ratio. Not to mention he was the most consistent QB this season.
1. David (Baevid) Johnson
Our lord and savior. The best player in the NFL in 2016. Force 71 missed tackles (most in the league). The only player with 2000 scrimmage yards and also scored 20 touchdowns. He had 47.7% of the Cardinals total touches on the season. This man was a horse and the Cardinals would have been nothing without him.
For me and all other Cardinals fans, we watched Baevid play all season and know how the MVP voting should go, but we can’t all have nice things.
That being said, if the MVP doesn’t end up being Matt Ryan, we can just call it fake news.