Who Should Be MVP?
Will the Real MVP Please Stand Up?
As the National Football League winds down its season and we come to a close, a new Super Bowl champion will be crowned on Sunday and shortly after an MVP will follow. There are the familiar names of Rodgers and Brady, but a couple of rookies intend to crash the party as well, you might know them as Dak and Zeke, but in reality, they are the FUTURE. Here’s a rundown of the Top 5 in the race to be No. 1.
Honorable mention: Derek Carr (Quarterback, Oakland Raiders)
Hardly fair, but Carr lands outside the Top 5 due to uncontrollable circumstances. The QB suffered a broken fibula against the Indianapolis Colts the final week of the season as the Raiders fought for a No. 2 seed and home-field advantage. Carr, reeling off the success of his sophomore season in the NFL, outperformed peers at a high level completing over 60 percent of his passes and almost reaching the 4,000-yard mark, while tossing 28 TDs.
With the arsenal of talent on this Raiders team that General Manager Reggie McKenzie has assembled, expect Carr to be back on this list sooner than later.
No. 5 and No. 4: Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott (Running Back and Quarterback, Dallas Cowboys)
At the bottom of the list, but first in our hearts. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot hit the ground running in the 2016-17 season and if not for the heartbreaking defeat against the Green Bay Packers, this duo could possibly be lacing up their cleats on football’s biggest stage. Forget the records that were shattered in their rookie campaigns, the potential for the next ten seasons has to have Jerry Jones on cloud nine.
Prescott stepped in for an injured Tony Romo after he went down in the preseason and absolutely balled out. Not only did the rookie Prescott lead the Cowboys to a 13-3 overall record and the No. 1 playoff seed, he carved up defenses in his first year completing 67 percent of passes, eight yards per attempt, and 23 TDs versus only four interceptions. Did I mention . . . the future is bright?
Zeke stepped in with the same success or better in comparison to Dak. Zeke, behind the best O-line in football, gashed defenses each week with finesse, patience, vision, and also power. Elliott/crop-top wonder ran for more than 1500 yards in his first season, averaged five yards per carry, and found painter 15 times in year one. Highlight of the year for me goes beyond anything Zeke did on the field though . . . give me the Salvation Army bucket each week in “Big D,” I want all the life-size props on the sideline that young Zeke can hop into. Like I said earlier, “first in our hearts.”
No. 3: Aaron Rodgers, (Quarterback, Green Bay Packers)
Rodgers, along with other A- list QBs could be in the talk for MVP each year. There are just some athletes who bring it without a doubt, and you never have to worry about their performance, Aaron Rodgers makes that cut.
Rodgers has two MVPs under his belt, and if not for another year where the front office didn’t provide “12” with weapons on offense or defense, he would be playing in the Super Bowl and have his third.
After going on a five-game skid in November, the motto was simply “run the table.” Run the table they did, and Green Bay got into the playoffs where Rodgers continued to impress. I’m fairly certain that as long as he’s playing and makes the playoffs, then look for a Hail-Mary toss from Aaron Rodgers to whoever . . . whenever. Rodgers who is generally accurate without cause for concern, completed 65 percent of his passes, threw for 4428 yards and 40 TDs versus only seven interceptions. Again GB front office, get the man a defense and some weapons at wide out (real weapons) and no doubt, Rodgers will have a second ring.
No. 2: Tom Brady (Quarterback, New England Patriots)
Brady, Brady, Brady . . . what can we say, you just continue to do it. Tom Brady, Roger Goodell’s kryptonite or TB12, whatever it is that you call Brady, make sure you call him a winner.
After a four-game suspension handed down and ending the deflategate saga once and for all, Tom Brady got a chance to move on and along the way stick it to the NFL commissioner.
In his seventh Super Bowl appearance with coveted Head Coach Bill Belichick, Brady has the opportunity to pass Joe Montana and claim the narrative. The No. 1 defense of the Patriots matches up versus the No. 1 offense of the Falcons. Brady, no stranger to Super Bowls and no stranger to being an MVP, could claim his third and it likely hinges on who wins on Sunday. Brady’s regular season resume of 12 games includes 67 percent of passes completed, 3500+ yards thrown, and a whopping 28 TDs versus only two interceptions . . . in only 12 games people!
No. 1: Matt Ryan (Quarterback, Atlanta Falcons)
“Matty Ice” has arrived, Ryan will be playing in his first Super Bowl on Sunday and the Boston College QB might be hoisting his first NFL MVP shortly thereafter.
Ryan shocked the critics and shocked his peers in 2016. Ryan completed an insane 69 percent of his passes, threw for 4900+ yards, and 38 TDs versus only seven interceptions thrown. After an (8-8) season in 2015, Ryan elevated his play and the Falcons achieved the No. 2 seed in the NFC and will be playing in Super Bowl 51. Ryan will look to become “Matty Elite” if he can upset perhaps the best QB and head coach duo in NFL history.
With a race that should be all but Ryan’s, don’t be surprised if Brady steals the thunder with a memorable performance in Super Bowl 51.
Final Prediction: Matt Ryan will be your 2016-17 NFL MVP.