Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Aaron Rodgers should be 2011 NFL MVP

If Aaron Rodgers doesn't win the MVP this year, you could blame it on Matt Flynn.  Flynn set Packer records for yards (480) and touchdowns (6) in a single game in Week 17.  It seems that without Rodgers, in a game that meant so much for the Lions, Green Bay didn't skip a beat offensively.  Meanwhile, of course Drew Brees was demolishing the single season passing record as well as throwing for the most touchdowns this season.  So who should win the MVP?  Let's take a look at the numbers.

In Brees' favor, he finished with 5,476 yards (Marino's record was 5,084), 46 touchdowns and a 71.2% completion percentage.  Rodgers had merely 4,643 yards, 45 touchdowns (2nd most) and 68.3% completion rate (2nd highest ).  However, his QB rate was a league-high 122.5 to Brees' 110.6 and he edged Brees in Total QBR, 85.2 to 84.0.  But most importantly, he threw only 6 interceptions to Brees' 14.  In fact, out of the top 16 QBs in terms of both these two separate categories: a) most TDs thrown this year and b) most passes completed, only Rodgers was in the single digits in INTs.  Only one other QB (Romo) was even under 12 picks (for those not so good at math, that's twice what Aaron threw).

Sure, Brees may have far surpassed Rodgers in terms of passing yards, but you must consider these 3 factors.  First, Brees played in one more game than Rodgers.  Had Rodgers played in Week 17 and finished with Flynn's Week 17 stats (a probability if you ask me), he would've had 5,123 passing yards, also surpassing Marino's mark.  (With Flynn's 6 TDs, Rodgers would have finished with 51, setting the all-time single season record).  Secondly, Brees' single season passing yards mark is less impressive when you consider that Tom Brady also bested Marino this year.  In fact, of the top 6 all-time single season passing yard marks, FOUR were set this year (Brady 5,235, Stafford 5,038, Eli Manning 4,933).  We are in the golden age of passing and Drew Brees' record may not last even through next season, much less the 27 years that Marino's record did.  Thirdly, Brees attempted 657 passes, far overshadowing Rodgers' 503.  Of course he would have more yards.  The real question is how he only finished with one more TD than Rodgers.  (It must also be noted that Rodgers led the league in yards per pass at 9.2 while Brees was 6th at 8.3.)

Lastly, we cannot forget the whole reason Rodgers was sitting out in Week 17 while Brees was racking up 389 yards and 5 TDs.  Rodgers had led his team to a 14-1 record, by far the league's best record, thereby rendering the last regular season game completely moot.  Brees, finished with 1 less win in 16 starts, and didn't even secure a 1st round conference playoff bye for his team.  Winning games might be the most important stat of all.

Who's the MVP?  I say its the QB who won 1 more game with 1 less start, threw a vastly superior touchdown to interception rate (Rodgers 45-6, Brees 46-14) which is the best evaluation of effective QB play, and did it with an obviously inferior defense (GB allowed a league worst 411.6 yards per game).  That's the definition of most valuable to me.

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