Aaron Rodgers has been nothing short of fantastic these last six weeks, but the growing number of voices talking about him as the MVP is more than a little disconcerting. Do the first ten weeks of the season not matter? Rodgers spent more than half the year mired in the lower part of the league for yards-per-attempt and completion percentage. He’s always been good at avoiding mistakes, but that’s a nice way of saying he spent ten weeks as a game manager before returning to form.
The notion of Rodgers as MVP gets even more ridiculous when you compare his numbers to the most notable contemporaries, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Consider the following…
*Rodgers finished the season ranked 13th in yards-per-attempt, 5th in interceptions (as a percentage of passes thrown) and 9th in completion percentage. Considering how far down he was after Week 11, that’s pretty good. But it’s not MVP worthy.
*Tom Brady was 2nd in yards-per-attempt, led the NFL in being intercepted just 0.5% of the time and he was fifth in completion percentage. Yes, he missed the first four games. What’s worse, missing four or playing lousy for ten? If Brady can’t win (and I wouldn’t vote for him), Rodgers can’t even be in the discussion.
*Matt Ryan was nothing short of dazzling in yards-per-attempt at 9.3, leading the league by about a yard (a huge margin in this stat). The big plays didn’t come at the expense of efficiency—Ryan is third in completion percentage and seventh in interception percentage.
We haven’t even looked at any players outside the quarterback spot due to the political reality that someone like an Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham or a defensive player like Khalil Mack, Von Miller or Vic Beasley has no chance of winning. That’s not a priority I agree with, but it’s also a separate subject.
The subject here is this—Aaron Rodgers has been outstanding for six weeks. The finish to this season is going to be a nice part of his legacy, a demonstration that he has the virtue great quarterbacks all have, which is that they’re never truly out until the burial is official. If the Packers win the Super Bowl, or even just get there, the story becomes even better.
That’s all pretty good and if I were a Packer fan it would be more important to me than another MVP award. So this isn’t about demeaning Rodgers. It’s just about saying he’s clearly not the league MVP and it would be demeaning the award to give it to him based on a month and a half.