By Ben Pierce
Over the past month, Aaron Rodgers has worked his way into the NFL Most Valuable Player Award conversation. After his team was 4-6, on a four game skid, the Pack elevated its play and won five games in a row. Aaron “Rodger Dodger” Rodgers has thrown fourteen touchdowns and no interceptions during that span. I understan
d all of this. That being said, it would be a miracle and huge upset for him to win MVP this season; or rather, it should be.
Tom Brady and Matt Ryan are currently the top two candidates leading the race to win the award. However, Rodgers has skyrocketed to fourth behind Ezekiel E
lliott. I honestly thought Brady was a runaway winner after another superb performance against the 4-10 New York Jets in week 16. That being said, I was shocked and confused to see how many people in the professional sports world had Rodgers as their league MVP while some even denounced TB12 as if he did not even belong in the conversation. For some reason unbeknownst to me, people love Aaron Rodgers, want him to succeed, and never place blame upon him. Contrarily, outside of New England Tom Brady is disliked and discredited by many (including Roger Goodell) who will reach for anything to say negatively about the all-time great. The recent MVP discussions about Rodgers and Brady exemplify this perfectly.
Rob Parker aka “The Ultimate Tom Brady Hater” on Fox’s Undisputed called Tom Brady’s MVP candidacy “completely fraudulent” and also emphatically stated Aaron Rodgers deserves to be the league MVP. His reasoning is simply that the Patriots’ schedule is too easy and also Brady’s early-season suspension should disqualify him altogether. To combat those rather absurd points, the Green Bay Packers went into 2016 with the weakest schedule in the NFL. Furthermore, the Packers lost games against the Titans in blowout fashion as well as the currently 7-8 Colts in Lambeau. These types of games cannot be left out o
f consideration in the MVP race. Rodgers was not that great during the four game losing streak his team had. The offense was out of sync; it looked a lot like the in my opinion below average 2015 Packers offense. Combine that offense with a defense tied for 22nd in points allowed and you lose 47-25 against the Tennessee Titans and 42-24 against the Washington Mediocre-skins. Even in wins like week 7 versus Brian Hoyer and the Bears and week 5 against the at the time struggling New York Giants the Packer offense found it so very hard to grind out yards. Rodgers averaged a measly 5.8 yards per attempt in both of those games and completed just 60% of his total combined passes. Those are not MVP numbers and cannot be ignored.
Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe discredits Tom Brady’s “easy schedule” as to why he should not be in the MVP conversation whatsoever as well. In contrast, Aaron Rodgers’s most famous play this season that also thrusted him into the MVP group was against the awful 3-10 Chicago Bears who started Matt Barkley at quarterback. No one has mentioned the degree of difficulty Rodgers faced that game: close to none. Max Kellerman of First Take (he comes up in my articles a lot it seems) went on a huge soliloquy about how Rodgers should be MVP the day after his 60 yard throw that brainwashed everybody. How can people be so swayed with those circumstances? Rodgers should have blown that team out, especially on the shoulders of Ty Montgomery’s 162 rushing yards. In week 12 against the Jets, Brady led a game-winning drive and threw a touchdown pass to rookie Malcolm Mitchell to take a 22-17 lead that sealed the win for the Pats. Very similar situations, different levels of publicity.
Tom Brady has been so consistent throughout his career he has been the forgotten man in the MVP conversation most years. This year his spectacular play can be ignored no longer. Aaron Rodgers’s recent great play has stood out because of his inconsistency; that makes the biggest difference of all.