December 27, 2011

"When fans and analysts talk about which player should win the 2011 NFL MVP award..."

"... the first name that automatically springs to mind is Green Bay Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers. But no one player is having a season as dominant or historic as New Orleans Saints' quarterback Drew Brees."

(Video from last night's game at the link.)

73 comments:

MadisonMan said...

It's the 1969 Oscars telecast all over again!

I just don't want to see them wearing peak-a-boo pants.

SteveR said...

The way the way the NFL has been penalizing defenses lately, its difficult to portray any passing related achievement as "historic".

gadfly said...

Winning is everything. The QB of the Super Bowl Champs will be MVP.

Somehow the sports writer puts total yards and completion percentage ahead of most touchdowns, fewest picks, and team wins. I don't think so!

After all is said, football is a team sport -- for christsakes.

Kit said...

Fun barstool debate between fans with both guys having pretty insane years. In the end it may come down to who goes further in the playoffs. Rodgers won't play much this Sunday, so that may hurt his chances. In the end, another Lombardi trophy is all that matters to either. Go Pack!

Mike said...

Brees is an incredible athlete. There was a story in the Los Angeles Times a few days ago qouting a top ranked tennis player. Can't remember the name, but the fellow is ranked in the top half dozen tennis players in the world. In his high school days Brees played tennis with this fellow. Brees played maybe once a week; this guy was playing every day getting ready for a tennis career. Brees beat him every time.

I'm a San Diego Chargers fan. The Chargers essentially gave Brees away at the end of a season. He'd had an injury; Phillip Rivers was waiting in the wings. (No way that's it fair to either one of those guys to be the "2d quarterback" on a two quarterback team. Both needed to be starters.)

But what's most impressive about Brees is how he's adopted and adapted to the community in New Orleans. He and his wife are solid citizens in the best meaning of that term. If he chooses to live in New Orleans after retirement, I doubt he'll ever pay a bar or restaurant tab in New Orleans for the rest of his life.

Patrick said...

Brees is making it closer that I'd have thought, but it's still Rodgers, quite plainly in my opinion. The ridiculous passer rating, the touchdowns with only 6 picks, and the complete lack of drama in key situations make it Rodgers. It also helps that he is 41-1, and didn't lost to the Rams.

Cornroaster said...

"But no one player is having a season as dominant or historic as New Orleans Saints' quarterback Drew Brees."

Since when is 12-3 more dominant than 14-1?

Writ Small said...

Do you realize that zero percent of the voting has taken place? So much for democracy.

ALH said...

Brees is great.
But Rodgers has more touchdowns, less interceptions, a better record, and nearly as many yards (despite significantly less passing attempts).

I love Brees, but Rodgers is the MVP.

DISCOUNT DOUBLECHECK!!!

EMD said...

I could argue Brees is more important to his team's success than Rodgers.

But they are very close in that department.

I Callahan said...

Since when is 12-3 more dominant than 14-1?

When the 12-3 team is in a stronger division than the 14-1 team. And this comes from a Lions fan.

Sorry, it ain't even close. Brees is the better QB. He broke Dan Marino's single season passing record - if that ain't enough, then I don't know what is.

tw: fishi. Something fishi about a Wisconsin based blog rooting for Aaron Rodgers (I got nuthin')

mccullough said...

There is a lifetime achievement aspect to these awards.

Brees should have won the MVP a couple of years ago when Manning won his fourth.

Since Rodgers is younger and will have more chances, Brees will win. He is due.

Patrick said...

Callahan,

Rodgers' Packers have beaten each of the teams in the Saints' division, including the Saints. Brees is having a great year, and the passing yards record is impressive, but he has fewer TD's and more than twice the interceptions. Ultimately, it's a game of winning, and TD's help more than yards. Brees makes it closer than I thought a few weeks ago, but it's still ROdgers

Bob_R said...

2010 Colts with Peyton Manning: 10 wins. 2011 Colts w/o: 2 wins. What other single player in the NFL is worth 8 wins?

William said...

Can't anyone see the essential unfairness that these QB's are in the exact same tax bracket as the receivers and linemen? Their glory would not exist were it not for the efforts of these less glorified players. These QB's should be in a higher bracket and a surcharge should be levied on those who date Victoria Secret models.

Browndog said...

I agree.

It should be Payton Manning.

As Pats fan, I personally can't stand the guy-

But, apparently Manning is the Colts' entire franchise.

How do you get more valuable than that?

No love For Brady?

Top of the AFC with absolutely no defense??

Scott M said...

Top of the AFC with absolutely no defense??

Well, that IS setting the bar low...

Dave in Tucson said...

Rodgers has more touchdowns than Brees, way fewer interceptions, a noticably better yards-per-pass-attempt average, and two more wins.

How is this even a question?

Brennan said...

When Drew Brees was beating Andy Roddick, Roddick was 9 years old and playing against older players to challenge himself.

The MVP race is not close. Aaron Rodgers is by far the superior player this season. Brees is having an historic season, but Rodgers doesn't even have to throw for as many yards because he's not throwing interceptions. 40+ TDs with fewer than 10 interceptions is just incredible.

Rodgers' quarterback rating is 122. This is freaking amazing. Brees is really good at 106 too. 158.6 is perfect.

There is a new quarterback rating called QBR which tries to measure other things a quarterback does to succeed such as avoiding sacks or throwing the ball away. 100 is perfect. Rodgers has an 87. Brees has a 79.

This is not a contest. Aaron Rodgers is currently playing as the best quarterback in NFL history. And it sucks so much because my Bears have to play the best quarterback ever for another 15 years...AGAIN!

mccullough said...

Rodgers is having a great season, but he's probably not going to break the TD pass record and he's not going to beat the passing yards record. He will probably beat Manning's QB rating record from 2004 because his passing yards per attempt and TD-Int ratio
is amazing. But the passing yards and TD passes are the milestones to hit, and Rodgers isn't going to hit them.

mccullough said...

Brennan,

Manning in 2004 and Brady in 2007 outshined Rodgers in 2011. No one cares about the rating stats, though Rodgers are really impressive.

Manning threw for 49 TDs, Brady threw for 50 TDs, and Brees now has thrown above 5,000 twice in his career and broke Marino's passing record from 1984.

TD passes and yards are what make QBs. Rodgers is close, but no cigar.

mccullough said...

Brennan,

Rodgers has had three good seasons, give it a rest as far as best ever. When he does it for 10 years like Manning, Brady, Brees, and Warner did (not to mention Favre, Marino, Montana, Elway), then you can put him in that categroy. Not until then.

Browndog said...

Nobody that plays in a dome should get any award-

Period.

Dave in Tucson said...

Althouse, you might also want to make note of the fact that bleacherreport.com is not exactly a go-to resource for quality sports reporting.

@mccullough: Rodgers is [...] not going to break the TD pass record

So? neither is Brees.

But the passing yards and TD passes are the milestones to hit

The passing yards records certainly gives Brees a legitimate place in the discussion, but Rodgers is so far ahead in other stats (wins, touchdowns, passer rating), that Brees is a clear second place.

The only way you can put Brees ahead of Rodgers is if you make passing yards the be-all and end-all of the MVP award.

Patrick said...

McCullough: Would you really rather have more yards than TD's?

Joaquin said...

Why all interceptions are counted against the QB is beyond me. Look at 70% of interception and you'll see a missed route of a tipped-ball from a WR. I'm the last one to want any more changes in the NFL, but ERRORS should be implememnted in stats.

mccullough said...

Patrick,

I would rather have both, which is why Marino's 1984 season was so outstanding. He shattered two records, something neither Manning nor Brady could do. They broke the TD record without breaking the passing record. Brees has broken the passing record, but isn't close to the TD record.

Rodgers ain't breaking either. He will break the single-season passer rating record, unless he has a bad game against the Lions. Steve Young has the highest career passer rating. It's a nice feather in the cap, but no one really cares.

Given the style of play, etc., Marino's 1984 season is still the single greatest season by any QB ever.

MadisonMan said...

As if we needed proof, by the way, that Meade has the password.

Scott M said...

Given the style of play, etc., Marino's 1984 season is still the single greatest season by any QB ever.

Yeah, but McMahon (Chicago) in 1985 and Warner (St Louis) in 2000 were more fun to watch. Warner's season had the benefit of not ending with a blowout Superbowl, adding to it's fun factor. I clearly remember that being the one year that people actually went to the bathroom during the commercials because the game was so close.

traditionalguy said...

What if Dalton takes the Bengals to a Super Bowl win?

Joe Schmoe said...

It should be Payton Manning.

MVP for this year? C'mon. That's stupid.

You make a fine point about his worth to the Colts, but that means nothing to the MVP race.

Rodgers and Brees and Brady have all been lights out this year. My eyes and gut tell me Aaron Rodgers has been the best. Brees and Brady have been great passing; Rodgers has been their equal or better in passing and he makes plays running too. Rodgers has had the best season I've ever seen, and I watched all of Brady's games in 07 when he set the TD record.

Patrick said...

McCullough,
h
I'm not among those who've been saying Rodgers is having the greatest season ever (though it's up somewhere near the top), but the questions is MVP for the season, and more specifically, is he having a better season than Brees. Brees has more yards, and the record for yards. That's big. TD's are more significant, and Rodgers has that. Victories are more significant, and Rodgers has that. Interceptions are big, adn Brees has more. The passing yards record is big - it's lasted a long time, through some serious passers. Brees gets lots of credit for that, but IMO, he's still second to Rodgers.

You could certainly indict me for hometown bias, however.

mccullough said...

Patrick,

I agree that Rodgers should be MVP over Brees. But it's close, and there's still one game left for each in the regular season.

Browndog said...

Yards after catch (YAC) should not go on the QB's stats..

just sayin'

Scott M said...

Yards after catch (YAC) should not go on the QB's stats..

I've thought this since I was a kid and never understood the reason why they did it.

Browndog said...

Did I mention that not only does Brady not have a defense..

He doesn't even have wide receivers-

He's winning games with tight ends and a slot receiver-

OUTDOORS.

Favre the Younger has the best receiving corpe in the game-

Let's hear it for Brady MVP (again...still)

Who's with me!?

themightypuck said...

Coin flip between Brees Rodgers and Brady. Rodgers will win it.

Joaquin said...

Yards after catch (YAC) should not go on the QB's stats..

Sure they should as they are a direct result of a completed pass.

Robert R. said...

Yards after catch reflects on the quarterback because making the correct read and hitting a receiver in stride matters and is part of the quaterback's skill set. Accuracy and timing is a big part of big plays at the NFL level.

Scott M said...

Sure they should as they are a direct result of a completed pass.

No, they are the indirect result of the completed pass. They are the direct result of the receiver's skill in rushing.

Scott M said...

Yards after catch reflects on the quarterback because making the correct read and hitting a receiver in stride matters and is part of the quaterback's skill set.

Subjective. The receiver could be running a hook, flare or cross pattern in which hitting him in stride does nothing to add to the forward progress of the ball. You could argue that the receiver turns his own forward momentum into forward yardage, but that doesn't apply to hooks or flares.

Joaquin said...

Gadfly: Winning is everything. The QB of the Super Bowl Champs will be MVP.

There's just one problem, the MVP is announced around January 10 and the SB is Feb. 5.

Robert R. said...

And the receiver could be running a slant, which absolutely depends on the QB hitting him in stride. Pulling out examples where hitting a WR in stride matters less is cherrypicking to make a point. It's never bad to hit a receiver in stride and often results in big plays. Certainly, there's a much higher likelihood of something good happening after the catch, than if the WR has to stop to come back to the pass.

Granted, football is a team game. The receiver may never get the ball in the first place if the O-line breaks down. A receiver may also get taken out of the game on a high, late throw that leaves him vulnerable to a big hit. Hitting a receiver in stride and on the correct shoulder matters at the NFL level.

MadisonMan said...

Let's hear it for Brady MVP (again...still)

Who's with me!?

(crickets)

Joaquin said...

YAC can not occur without a completed pass. Come on, it's a passing play not a rushing play.

Scott M said...

Pulling out examples where hitting a WR in stride matters less is cherrypicking to make a point.

Why else do people comment on blog threads?

MayBee said...

No, they are the indirect result of the completed pass. They are the direct result of the receiver's skill in rushing.

Well...how well covered the receiver is also matters, as does his position w/r/t the sideline. So selection, seeing who is open, and seeing who won't go out of bounds upon receiving, is part of a QB's skill set.
It isn't like the rushing yards aren't also counted in the receiver's stats.

I was surprised to hear that sacks made only became an official stat thirty years ago.

As for Drew or Aaron, I'll take them both.

traditionalguy said...

But does MVP mean Most Valuable Passer, or most valuable player?

Tebow is not eligible if it means Passer.

Scott M said...

I was surprised to hear that sacks made only became an official stat thirty years ago.

As Robert correctly mentioned, football is a team sport, possibly the ultimate in terms of what we currently consider professional level endeavors. A sack can result from both the QB not reading the rush properly or being where he's supposed to be, to a play-action back not picking up the block he's supposed to, to the O-line failing in one way or another (or all three in one play).

Each and every play requires each member of the team to be doing a very specific thing at the exact same time or it all goes gaggle.

That being said, there's little better in professional sports than a well executed pass play.

Dave in Tucson said...

@BrownDog: [Brady] doesn't even have wide receivers

I believe the expression the kids are using these days is "lolwhut?!". Welker has the most receving yards (1518) in the league, Gronkowski (1219) is #5.

Gronkowski is a beast, and a huge reason the Pats managed to get by the Redskins and Dolphins with a win.

Browndog said...

I'm just messing with you guys-

(kinda sorta)

Rogers is the obvious MVP.

Cedarford said...

Mike said...
Brees is an incredible athlete. There was a story in the Los Angeles Times a few days ago qouting a top ranked tennis player. Can't remember the name, but the fellow is ranked in the top half dozen tennis players in the world. In his high school days Brees played tennis with this fellow. Brees played maybe once a week; this guy was playing every day getting ready for a tennis career. Brees beat him every time
=============
The tennis player was Andy Roddick. A star. Nine years in the tennis top 10, only Roger Federer of current players has more time in the Top 10. Andy Roddick still holds the record for fastest serve ever in the game.
Brees is more than fair - saying that when he played Andy as a kid, Andy was "playing up", being 3 years younger than Brees....and Brees had no doubt that Roddick would eventually beat him unless Brees chose tennis over football as his focus.
But Brees could have been a tennis star.
Some athletes are like that..they have the ability to be a star in multiple sports but are forced to confront the reality that at the very top - there are others as gifted and the only way they can compete at that pinnacle in the sport is to focus on just one sport at some point.

Tennis stars Federer, Nadal, and Tsongas could have been stars in FIFA. Especially Nadal.

Lindsay Vonn's great rival and friend in skiing is the German Maria Reisch. Riesch was also nationally ranked as a cyclist, and basketball player as a junior, and was unbeatable as a tennis player in Euro competition in her age class. She was thought to be too tall (eventually 6 feet) to win at skiing at the highest level, but won 2 Olympic gold medals and the Womans World Cup Tour when Vonn didn't. The German sport club community tried discouraging Riesch from skiing on the height issue, arguing she seriously could be #1 in world competition in tennis some day or be a star in the basketball program.

It works like that in sports. These days, the best must choose. Mike Jordan had to choose between baseball and basketball when he was a kid with serious talent at both.

Nichevo said...

the touchdowns with only 6 picks

Picks is what they used to call interceptions?

Scott M said...

Picks is what they used to call interceptions?

Not exactly. It's what interceptions are still called.

MayBee said...

Some athletes are like that..they have the ability to be a star in multiple sports but are forced to confront the reality that at the very top -

One of the Saints' receivers played no high school football and only one season of college football. They talked about him during last night's game. He's 6'5", was a basketball star, and has hands that would be proportionate to the body of a man 8' tall.
Built to be an athlete.

Mark Sanchez has huge hands, too. Just huge. I wonder if he could even play football if he had smaller lady hands.

Browndog said...

Charles Woodson for MVP

Go Blue.

MadisonMan said...

Mark Sanchez has huge hands, too. Just huge. I wonder if he could even play football if he had smaller lady hands.

Too easy.

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

I didn't read all the comments, but it's a distinct possibility the AP could name Rodgers and Brees co-winners as they did in 2003. Or they could create an even bigger media event and create a three way tie by throwing Brady in as well.

I think it would be a mistake and would dilute the value of the MVP designation, but we live in an era where everybody gets a participation trophy - so who knows.

Browndog said...

Might be time to create a separate category for QB's-

53 men on a roster, and the QB gets all the glory.

I nominate a certain tight end named "Gronk" for Most Valuable (non-QB) player

David said...

Adams Wells is a sportswriter for a Jackson, Mississippi paper--smack dab in the middle of Saints territory. Basically this is a typical sports journalist suck up piece.

That said, the Saints look to me to be a team that could beat the Packers. They nearly did in the first game of the season.

The Packers have several weaknesses, while the Saints do not. In that sense Rogers is the better candidate for MVP, since he is compensating for the weaknesses.

Beth said...

"Brees should have won the MVP a couple of years ago when Manning won his fourth."

What McCullough said.

I like seeing this debate; it's hard to argue against Rodgers, but it's also satisfying to see that MVP is not a coronation. Brees is having a spectacular season-actually, he's been hot since 2008- and the Saints are a better team now than they were in October.

The best thing about Brees isn't his record-setting yardage, but his leadership. The Saints are playing well in all aspects of offense and special teams; the defense makes me nervous with Greg Williams' "bend don't break" approach, but keeping opponents to 3 in the red zone knowing they have Drew Brees coming back on the field seems to be working.

I hope we see the Saints and Packers once more this season, in the playoffs. Brees will be challenged by Lambeau, but it will be a highly entertaining game, truly showcasing the best in football.

It's hard for me to process that last night, the Saints locked up the NFC South, again. The focus on Brees is worthwhile; he earned it. But I am probably happiest that these days, it's not something out of fantasy land to see the Saints winning their division, let alone being in the playoffs with a real chance at going the distance.

Browndog said...

I hope we see the Saints and Packers once more this season, in the playoffs. Brees will be challenged by Lambeau, but it will be a highly entertaining game, truly showcasing the best in football.

A certain team from the Bay area is about to splash your face with cold water, and wake you from your dream-

just sayin'

frankz said...

brees has thrown 9 td's and 6 picks outdoors. and that was in good weather. rarely do dome or temperate climate teams win when the temp is 20's or below. you can look it up.

Curious George said...

"Scott M said...
Picks is what they used to call interceptions?

Not exactly. It's what interceptions are still called."

And interceptions that are returned for TD's are called "TAINTS" now.

Touchdowns After INTercepton

rcocean said...

Tebow is God's MVP.

Jess said...

Quoth Browndog:
A certain team from the Bay area is about to splash your face with cold water, and wake you from your dream-

'just sayin'


You don't have to get all fancy, man. You can just call it Green Bay, or if you must generalize, Wisconsin.

Just sayin' ;)

Beth said...

"You can just call it Green Bay"

Heh.

PackerBronco said...

Brees is ahead of Rodgers in yardage, but he also throws the ball a lot more. If Rodgers had thrown the ball as much as Brees given his current level of production, here's how they would stack up:

Stat Brees Rodgers
Yards 5,087 5,753
TDs 41 56
Ints 13 7


At any rate, a 45/6 TD/INT ratio and a rating of 122.5 is simply phenomenal and blows away Brees' 108.4 rating. In fact, out of 15 games so far this season, Brees has exceeded Rodger's AVERAGE QB rating only 4 times.

This should not be a close call, but it probably will be.

Larry J said...

Here's a really impressive sports video from 2009 where Bres is matched up against an Olympic archer for accuracy. It isn't even close.

Iapetus said...

MadisonMan says, "Too easy." As a Patriots fan I say, Go ahead and say it. Someone ought to. Let it be you.

Meade said...

Cool clip, Larry J. We enjoyed that.

Beth said...

It appears Brees was a sharp fellow back in college, at Purdue, as well.

Meade said...

Nice pictorial, Beth. Thanks!