Posted on: January 2, 2012 11:22 am
Edited on: January 2, 2012 11:30 am

Rodgers should beat Brees for NFL MVP

Seems there are two quarterbacks most folks consider for NFL MVP this season -- Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers and Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints. Brees broke Dan Marino's records for passing yardage in one season and led the NFL in TD passes and completion percentage. Rodgers set the all-time passer rating mark and led the NFL in TD percentage, yards per attempt and was second in interception percentage and TDs thrown.

Those who like Brees enjoy pointing out his "quantity" stats: number of yards, number of TD passes, etc. Those who like Rodgers point out his efficiency, his QB rating for example, plus the fact the Pack went 14-1 with him as the starting quarterback.

Both players had great years.

But let's look at this: Brees threw 657 passes, Rodgers threw 502.

If you take Rodgers' 2011 rates and apply them to 657 pass attempts, he ends up with 6,044 yards, 59 TDs and 8 interceptions, yardage and TD marks that would have easily obliterated the current NFL records. Brees' numbers were 5,476 yards, 46 TDs and 14 picks. Brees' numbers pale in comparison. Rodgers' QB rating, which I admit can be a somewhat flawed statistic (but all stats can be somewhat flawed when viewed separately), was nearly 12 points higher than Brees' rating (122.5 to 110.6). And while Brees did set an NFL record with completion percentage, his mark of 71.2% wasn't all that much higher than Rodgers' runner-up mark of 68.3%.

It wasn't like Rodgers threw 155 fewer passes than Brees because he wasn't good at throwing the ball. And he didn't miss any games due to ineffectiveness or injury; he was just held out of the last game because the Packers didn't need to win it.

Rodgers is also a way better runner than Brees, with 257 yards and 3 rushing TDs to Brees' 86 yards and 1 TD.

Taking all these factors into account, Aaron Rodgers is your 2011 NFL MVP.
Posted on: September 21, 2011 9:10 pm

Verlander for the MVP?

1) The MVP award was designed to honor the best player (regardless of position, won/loss records, etc.) This argument that "if you took so-and-so off their team, where would they be" does not apply. If you do that, then every year we'd find a crappy team that has one great player and give the award to that guy. Nope, it's to honor the best player. I do look at a team's success as a tie-breaker sort of deal; if two players are extremely close and I can't make a decision, I might go with the one whose team has had more success... but only as a tie-breaker.
2) Just because there is a Cy Young Award does not automatically disqualify pitchers from being considered for the MVP award. There are Silver Slugger awards, too. Does that disqualify hitters from being considered? And there are Gold Gloves? Does that disqualify position players from winning MVP? No.
3) The argument that position players have a bigger effect on their team's ability to win than do starting pitchers also fails to hold water. While position players play in more games, they are not always involved in that many more plate appearances that the top starting pitchers. This year, in fact, Justin Verlander has been involved in more plate appearances than the player who I believe is in the running for AL MVP with him. Going into tonight, Verlander has faced 938 batters and had 47 fielding chances. Jose Bautista has 622 plate appearances and 328 fielding chances. That totals 975 plate appearances that Justin Verlander has control over, with Bautista having 950.
4)I don't see a case in these days where a closer has a shot at MVP. These guys don't often come into the game in stressful situations anymore. They normally show up with a lead and nobody on base in the ninth inning. Even bad closers convert 75% of their save chances now.
I'm not necessarily saying that Justin Verlander should be the AL MVP. What I'm saying is that a pitcher who has had the kind of year he has had shouldn't be discounted for the award just because of the position he plays.
To tell you the truth, I'd have a difficult time deciding between Verlander and Bautista. Since some of the numbers I consider important (ERA+ and OPS+) are very similar for these guys, I'd go to the tiebreaker and give it to Verlander due to the Tigers' success, of which he has been the most key element.
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