NFL MVPs go to quarterbacks almost all the time. This season won’t be any different. Tom Brady has done a great job with the New England Patriots of bouncing back from a rough start, but Aaron Rodgers is by far the best football player in the league this season, quarterback or any other position.
Even without diving into the deeper, advanced numbers and statistics, Aaron Rodgers stands ahead of the pack. He’s leading the NFL in yards per attempt with 8.75. Tom Brady is only 19th in the NFL with 7.18 in that category, and he’s the only other quarterback you might consider for the MVP award. Rodgers has the best touchdown to interception ratio of 32 to 3, and his passer rating of 118.6 is by far the best in the league. Brady is only ninth at 101.1.
That ESPN statistic of QBR is also in Rodgers’ favor, posting a total QBR of 86.4. Tom Brady is third with 78.3. If you like stat gurus, than Pro Football Focus have him ranked on top of most of their QB rankings with a plus-35.2, compared to a plus-24.8 for Brady. Rodgers, the big difference from everyone else, doesn’t have bad games. At worst, he’s simply average. But most of the time, he’s very good or even close to perfection.
The thing that’s amazing about Rodgers’ ability is that he isn’t a careful thrower. He hardly uses the screen pass (37th in the NFL in percentage of screen passes thrown). His average depth throw is 8.7 yards and has thrown for 10 touchdowns with zero interceptions when targeting players 20 yards or more downfield from him. He ranks second only to Tom Brady when throwing between the numbers on 0-to-10 yards.
There are other names being thrown around: Brady himself, but despite having a great season since week 4, he’s had some bad games, something Rodgers hasn’t had in what seems like years. Both of them aren’t great when the offensive line allows them to come under pressure, but Green Bay have improved immensely in that category this season while the Patriots have done a wonderful job of protecting Brady since the loss in Kansas City until that final drive in Green Bay.
J.J. Watt is an outsider choice and despite his three receiving touchdowns, he’ll win the Defensive MVP, nothing more. DeMarco Murray is having a great season, but people will count the excellent offensive line against him, something people keep mentioning about Emmitt Smith whenever his all-time rushing record comes up. Drew Brees is doing an incredible job behind a terrible offensive line. So is Ben Roethlisberger. But not enough. Not with Rodgers playing like this.