Well, ladies and gents, it is officially the start of the NFL season and I'm sure everyone is excited. It is also that time of year where all the sports writers get together and decide to unanimously decide to slobber over the patriots. Now, many of us here like to bash networks like ESPN and the NFL Network for their not so discrete bias towards the men up in Foxborough. Yet, a network just as deserving of eye rolling is CBS Sports and the geniuses who write for them. In this case, we are going to go with Clark Judge and Pete Prisco.
From Judge's prediction page:
MVP: Tom Brady, QB, Patriots. New England goes nowhere without this guy, and last year proved it. So the Patriots went 11-5 with an inexperienced Matt Cassel making the throws. That was remarkable. But they still missed the playoffs, and that doesn't happen with Brady. The year before they were 16-0 with the guy throwing 50 touchdown passes. Aside from Randy Moss, tell me another player on this team who is Hall of Fame worthy. There isn't one. Brady is the key to New England's success, and that's not exactly a revelation. If it were left up to me I'd make him a finalist every season.
Really, Clark? Let's dissect this for a second, shall we?
"New England goes nowhere without this guy, and last year proved it." Um...they went 11-5....with a guy who hadn't started since high school and rode the bench at USC. This indicates what most believe: that Brady, although a great QB with a winning attitude, is a system QB and is not as valuable as the folks in Bristol and elsewhere have tried to brainwash you into believing. Judge writes this bit as if they barely had their head above water.
"So the Patriots went 11-5 with an inexperienced Matt Cassel making the throws. That was remarkable." Um...I thought NE went nowhere...what?
"But they still missed the playoffs, and that doesn't happen with Brady." Ohhhh....because only Brady could take that team to the playoffs. I mean...if an inexperienced QB who hadn't started since high school couldn't do it, no one else but Brady could. There is definitely no way a decent QB with starting experience could have taken them there. Only Brady could. Right. And um...key players fromt the '07 team, particularly the defensive secondary, were not there anymore. Maybe...just maybe....defense matters a little more than you think in making the playoffs. That, and the Dolphins were very good (not the 1-15 debacle the previous year) and Favre had a pretty good run with the Jets and they were also much improved. But no, you're right. Brady is the only reason they missed the playoffs by half a game.
"Aside from Randy Moss, tell me another player on this team who is Hall of Fame worthy. There isn't one." Talk amongst yourselves on this one.
"Brady is the key to New England's success, and that's not exactly a revelation." Just like Cassel was the key to New England's success last year. That Belichick guy has no idea what he is doing. Definitely not a revelation.
"If it were left up to me I'd make him a finalist every season." Yeah! Screw season stats and performance. Brady's awesome! Why wasn't he a finalist last year?! Haters! Tom should be at least have the final say on who gets the award. How could we blame him if he picked himself? YAAYYY BRADY!!! BOOOOO LOGIC!!!
(Prisco after the jump)
And now comes Pete Prisco. The man who seemingly loves the Colts until his inbox is overflowing with Patriots fans' hate mail. Just like Judge, Prisco ignores all the facts and instead goes with the majority and talks about Brady like a super hero.
MVP: Tom Brady, QB, Patriots. He's healthy again and he still has Randy Moss and Wes Welker. Brady might not throw 50 touchdown passes, but I'll give him 40. That's good enough to win the award.
Now this isn't nearly as absurd as Judge's half-brained prediction, but still makes you laugh, shake your head in disappointment and think, "Didn't sports writer used to justify their opinions? Even the baseless ones?" So Brady won't throw 50. He'll only throw 40. And he probably won't have a 120 passer rating either. Something like 118. And if you think he'll have a 80% completion rating, you're crazy. It will only be a mediocre 72 or 73%. I mean, really? Is this what sports journalism has become? Smug cocky predictions that favor one player?
For both these writers, picking Brady for MVP is not an outlandish pick, but how in the hell can you justify these reasons for picking him? I wouldn't have been as annoyed had they just said "MVP: Brady." And left it at that. But their logic behind the pick is just completely, for lack of a better word, stupid.
And to finish the rant off, let's take a look at some of the facts these pros seem to forget. Brady tore his freaking ACL and MCL and has not played football in an entire year. Last year with Manning's bursa sac fiasco, the media acted like he had completely lost use of his legs. He has a new offensive coordinator. Not one mention of this in the offseason. Tom Moore was temporarily retired and the media immediately determined the end for the Colts and Peyton Manning. Brady has looked good in preseason. Not great. Not at all MVP great. He lost the core of his defense over the past two seasons. That can't help the SB chances. And finally....last year's MVP is still around. And this year, he's 100% healthy, his line is 100% healthy, his starting RB is 100% healthy, he has new, strong weapons (Brown, Collie), and not to mention he doesn't like to lose. Ever.