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Who should win the NFL's MVP award, and how should it be judged?
This is the second week of our "no debate" series with Gillette. This time they're asking which NFL QB is leading the pack this year? You can answer over on their Facebook page.
Switching things back over to a more Colts-centric discussion, I've gone on a few radios shows this week and the subject of Andrew Luck potentially getting MVP votes has come up. Will Brinson of CBS Sports recently had a chat with Denver Broncos executive (and Hall of Fame quarterback) John Elway, and, in that interview, Elway made a great point about the MVP award:
The inherent problem is that "MVP" doesn't tell the whole story when it comes to the award because, simply based on the impact they have on the game, quarterbacks are inherently more valuable, something Elway echoed when asked about other big seasons from non-quarterbacks around the NFL in 2012.
"It depends on how you're looking at it. I'm not sure it's named right," Elway said. "It should be 'Player of the Year,' not 'MVP.'
I agree with Elway, and I basically said the same thing he did when I was a guest on Evan Sidery's podcast earlier this week. The MVP is the best player in the NFL. Period. All the crap about "value" is people basically not wanting to offend all the running backs and wide receivers who really aren't in the race for the award. These kinds of guys get "Offensive Player of the Year," or something equally meaningless.
MVPs tend to go to quarterbacks because quarterbacks control games. Do they "win" them? No. Linemen still have to block, and, unless the quarterback is Sammy Baugh, he isn't playing on defense. However, if the quarterback is doing his job, putting the football in the right places and effectively running the offense, the team will likely succeed. Wide receivers and running backs come and go. Quarterbacks are the rock your favorite team is built on.
Thus, when the subject of MVP comes up every year, it's important to take into account the criteria that the voters likely use:
- Is the guy in question the best player in the league right now?
- Will his team make the playoffs?
The MVP has to be in the playoffs. This is the NFL, not baseball. Winning is what is valued. Everything else is a distant second. Plus, how good or "valuable" can the guy really be if the team isn't winning? This was why the argument for Chris Johnson as MVP in 2009 was so laughable. "Ohhhhh, he had over 2,000 yards rushing!" Who gives a sh*t about rushing yards if the team stinks?
For Andrew Luck, there is no question that he is the reason the Colts are 9-4. Without him, and his crunch time brilliance, this team would be racing towards another Top 5 pick in the draft. But, is Luck the best player in football? For me, no. One day he probably will be, but not now.
Personally, I think Peyton Manning will win the MVP award running away. He's having a great year. The Broncos are Super Bowl contenders, and one should never discount the sentimentality vote. Peyton returned from spinal fusion. We'll win it.
Maybe you think differently. If so, let's talk below.