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Your Guide to the NFL’s Murky MVP Race

There is no clear MVP this NFL season. Not one player from any of the top teams has been a sure fire candidate. Typically, the NFL’s MVP award is one of the least surprising awards in sports. You see, the privileged individuals who vote on the award aren’t much more informed than the typical football fan. They watch NFL Redzone on Sundays, they tweet generic statements during games, and they listen to their peers and make conclusions that way. And don’t forget the pro football cheat sheet every sportswriter in America uses when writing a column about a player. That being said, we are about as far from a consensus as you can get. Names like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady are being thrown around, and while you can make a case for each of these guys, you can certainly make a case against them as well. Let’s look at the case for and against certain MVP candidates this season, and who I believe will ultimately win.

Note-As a professional sports writer who has written three posts on the Illegal Touching site, I assume that I have a Pro Football Writer’s Association membership card being sent to me as we speak. As such, I will likely be casting a vote for the NFL’s MVP in January.

Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers has bounced back in an incredible way after we kept hearing Joe Buck say that we weren’t used to seeing Aaron Rodgers play so poorly. Rodgers leads the league in touchdown passes with 37 and, if they beat Detroit in Week 17, will make playoffs under Rodgers’ dominance. The problem? Rodgers looked awful to start the season, the Packers have lost 6 games so far, and we’ve learned that Rodgers is kind of a douche. Personal life aside, Rodgers is undoubtedly the 2016 MVP.

Tom Brady
Brady is probably as close to the consensus pick for MVP as we have right now. The Pats are 13 and 2 and are in control of the AFC. Brady, upon returning from his four game suspension, has put up 25 touchdowns and only 2 picks. Seems like a no brainer, right? Wrong! The Patriots went 3 and 1 during Brady’s suspension with Jimmy Garappolo and Jacoby Brisset filling in for Tommy. The real kicker though is that he may not be the reason for his team’s success, rather a component on a team filled with components. Look at his starting running back, LeGarrett Blount, who has put up 17 rushing touchdowns. 17! That’s an incredible stat in 2016, and is the most rushing touchdowns in a season since 2011. The Patriots though could not sustain such success without Brady, which is why he is my pick for the award.

Derek Carr
Poor guy, he just can’t stay healthy and screams in agonizing pain whenever he does get hurt. Injuries aside, Carr just isn’t quite there yet, but leading the Raiders to their first playoff appearance since Bush’s first term as POTUS should not be taken lightly, especially considering how shitty their defense is. Despite his flaws however, the award is all but Carr’s at this point.

Ezekiel Elliott/Dak Prescott
I would be remiss if I didn’t include two of th best players from the best team in football. Elliot has been a monster this season, while Dak has pushed franchise QB Tony Romo out the door in Dallas. Dak, however, has been the product of a dominant running game and an offense that is able to conceal his flaws as a passer. Elliott makes more sense, and should be legitimately considered. Elliott, however, is a rookie running back, and rookie running backs don’t win MVP. But this is 2016 and anything can happen. Therefore I am picking Prescott and Elliot as co-MVPs. Yes, for the first time in NFL HISTORY, two rookies will be crowned MVP.

Von Miller
Time to end this conversation since the Broncos are officially out of the playoffs. But he is such a force on Denver’s Orange Crush 2.0, that I can’t see the voters (myself included), going in any direction other than Miller’s.

David Johnson
If the Cardinals had made the playoffs this year, David Johnson would be MVP. He’s been a monster this season, and is possibly the best all purpose running back since Marshall Faulk. Despite his team’s struggles, Johnson will still be my vote for MVP (because I’m a journalist and I get a vote).

Matt Ryan
Ryan may just make the most sense out of any guy on this list. The Falcons are 10 and 5, and Ryan has had a career year with 34 touchdowns to 7 picks, and a higher completion percentage than Rodgers and Brady (Not that it matters very much as Sam Bradford is on pace to set the single season record for completion percentage). That being said, Ryan just doesn’t have it apparently. I’m not sure what it is, but I am sure that he doesn’t have it. He’s my guy though if I choose to vote.

Bilal Powell
The Jets backup is Pro Football Focus’s 9th ranked rusher ahead of Devonta Freeman and LeGarrett Blount. So yeah, I guess he’s pretty good, even if outdated stats like rushing yards and touchdowns don’t show it. I’m somewhat going out on a limb here and saying that Bilal Powell deserves MVP, even though I don’t think he will win it this year.

Zack Martin
Yeah, I’ll be that fucking guy. A guard deserves to be the MVP this year. I’m going to use this space to convince everyone that I’ve paid really close attention to offensive line play and determined Zack Martin to be the best player in the league. I am a professional, so I know what good offensive line play looks like, unlike you piece of shit readers. Truth be told, I couldn’t tell you if Martin plays right or left guard for the Cowboys, but in my professional opinion, Martin is the best player in the league.

Now that I think about it, I probably should’ve waited one more week after the season ends to write this.

It’s official

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