It is a question that in Patriots’ fans minds never should have been asked: Is Tom Brady or Michael Vick the NFL’s Most Valuable Player? Vick has matured into a legitimate starting quarterback and has been a highlight-reel regular, all while rehabbing his image in the public’s eye. Brady has taken his play to a whole new level of efficiency, throwing 319 consecutive passes (and counting) without an interception, all the while throwing at least two touchdowns per game during that streak and leading his team to an NFL-best 13-2 record. Brady’s play this year, many would contend, surpasses what he was able to do during the 2007 season where he threw 50 touchdown passes and the offense broke all kinds of records. Vick, though, has finally added the pocket passing element to his tremendous ability to make plays with his legs and has lead the Eagles to the 3-seed in the NFC playoffs- a seed that could have, perhaps should have, been the number 2 seed. Alas, after the Eagles fell to the Vikings last night and Vick committed 3 turnovers, the MVP debate is now officially over.
The Philadelphia Eagles were playing the lowly Minnesota Vikings at home, and the Vikings were starting a rookie QB for the first time in his career. It was a situation tailor-made for the Eagles to contend for a bye week and the number 2 seed in the NFC. However, the Eagle offense never got it going. Vick threw a pick (and about three others were dropped) and fumbled twice, one of which was returned for a touchdown. The Vikings hit Vick several times with a cornerback blitz, a problem that is partly Vick’s fault and partly the coaches’ fault. Vick needs to be able to read that and make adjustments at the line, and the coaches should be making in-game adjustments to protect against that.
At this point in the season, an MVP does not commit those errors. At this point in the season, an MVP pushes his team forward and seizes opportunities, like moving up in the playoff standings, especially against teams he shouldn’t lose to. Enter the man who shouldn’t have been questioned in the first place as to who the MVP should be. Sunday against the Bills, Tom Brady threw 3 TD passes and broke the record for consecutive passes without an interception. He guided his team to the number one seed in the AFC playoffs and has done so while losing his number one receiver early in the season, changing the make-up and scheme of the offense, playing with two undrafted running backs, a star-less receiving corps (except maybe Wes Welker, who has made several uncharacteristic drops this season), and the youngest defense in the NFL.
Sound like an MVP? Don’t suggest it around Brady, who thinks that the idea of an MVP in a team sport “doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
“I can understand the most valuable golfer or something like that. But Michael Vick is a hell of a player, the best player for that team. He fits what they do. Peyton Manning fits what his team does well. Unfortunately, it’s really a quarterback award, even though there’s a lot of great players that really don’t get recognition, so many great players in this league. I don’t know, I guess they have to do it like that. But the only award I ever cared about is a Super Bowl ring.”
Contrast that with Vick, who thinks that he should be the NFL’s MVP. There’s nothing wrong with being confident in yourself and thinking that you are the best, but it demonstrates the mentality that separates Brady from Vick. Brady understands that the name of the game is to win a Super Bowl and the only way that can be done is by being unselfish and having a strong “team,” not a great single player (though having a tremendous QB certainly helps).
Channing Crowder, the Miami Dolphins’ loud-mouthed controversial linebacker, decided to weigh in on the MVP race. His comments are sure to anger many a Pats fan (he’s not a favorite of Dolphins fans either), and demonstrate his overall stupidity. Here’s what Crowder had to say:
”Everybody knows it should be Michael Vick, but they’re going to let Brady win it because it’s Tom Brady. You’ve got to go with Vick. Vick’s my dude.”
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but everybody knows it should be Vick? They’re going to let Brady win? Seriously? I know that the Patriots are a rival, but how can anyone with a brain make a statement like that? Brady’s play has put him in position to be the league’s MVP, not the fact that he’s Tom Brady.
See you Sunday, Crowder. I hope Brady plays a few series.