2021 MVP watch

djbayko

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I really want to understand where this landslide is coming from. He wasn't far and away the best QB in football and he missed a game. Meh, who cares anyway.
Awards are a lot about momentum. Brady put up a couple stinkers at the wrong time, and the really bad one was nationally televised (SNF). Brady had 2 good games to end the season, but by that point it was too late - Green Bay secured the 1 seed in Week 17. Also, historically, Passer Rating has been a huge factor in MVP voting and that's the one stat which Rodgers dominates in.

It should be a lot closer, and it probably would have been if you switched around the order of some of the games played.
 

djbayko

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His ANY/A was half a yard better than the next best guy. If you want to argue others did more since he missed a game that's another story, but it wasn't close on a per-dropback basis.
It's not just that Aaron played one less game. Even taking that into account, Brady averaged 10 more passing attempts per game.
 

Rudy's Curve

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It's not just that Aaron played one less game. Even taking that into account, Brady averaged 10 more passing attempts per game.
League ANY/A was 5.64.

Brady dropped back 741 times which would expect to yield 4179 adjusted net yards. He had 5492 (based on the formula of yards + 20 per TD - 45 per INT - sack yards) for 1313 above expected. Rodgers dropped back 561 times which would expect to yield 3164. He had 4487 for 1323 above expected. So he's still slightly ahead even with Brady's huge edge in volume, plus he sat out half the Lions game. Rodgers' best OL (Bakhtiari) played his first 27 snaps yesterday and his next best one (Jenkins) missed half the season. Brady also had considerably better skill players (if the teams combined 11 personnel the only Packers would be Adams and maybe Jones) and played in a lot more favorable weather conditions on the whole. I don't think it's really that close.
 
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rodderick

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His ANY/A was half a yard better than the next best guy. If you want to argue others did more since he missed a game that's another story, but it wasn't close on a per-dropback basis.
And it was basically dead even by DVOA, QBR and Brady has him beat by PFF grade. Why is ANY/A the holy grail of QB stats, especially when it's descriptive and doesn't account for drops? They were very similar players by most stats and Brady had a whole lot more volume, faced a tougher schedule of defenses and led the more efficient offense.
 

Rudy's Curve

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And it was basically dead even by DVOA, QBR and Brady has him beat by PFF grade. Why is ANY/A the holy grail of QB stats, especially when it's descriptive and doesn't account for drops? They were very similar players by most stats and Brady had a whole lot more volume, faced a tougher schedule of defenses and led the more efficient offense.
I prefer ANY/A because it’s not subjective (PFF, QBR) or a black box (DVOA).

The Bucs averaged .05 more points per drive. I’m pretty sure if you took away the game and a half Love played (24 total points) and gave Rodgers the second half yesterday the Packers would be ahead.

And while Brady had a slight SoS advantage, I think that’s neutralized by what I mentioned above. He obviously played in much better conditions and I’d say with considerably better players. Evans and Godwin are pretty damn good and neither of them are arguably the best WR of the 21st century or the best TE ever, which he also had. The Packers don’t have much beyond Adams in the passing game and their OL was a patchwork unit all season without Jenkins for half the year and Bakhtiari at all.
 
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Super Nomario

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PFF weighed in the other day. They're in Brady's corner:

https://www.pff.com/news/nfl-why-tom-brady-should-win-the-nfl-mvp-and-all-pro-awards-over-aaron-rodgers-2021

They chart Brady's receivers with eight dropped TDs and count four of Brady's INTs as not his fault, which is part of the discrepancy between their grade and objective measures like EPA or ANY/A.

It seems like folks counted Brady out of the MVP race after the Saints shutout, but what he's done since has been pretty remarkable. The Bucs dropped 32 on the Panthers, a terrible team but a great pass defense (they finished 6th in opponents NY/A) with no Evans, no Godwin, and no Fournette. Then came the amazing comeback against the Jets when Brown quit at halftime and Brady driving 93 yards with no timeouts throwing to Tyler Johnson and Cyril Grayson. Finally, they dropped 41 on the Panthers again (OK, Brady wasn't out there for the last 10, but they scored 31 points on 8 drives when he was out there).
 

rodderick

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PFF weighed in the other day. They're in Brady's corner:

https://www.pff.com/news/nfl-why-tom-brady-should-win-the-nfl-mvp-and-all-pro-awards-over-aaron-rodgers-2021

They chart Brady's receivers with eight dropped TDs and count four of Brady's INTs as not his fault, which is part of the discrepancy between their grade and objective measures like EPA or ANY/A.

It seems like folks counted Brady out of the MVP race after the Saints shutout, but what he's done since has been pretty remarkable. The Bucs dropped 32 on the Panthers, a terrible team but a great pass defense (they finished 6th in opponents NY/A) with no Evans, no Godwin, and no Fournette. Then came the amazing comeback against the Jets when Brown quit at halftime and Brady driving 93 yards with no timeouts throwing to Tyler Johnson and Cyril Grayson. Finally, they dropped 41 on the Panthers again (OK, Brady wasn't out there for the last 10, but they scored 31 points on 8 drives when he was out there).
Brady also ranks 38 out of 39 qualified QBs in play action% and faced light boxes (6 or less men in the box) 67% of the time, compared to Rodgers' 57%. EPA/Play on light box pass attempts is 0.02 league wide, versus 0.07 against heavy boxes. I think his job in that offense is simply harder than Rodgers' in his. Not anywhere near as many freebies or guys getting schemed open.

And Brady faced a MUCH tougher schedule of defenses, it wasn't close. All 5 of his top receivers, his top TE and all 3 of his top running backs missed time through injury throughout the season as well, most of them multiple games worth, so let's stop pretending he had this loaded roster on offense for anything other than about 2 or 3 games. How many snaps did all of them play together?
 

Cellar-Door

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I don't know about a landslide but...

Rodgers' team got the 1 seed easily, and his surrounding talent is much worse than Brady. His #2 and #3 WRs are Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling vs Mike Evans and Antonio Brown, Brady has Gronk vs Rodgers' Marcedes Lewis. Brady has a better O-line by a good margin.

It's not at all an unreasonable call to give him the award, he's arguably the best statistical QB, his team has the best performance, and he's critical to his team's success (as seen by the debacle in his missed game) and his supporting cast isn't great.
 

Kliq

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I don't think Rodgers missing a game and thus giving people a chance to see how bad GB would be without him should really be used at all as a way to justify voting for him. He missed a game because he is a dope, and if Tampa played a game with Blaine Gabbert I'm sure they would look much worse.
 

BaseballJones

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Both guys are deserving, and it's not a travesty whichever one of them wins it. Both make for interesting stories as well. I just wonder if they'll give it to Rodgers since they gave it to Rodgers last year. I don't know if that is the kind of thing that is in the back of voters' minds.
 

wilked

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I think Rodgers gets it, something like a 70/30 split with him and Brady. I think for Brady his high INT count will cost him some votes
 

rodderick

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Just to be clear: I think Rodgers would be a deserving MVP and it wouldn't be a travesty (in the fooball sense, I got a lot of V&N opinions on this one) if he won it, I just don't get why it's being treated as a slam dunk. Hell, I could make a compelling case for Joe Burrow, nevermind Brady.
 

Bergs

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I don't think Rodgers missing a game and thus giving people a chance to see how bad GB would be without him should really be used at all as a way to justify voting for him. He missed a game because he is a dope, and if Tampa played a game with Blaine Gabbert I'm sure they would look much worse.
He literally cost his team a game by being a shithead. This should cost him votes, not gain him any.
 

Kliq

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He literally cost his team a game by being a shithead. This should cost him votes, not gain him any.
Yeah but I've seen the argument all over the place being that we know how bad GB would be without him because we saw how bad Love was, thus meaning Rodgers is clearly very valuable. The logic falls apart if you think about it for a second, but I've seen it everywhere.
 

rodderick

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Yeah but I've seen the argument all over the place being that we know how bad GB would be without him because we saw how bad Love was, thus meaning Rodgers is clearly very valuable. The logic falls apart if you think about it for a second, but I've seen it everywhere.
Might as well rename the award to "worst backup" then. Even then, wouldn't that just go Burrow in that case? Cincy would win 2 games with Brandon Allen.

Also, didn't the Love game come right in the stretch in which the KC defense started playing out of their minds? Just looking at it, starting with that game they allowed 10 points or less to 5 of their next 7 opponents. Odds are Rodgers wouldn't have had a field day either.
 

johnmd20

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I don't know about a landslide but...

Rodgers' team got the 1 seed easily, and his surrounding talent is much worse than Brady. His #2 and #3 WRs are Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling vs Mike Evans and Antonio Brown, Brady has Gronk vs Rodgers' Marcedes Lewis. Brady has a better O-line by a good margin.

It's not at all an unreasonable call to give him the award, he's arguably the best statistical QB, his team has the best performance, and he's critical to his team's success (as seen by the debacle in his missed game) and his supporting cast isn't great.
Adams is worth 2 great players. Maybe 2.5. And GB has two super star running backs, both of whom can catch passes and are hard to tackle.

Let's stop acting like Rodgers doesn't have weapons. He most certain does.
 

Cellar-Door

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Adams is worth 2 great players. Maybe 2.5. And GB has two super star running backs, both of whom can catch passes and are hard to tackle.

Let's stop acting like Rodgers doesn't have weapons. He most certain does.
he doesn't have nobody, he has significantly less than Brady, which when comparing two players putting up comparable stats matters.

I get it, Tom was our guy and Rodgers is an unlikeable prick.... he's also probably the best QB in the league this year and deserving on the MVP.
 

heavyde050

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he doesn't have nobody, he has significantly less than Brady, which when comparing two players putting up comparable stats matters.

I get it, Tom was our guy and Rodgers is an unlikeable prick.... he's also probably the best QB in the league this year and deserving on the MVP.
I mean a lot of Brady's talent was banged up this year - Gronk, Evans, and Godwin. AB also missed some games. Brady did have a healthy offensive line, but it seems that Brady did not get the full use of his weapons all season.
 

johnmd20

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he doesn't have nobody, he has significantly less than Brady, which when comparing two players putting up comparable stats matters.

I get it, Tom was our guy and Rodgers is an unlikeable prick.... he's also probably the best QB in the league this year and deserving on the MVP.
Rodgers should be the MVP. I am not arguing against that.

I am arguing against people saying they don't have any skill players. The best WR in football (tied with Kupp) is on Green Bay. Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon are both studs. TB had Fournette, who was a cast off mind you and only became a weapon when Brady rolled into town. And he missed the last 25% of the season. Gronk was out half the year. Godwin got hurt. Evans was banged up multiple times. AB missed almost the entire season. At the end of the Jets game, Brady was throwing to guys nobody had ever heard of and his RB was Vaughn.
 

Cellar-Door

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Rodgers should be the MVP. I am not arguing against that.

I am arguing against people saying they don't have any skill players. The best WR in football (tied with Kupp) is on Green Bay. Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon are both studs. TB had Fournette, who was a cast off mind you and only became a weapon when Brady rolled into town. And he missed the last 25% of the season. Gronk was out half the year. Godwin got hurt. Evans was banged up multiple times. AB missed almost the entire season. At the end of the Jets game, Brady was throwing to guys nobody had ever heard of and his RB was Vaughn.
They don't have no skill players, but they have significantly less (and a worse O-line) than TB which was what I pointed out.

Also.... Fournette got cut because he made a lot of money, crediting Brady for turning a guy who was coming off 1700 total yards (522 receiving) into a weapon is ridiculous. His time in TB he actually is putting up worse catching numbers than he did in JAX catching passes from Gardner Minshew and Nick Foles.

Brady is the best QB of all time.... he's also playing in a stacked offense.
 

djbayko

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I don't know about a landslide but...
FWIW - As I scan the Internet, the few AP voters who are talking publicly about MVP at all are showing signs that they lean Rodgers. Small sample, yes. Unfortunately, the reality is that the Saints game probably cost Brady the award. A lot of people considered the race over after that. I also think that Hub Arkush (AP voter) coming out and saying he wouldn't vote for Rodgers because he's a "bad guy" is actually going to hurt Brady's chances due to backlash. There are probably voters who were on the fence but are now going to vote for Rodgers on principle.
 

Cellar-Door

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FWIW - As I scan the Internet, the few AP voters who are talking publicly about MVP at all are showing signs that they lean Rodgers. Small sample, yes. Unfortunately, the reality is that the Saints game probably cost Brady the award. A lot of people considered the race over after that. I also think that Hub Arkush (AP voter) coming out and saying he wouldn't vote for Rodgers because he's a "bad guy" is actually going to hurt Brady's chances due to backlash. There are probably voters who were on the fence but are now going to vote for Rodgers on principle.
I think Rodgers should win. I also think sometimes people misinterpret "landslides" because... you can only vote 1 guy 1st, there is no margin. So if many people think Rodgers was a tiny bit better than Brady (the correct call to me) it's a "landslide" because it's 1 vs 0, not 100 vs 99.
 

Rudy's Curve

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Evans played 16 games, Fournette and Godwin 14, Gronk 12 and Brown 7. Who got more games of better skill talent than that - maybe Burrow? It's certainly better than 16 games of Adams, a couple good running backs and a bunch of random dudes. Brady's (very good) OL also started 84 of a possible 85 games while Rodgers' two best linemen combined for nine games, one of which was Bakhtiari's only game in the meaningless finale. It's not even close - it's the KD Warriors vs. LeBron and Kyrie.
 

djbayko

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I think Rodgers should win. I also think sometimes people misinterpret "landslides" because... you can only vote 1 guy 1st, there is no margin. So if many people think Rodgers was a tiny bit better than Brady (the correct call to me) it's a "landslide" because it's 1 vs 0, not 100 vs 99.
I see. He definitely meant vote wise and I didn’t mean to mislead. It was something like 32 votes to 2. Of course none of them were AP voters and it included people like noted Brady hater, Chris Simms. But we can probably see where this is headed.
 

Rudy's Curve

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Lol at the implication Rodgers is asked to do as much as LeBron was on that team. Also love how Fournette is named as if he were a star and Aaron Jones is a "good running back".
Well, we've seen a decent amount of the Packers without Rodgers the last decade and it looks a lot like the Cavs without LeBron (before this year at least).

Fournette was a #4 overall pick who had almost 1700 yards from scrimmage for the Jaguars the year before joining the Bucs. He finished second in rushing DYAR and sixth in receiving DYAR (I know I don't like to use FO metrics for QBs, but there's no equivalent of ANY/A for RBs and at least its a play-by-play metric) this year. The running backs altogether are probably around equal, but that's also the least important part of the skill group. The Bucs' skill group is clearly better. The Bucs' OL was better by miles. I don't see how this is really up for debate.
 
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djbayko

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I think I've just about given up and might hedge out of my Tom Brady MVP position. Can still get -400 odds in a couple places for a small profit. A couple more polls:

https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/2021-nfl-mvp-watch-aaron-rodgers-on-track-to-become-fifth-player-to-repeat-as-mvp/
The panel of voters: Jonathan Jones, Ryan Wilson, John Breech, Jared Dubin, Jordan Dajani, Bryan DeArdo, Josh Edwards, Chris Trapasso, Tyler Sullivan, Jeff Kerr

The full MVP leaderboard
1. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (45)
2. Buccaneers QB Tom Brady (40)
The score is close, but that's because of the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 scoring mechanism this poll used. Rodgers took 7 out of 10 first place votes (to Tom Brady's 2 first place votes).

And then there's this from PFF:
https://www.pff.com/news/nfl-mvp-picks-nfl-players-coaches-league-executives-media-pff-analysts-2021
PFF polled a group of over a dozen NFL executives, coaches and players. Around half said they would cast an MVP vote for Rodgers, who led his Packers to a 13-3 record but missed a game as an unvaccinated player after testing positive for COVID.

“That’s a seven-win team, at best, without him,” one NFL quarterbacks coach said.
The race was closer and split between Rodgers, Brady, Burrow and Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, when polling PFF’s analysts.

Here’s how the voting shook out:

Rodgers: 45.8%
Brady: 41.7%
Burrow: 8.3%
Herbert: 4.2%
When the case for Brady relies on people looking deep into the numbers to determine that Brady's volume + lesser efficiency > Rodgers higher efficiency, and the guys who look deep into the numbers for a living still eek out a win for Rodgers, it's probably over. Oh, and PFF is the outfit which graded Tom Brady the #1 QB in the league in 2022.