MVP No. 2 For A-Rod?
By Jon Krouner
Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFL.
This point is difficult to argue unless you're a fan of the New Orleans Saints or New England Patriots. But, just to be safe, let’s back up that claim with some statistical evidence that proves Rodgers’ supremacy at the game’s most essential position.
In the past four seasons, the 29-year-old has averaged 4,324 and 32 touchdowns to go with just eight interceptions. In that same timeframe, Drew Brees has averaged 39 touchdowns and 19 interceptions while Tom Brady has averaged 34 TDs and nine INTs. Of course, Peyton Manning is in the conversation, but can’t be included after missing the entire 2011 season due to injury.
What really separates Rodgers is his efficiency and ability to avoid making mistakes. Rodgers has compiled a quarterback rating of at least 101.2 in each of the last four seasons and has led the league in QB during the past two seasons. In his 2011 MVP campaign, Rodgers threw a franchise-record 45 touchdowns and just six interceptions.
Folks, there’s a reason the Packers signed Rodgers to the richest contract in the NFL’s history this past April.
Which finally brings me to my main point that Rodgers is the clear favorite to win the league’s MVP award this season. That’s not simply my opinion as the Vegas sharps have installed Rodgers as the preseason MVP favorite.
According to the online sportsbook Bovada, Rodgers and Peyton Manning are co-favorites each coming in at 13/2. Behind Rodgers and Manning, you’ll find Brees (10/1), Brady (10/1) and Colin Kaepernick (12/1). Adrian Peterson (15/1) is the only non-QB in the top 10.
It’s a quarterback’s award and Rodgers is in fantastic position to win it for the second time in three years. But, he’s hardly a lock to take home the hardware. Peyton Manning leads one of the league’s most potent offenses after the Broncos signed Wes Welker and drafted Montee Ball to go with an already impressive aerial attack.
Would anyone be surprised if Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck continued his ascension to claim the throne as the league’s top QB? I sure wouldn’t be.
Rodgers might be the favorite, but there’s certainly plenty of competition that he’ll need to ward off to reclaim the belt.
Fortunately, the Packers offense might actually be improved this season despite the loss of wide receiver Greg Jennings to the Vikings.
Green Bay drafted running backs Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin, which certainly takes the pressure off Rodgers in the passing game. Green Bay’s 106.4 rush yards per game ranked 20th in the NFL. The Packers’ revamped rushing attack just makes Rodgers more dangerous in the pocket.
There’s plenty of contenders, but the smart money is on Rodgers to take home the MVP award this season.
I wouldn’t bet against him.