Sunday, January 23, 2022

Buccaneers’ Bruce Arians weighs in on his NFL MVP choice: ‘It’s not even a close race’

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Tom Brady had one of the greatest seasons for a quarterback in NFL history. Not bad for a 44-year old coming off his seventh Super Bowl title.

Brady finished his 2021 season completing 67.5% of his passes for 5,316 yards with 43 touchdowns and 12 interceptions (102.1 passer rating). The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback was the first player since Peyton Manning in 2013 — and just the third player since 1991 (Drew Brees is the other, in 2008) — to lead the league in completions (485), attempts (719), passing yards (5,316), and passing touchdowns (43).

Even though Aaron Rodgers put up incredible numbers for the Green Bay Packers, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians already has his MVP vote. He’s going with his quarterback. 

“I think if he doesn’t get it, it’s a travesty,” Arians said. “I mean most completions ever, 5,000 yards, [43] touchdowns, the whole nine yards. To me, it’s not even a close race.”

Brady is one of just five players in NFL history to record 5,000 yards, 40 touchdowns and a passer rating above 100 in NFL history — joining Dan Marino (1984), Drew Brees (2011), Peyton Manning (2013), and Patrick Mahomes (2018). Three of the four players won MVP in that season (Brees is the only one that didn’t claim the MVP honor). Brady and Brees are the only two players with multiple 5,000-yard seasons in NFL history. 

Rodgers has a very strong case to win the MVP award for the second consecutive season. He finished his 2021 season completing 68.9% of his passes for 4,115 yards wit 37 touchdowns and four interceptions for a 111.9 passer rating — becoming the fourth quarterback since 1970 to lead the league in the category in at least four different seasons (joining Steve Young, Ken Anderson, and Roger Staubach). He led the league in touchdown percentage (7.0) and interception percentage (0.8). 

Both Brady and Rodgers each have their MVP case in what should be one of the tightest races for the NFL’s top honor in recent years — contrary to what Arians says. 

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