Should Aaron Rodgers be the 2010 NFL MVP?

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers talks to the media during media day for Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, February 1, 2011. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Towards the end of the season, the NFL MVP race was seemingly down to two players: Tom Brady and Michael Vick. The Associated Press votes after the regular season and before the playoffs, so postseason play is not taken into account when determining the winner of this award.

But what really matters at the end of the day? Would you rather have your team go 14-2 and earn a #1-seed only lose at home in the Divisional round of the playoffs or make the playoffs as a spunky #6-seed and win three games on the road to earn a berth in the Super Bowl?

When the 2010 season is discussed, will this be the year of Tom Brady or Michael Vick? Or will it be the year of Aaron Rodgers?

Let’s take a look at each player’s year from a statistical point of view:

Clearly, Rodgers’ numbers are comparable with those of the other two quarterbacks in the MVP discussion. He didn’t have as many passing TDs as Brady, but counting his rushing scores he only accounted for five fewer TDs than Brady, and let’s remember he missed a game and a half due to a concussion that he suffered against the Lions. He also accounted for more total yards (by a wide margin) than either player.

More importantly, he helped guide the injury-depleted Packers to the playoffs despite losing both Jermichael Finley and Ryan Grant. And most importantly, he has averaged 263 yards and 2.0 TDs in three playoff road wins, resulting in a 109.2 QB rating in the postseason.

I’d be shocked if Tom Brady doesn’t win this award since it’s currently a regular season award. But it will have the same feel as Dirk Nowitzki’s 2007 MVP ceremony which came on the heels of his Mavericks being upset in the first round of the playoffs by Baron Davis and the Golden State Warriors.

Since the postseason is what matters the most, shouldn’t it be taken into account when deciding a season-defining award like the AP MVP? Sure, if the Packers go on to win the Super Bowl on Sunday, he’ll almost certainly win Super Bowl MVP, even if he has a mediocre game. But if voters knew that he could win the season-long MVP, they might be more inclined to give the Super Bowl MVP to a receiver or a defensive player who had a huge impact on the game, especially if Rodgers doesn’t have a terrific day.

This is not so much an indictment of Brady or Vick as it is an examination of how and when the MVP award is decided. If the Packers go on to win the Super Bowl, this will be the year of Aaron Rodgers. And if Rodgers plays well in a Packer loss, one could still argue that he was “The Man” this season. Shouldn’t our awards reflect that?

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