We figured it was ‘Matt Ryan vs Tom Brady’ for MVP and then suddenly Aaron Rodgers leaps into the discussion.
Much like the Falcons as a playoff contender, Matt Ryan isn’t receiving the respect he deserves in the MVP race. He’s led the Falcons to the NFC’s 2nd best record and posted numbers we haven’t seen since the Kurt Warner-led Rams. None of it apparently matters because Aaron Rodgers beat the Lions in the final game of the NFL regular season.
An incredible first half against the Saints should’ve been more than enough to cement Ryan as the favorite. Suddenly the lazy and generic arguments for Aaron Rodgers in the MVP debate arrive. Many so-called “experts” are subjectively choosing the Green Bay quarterback over Ryan instead of looking at the facts.
The facts are Matt Ryan owns Aaron Rodgers in completion percentage, passing yards, passer rating, and total quarterback rating. The Atlanta Falcons own the NFL’s top-rated offense and sit a couple rungs ahead of Green Bay on the playoff ladder. None of this is possible without Matt Ryan under center.
No quarterback in the NFL has been more consistent than Matt Ryan over 16 games this season. Tom Brady has an argument, but he’s played four less games. The Patriots were 3-1 without Brady during that span. Aaron Rodgers has looked great over a 7-game stretch, but it’s evident many forget his weak performances in the first quarter of the season. Rodgers didn’t achieve his first 300-yard performance until the Packers’ sixth game.
I’ve said before that Tom Brady wins the MVP if voters really, really want to stick it to Roger Goodell. It’s a scenario I now don’t see as likely as Aaron Rodgers winning the MVP because…he’s Aaron Rodgers. I have tremendous respect for what Rodgers does on Sundays, but his support for the award Is mostly name-brand recognition.
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My theory on Ryan’s lack of support is simple, NFL beat writers and “experts” just don’t want to admit they were wrong. Find me a beat writer who doesn’t think Matt Ryan is the MVP and I’ll show you were they bashed him prior the start of the season. That or they’re from Wisconsin, as is the case with Ian Kenyon of Bleacher Report.
Scour social media and there’s dozens of posts that suggest Matt Ryan should be the MVP, but Aaron Rodgers will win. What does this say about the legitimacy of the award and voting?
In many ways, the NFL remains a “good ol’ boys” club. Things change dramatically if Matt Ryan leads the Falcons to a Super Bowl victory this season. Only then will the narrative on Ryan change. Perhaps then he can start edging out Aaron Rodgers is some NFL popularity contests.