Tom Brady has been the best player in the NFL for a very long time. But he’s 41 this season. Who will be the best player in 2018?
That’s our poll question this week – who will be the NFL MVP this season? We offer our Talk of Fame Network listeners and readers eight candidates, including Brady. There are five other quarterbacks, a running back and a pass rusher on the ballot. Here are your options:
Tom Brady, QB, New England. Three-time NFL MVP (2007, 2010, 2017). A five-time Super Bowl champion, four-time Super Bowl MVP and a 13-time Pro Bowler. Also a member of the NFL’s 2000 all-decade team. Brady has quarterbacked the Patriots to seven consecutive AFC title games. He also has passed New England to eight Super Bowls. He ranks fourth all-time in passing yards and third in touchdowns.
Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans. 2010 Super Bowl MVP. An 11-time Pro Bowler, Brees needs only 1,496 yards to leap frog both Brett Favre and Peyton Manning this season and become the NFL’s all-time passing yards leader. There have been nine 5,000-yard passing seasons in NFL history and Bees has five of them. No one else has more than one. Brees is 39 this season.
Todd Gurley, HB, LA Rams. 2017 NFC rushing champion. Gurley led the NFL in total yards and touchdowns last season for the NFC West champion Rams. He rushed for 1,305 yards and 13 touchdowns and 64 passes for 788 yards and six more scores. The last running back to win NFL MVP honors was Adrian Peterson in 2012 when he rushed for 2,096 yards. That’s what it takes for an RB to get into the MVP discussion – a 2,000-yard season.
Philip Rivers, QB, LA Chargers. Rivers has passed for 4,000 yards for five consecutive seasons and nine times in the last 10 years. He led the NFL in TD passes with 34 in 2008 on the way to his only NFL passing title. He led the NFL with his 4,710 passing yards in 2010 and also led with his 69.5 completion percentage in 2013. Rivers has been voted to seven Pro Bowls and he’s been named to the Chargers’ 50th anniversary team. He’s 36 this season.
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay. 2011 NFL MVP. Rodgers quarterbacked Green Bay to eight consecutive playoff berths, including five NFC North titles, before an injury last season knocked Rodgers out of the lineup and the Packers out of the post-season. Rodgers missed nine games with a fractured right collarbone and Green Bay limped home with a 7-9 record. When Rodgers is on the field, he’s as good as there is. He’s a six-time Pro Bowler and a two-time NFL passing champion. He’s 34 this season.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh. Roethlisberger has quarterbacked the Steelers to two Super Bowl titles and has the offensive pieces around him to collect a third ring with Pro Bowl WR Antonio Brown and Pro Bowl HB Le’Veon Bell. He’s been a starting NFL quarterback for 14 seasons and has been to six Pro Bowls. His best season was 2014 when he threw 32 TD passes and led the NFL with his 4,952 passing yards. He’s 36 this season.
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta. 2016 NFL MVP. Ryan was spectacular in 2016 when he took the Falcons to the Super Bowl. He passed for 4,944 yards and 38 touchdowns with only seven interceptions. But he tailed off in 2017, passing for 4,095 yards with 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. So the Falcons drafted another elite receiver, Calvin Ridley of Alabama, to give Ryan a third go-to guy on his flank along with Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu. Ryan is 33 this season.
J.J. Watt, DE, Houston. Three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2012, 2014, 2015). Injuries have limited Watt to eight games and 1 ½ sacks over the last two seasons. But no player, on offense or defense, was as dominant at his position as Watt during that four-year stretch from 2012-15. He went to four Pro Bowls and won three NFL sack titles, including a pair of 20 ½ sack seasons in 2012 and 2014. He amassed 69 sacks during those our seasons. Now he’s back, he’s healthy and he’s only 29.