Thursday, December 9, 2010
On the Brady-Vick MVP Debate
Awards based on performance should not be based on emotion, so I'm going to throw that aspect out, and dissect the two from an on-the-field perspective. Let's start with the numbers, shall we?
Michael Vick, on the other hand, got his seven-game streak without a pick out of the way to start the season. He has a 6-2 record as a starter (he came on as a back-up in the loss to Green Bay), has a passer rating of 105.7, just under four points behind Brady (not exactly a comfortable margin, as Sando would have one believe). His 15 touchdowns and two interceptions hold up to Brady's ratio. He has had the help of explosive weapons in Desean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Lesean McCoy, a talented but inconsistent Brent Celek, but he has had to deal with an injury-plagued offensive line with only one Pro Bowler, Jason Peters.
Both are dominant quarterbacks who control games and force defensive coordinators to shape their plans around their styles. It is next to impossible to limit Brady's throwing options and stop his impeccably accurate throws. On the other side, Vick has mastered the deep ball this year, adding another weapon to his arsenal of speed and vicious arm strength.
The simillarities end there, however. Brady is, ultimately, a single-threat quarterback. Of all the ways that he has shredded defenses this year, his feet is not one of them.
And now we come to the statistic that, oddly enough, is conveniently ignored by every single pro-Brady argument. Brady doesn't necessarily need to run, as his offensive line is one of the best in the country, but his 28 carries for 17 yards is fourth-worst among starting quarterbacks, leading only Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees.
On the other hand, if I asked you to name the leading rushing quarterback and gave you one guess, most of you would come up with Michael Vick. His 467 yards on the ground are without a doubt comfortably the best--Josh Freeman's 291 is the next-highest total--and this is from a Vick that has taken more to passing, looking for the throw before taking off. His offensive line has been average at best, leading to 23 sacks and countless hits, but has forced him to take his electric playmaking up the field at a staggering 6.3 yards per carry (compare to Jamaal Charles' 6.2).
In short, Vick has shown the playmaking ability of a running back and now as a quarterback, making him valuable as two players, as opposed to the one offered by Brady.
Speaking of which, the debate here is over who gets named the "most valuable player," not the "most best player"--and not just for grammatical reasons. A player has to have the most significant value to their team and make a significant impact. There is no doubt that Brady is invaluable to the Patriots, but he has had an absurdly talented supporting cast.
People write this off as freak coincidence, as players all having abnormally good seasons at the same time. This is partially true, but we're not talking about players who have underachieved and languished for years, with the possible exceptions of Danny Woodhead and Deion Branch. As mentioned earlier, Hernandez and Gronkowski are rookies, Tate is a gifted special teams player who holds the record for NCAA return yardage, and Green-Ellis is in his first year atop the depth chart . As for the veterans, Randy Moss is considered by some as the greatest receiver of his generation, and Wes Welker is regarded as the best slot receiver in the league.