TAMPA, Fla. — The season is over but it will still be a few weeks before we hear who wins the NFL's regular season MVP award, a.k.a, best regular season quarterback award.
At this point, we know it's between two players: Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.
The two veteran QBs have three MVP awards each in their careers as both look for No. 4.
Aaron Rodgers is the reigning NFL MVP. He would be the first back-to-back AP MVP award winner since Peyton Manning in 2008 and 2009.
Oddssmakers are certainly giving Rodgers the major, major edge. Over at BetOnline.ag, Rodgers is -650 to win the award, while Brady is second in odds at +350.
Yarcho said on the Locked On Bucs podcast that some stats in favor of Brady include that he had more yards, more completions and more touchdowns, as well as a higher drop rate from receivers.
"But, on the Rodgers side, more wins against playoff teams, he has a better passing percentage, he has fewer interceptions, he has fewer turnover worthy plays and he has more yards per average," Yarcho said.
While Closky believes the most valuable player in the league this year is actually Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp, he knows he won't get voted MVP. So between Rodgers and Brady, he said he doesn't understand why the odds are so slanted.
"I don't know why Rodgers is such the runaway favorite," Closky said. "Brady was the leader in the clubhouse for MVP until the Saints game, which was nothing short of a disaster...Brady lost Godwin and Evans in that game, did not have Antonio Brown, lost Leonard Fournette."
"I don't know where I stand," Closky continued. "It just depends where you put the most emphasis. Bruce Arians and this system is made to put up a lot more yards. People said Brady padded stats. There was no padding stats...Go through all the games and why you think he was padding stats is because the Bucs defense was injured for a large portion of the season and that made for a very uneasy feeling for the offense, which was able to carry the load for this team."
While Closky said he hopes voters won't make it personal in voting against Rodgers, as one voter already made clear, he said they could favor Brady for personal reasons as well, which could affect voting.
"They might want to reward Brady for being 44 and give him the lifetime achievement award, like hey, this is the last time you're ever going to be in the MVP race," Closky said.
Meanwhile on the Locked On Packers podcast, host Peter Bukowski has been affirming that he believes Aaron Rodgers is the the MVP. However, on Thursday's show, Bukowski and guest Jason Hirschhorn, of SB Nation and PFWA member, also talked about potential non-football reasons Rodgers could get snubbed.
But, Hirschhorn believes the fact that Rodgers is back as a frontrunner despite the fact he won last year says a lot.
“I think it’s fair to say that this season has not been as good for Aaron Rodgers as it was in 2020 or 2011, his first MVP season," Hirschhorn said on the Locked On Packers podcast. "I think this says a lot about the field. Because we know voters, and they don’t like repeat winners of the MVP award, they usually like to go in different directions. The fact that Rodgers is back in serious consideration, if not the literal front runner, says that nobody else who could be in consideration for this award could make a compelling argument.”
“We know that over the years, we are held to previous standards," Bukowski said on the Locked On Packers podcast. "So even if you had an awesome season, if you had a season where you were incredible the season before, usually voters are not interested in voting for you. By no measure is Aaron Rodgers as good in 2021 as he was in 2020 and yet he’s the frontrunner to win this award.”
Between Brady's age and the Rodgers back-to-back notion, it does seem this could be a tighter race than current odds imply.
The NFL MVP winner won't be announced until Feb. 12.