After Peyton Manning’s Broncos lost on Thursday, it meant that the Patriots took over as the team positioned to get the #1 seed. It also meant that we have Manning and Brady encapsulated in an argument again. Manning puts up the stats, Brady wins the titles (ignores 2006 and every year since). Pro Football Talk put forward on Friday that Brady could “steal” the MVP award from Peyton Manning, who will likely break the passing touchdown record, more than doubling Brady in that category.
I’ll just leave this here. This is a list of the quarterbacks who have won the Associated Press MVP Award, with their ranking by passer rating, and the Rate+ score. Rate+ simply takes the passer rating and compares it to the rest of the league. 100 is average and every 15 points increase means a standard deviation above the league average.
I’ve bolded those where the winner was outside the top 3 in passer rating. Entering today, Tom Brady has a passer rating of 88.3, good enough for 13th. John Elway was 10th in passer rating in the strike-shortened 1987 season.
If Brady were to actually do what Pro Football Talk suggests, as of right now, he would have by far the lowest relative passer rating (his Rate+ score is 103) and by far the largest differential in passer rating between the award winner and the leader in passer rating (Nick Foles, with Manning 2nd).
A few years ago, I pooh-poohed everyone who was trying to manufacture another MVP besides Aaron Rodgers. I would similarly dismiss this one based on how the award has been determined in the past, but it is Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Let the debate begin.