January 02, 2012
Halfway through the season, believing that anyone other than Aaron Rodgers would win the MVP stretched the limits of credibility. Drew Brees threw ten of his 14 interceptions in the first half of the season, and through eight weeks, the Saints were only a 5-3 team. He wasn't really a factor.
Then Brees went bananas, throwing for 27 TDs and four interceptions over his last eight games, and throwing for more than 300 yards in each of his last seven.
[ Related: The MVP case for Aaron Rodgers ]
Brees destroyed Dan Marino's single-season passing yards record. He also broke NFL records for completions in a season and completion percentage in a season. These things make it easy to argue that Drew Brees' 2011-2012 regular season was the best season that a quarterback has ever had. And if it's the best season any quarterback has ever had, surely it merits this season's MVP award.
The points to be made in arguing for Brees over Rodgers:
• Brees had significantly more passing yardage than Rodgers: 833 yards on the season.
• Brees also had more completions, more attempts, threw for more first downs, and had more completions for 20 yards or more.
• Completion percentages: Brees, 71.2 percent; Rodgers, 68.3%.
• You could argue that Rodgers is blessed with a better supporting cast. His team had the better record, after all, and the Packers have the best wide receivers in the league. Brees has pretty good weapons, too, but if you wanted to, there's a supporting cast argument to be made.
• Along those same lines, the argument emerged yesterday that since Matt Flynn was able to be so successful for the Packers, Aaron Rodgers must be a "system quarterback", racking up huge numbers only because of the offensive scheme and players around him. You could make this argument, too, if you're into making really, really silly arguments.
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