Arians: ‘Travesty’ if Brady does not win the MVP award

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TAMPA, Fla. – On the heels of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady’s three-touchdown performance in a 41-17 victory over the Carolina Panthers, which ended in “MVP!” Fans of both teams had been eagerly awaiting this Raymond James Stadium derby and were doing their best to outshout their opponents.

“I think if he does not get it, it’s a parody,” Arians said Monday as his team began preparations to host the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Wildcard round this weekend. “Most finishes ever, 5,000 yards, touchdowns – a full nine yards. For me, it’s not even a close run.”

Brady finished the regular season in 2021 with 719 passing attempts, 485 completions, 5,316 passing yards and 43 touchdown passes – all tops in the league – making him just the third quarterback along with Drew Brees (2018) and Peyton Manning (2013) to lead the league. league in all four major statistical categories since 1991.

Brady’s 485 completions set an NFL record for a single season, surpassing Brees’ 471 completions in 2016. Brady joined Brees as the only two players in NFL history with several 5,000-yard passing seasons.

Brady also broke Brees’ record for most passing yards in his career in his Week 4 return victory over the New England Patriots. He then broke Brees’ career-ending record while throwing his 700th touchdown pass in a 33-27 overtime victory against the Buffalo Bills.

“It just shows what his work ethic is, how dedicated he is to the game of football, and how talented he is,” tight-end Rob Gronkowski said of Brady’s record. “Just his determination week in and week out – it’s just incredible. And it’s just surreal how he copes with it at the age of 44 and just comes out here like he’s still in his 20s, just wings the ball, lightens it where it needs to be, and makes great throws week in and week out. “

Brady’s 5,316 passing yards this year were the third most in NFL history behind Manning (5,477 in 2013) and Brees (5,476), breaking his own personal record of 5,235 passing yards in 2011. Even without counting the NFL’s 17th game this year – and Brady left his match in Week 18 with 6:39 left in the fourth quarter – Brady’s 4,990 passing yards in his first 16 games would have put him as number 14 through all-time in single-season passing records.

Brady has been named the league’s MVP three times in his career: 2007, 2010 and most recently in 2017. He was also named NFL Offensive Player of the Year twice, in 2007 and 2010. In the offseason, he has been named the Super Bowl MVP. prizes five times: Super Bowl XXXVI, XXXVIII, XLIX, LI and LV.

“Tom is MVP every year,” Gronkowski said. “Just the way he adapts on the go to his staff, just trying to get the ball in the hands of the best players or the best matchup on the current game – he’s just always ready to go, no matter what the situation is. He’s an MVP. annual. “

He faces his toughest competition from Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has also won the award three times in his career – in 2011, 2014 and 2020 – and was named the Super Bowl XLV MVP. The MVP award is chosen by a group of 50 authors prior to the post-season. Rodgers was a -400 favorite at Caesars Sportsbook when he participated in the NFL’s Week 18 games, while Brady was +550.

Rodgers played one game less than Brady because he tested positive for COVID-19, but Brady’s 312.71 passing yards per game still tops Rodgers’ 257.19 passing yards per game. Brady also had an average of 2.53 passes per game. match compared to Rodgers’ 2.31.

However, Rodgers had a staggering 9.25 touchdown-to-interception ratio – the seventh best in the league in a single season over the last 20 years – compared to Brady’s 2.53. Rodgers also had a completion rate of 68.9% compared to Brady’s 67.2%, and his Total QBR 68.7 compared positively to Brady’s 68.5.

While Brady led the Bucs to a 13-4 record – the same as Rodgers ‘Packers – and the No. 2 seed in the NFC, the Packers got the No. 1 seed because their 9-3 conference record beat the Bucs’ 8-4 conference record. The Packers have also been in the driver’s seat for most of the season, which could help Rodgers’ case the most – though one voter, Hub Arkush, who called Rodgers “the biggest idiot in the league” and cited off-field issues as to why he would not vote for him . Rodgers was investigated when it was revealed that he was not vaccinated despite telling reporters that he was “immunized”.

The two quarterbacks may end up meeting in Green Bay for the NFC Championship Game, as some have predicted, which would be a rematch of last year’s conference title game. ESPN Analytics currently gives the Packers a 68.1% chance of reaching the conference championship, with the Bucs just behind them with a 52.3% chance. That gives the Packers a 37.5% chance of reaching the Super Bowl and the Bucs a 29.8% chance.

But the Bucs need to get healthy first. Arians said Monday that runback Leonard Fournette and outside linebackers Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul should return this week.

“Leonard looks good. He’s worked well. He should be back,” Arians said. “Shaq and JPP should both be back. Lavonte [David] – he wants to be the one closest, but he’s starting to move pretty well, so we’ll wait and see. I’m still waiting to hear about [cornerback] Jamel Dean. It’s the one that made me worried about this ballpark. But the guys who are on IR who have been out, I expect everyone to be back. Maybe Lavonte could not. “

Fournette suffered a sprain in the hind thigh in week 15 and was put on IR. Barrett sprained an ACL and an MCL in week 16 and was placed on the reserve / COVID-19 list Friday. Pierre-Paul has not played since week 15 due to a torn rotator cuff. David, who is on injured reserve, got a sprained foot in week 15.

Cyril Grayson, who stepped in for Antonio Brown and captured the winning touchdown against the New York Jets in Week 17, left Sunday’s game against the Panthers with a hamstring injury and did not return. Arians said of Grayson: “It’s not quite as bad as you thought, but his availability this week will be in doubt.”

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