There has been a huge debate over the NFL MVP this season. You have the enigmatic Cam Newton, Carson Palmer on the still underrated Cardinals, the turnaround of Andy Dalton, and of course who many still believe to be the consensus MVP Tom Brady. We’re going to breakdown every candidate’s case this year and I will give my opinion at the end of it.
Cam Newton has taken a step forward this year and it is to be noted most definitely. This year the Carolina Panthers are 10-0, and look like they are ready for a deep playoff run this coming postseason. Cam Newton is the face of the franchise and is making waves throughout NFL fans and social media, but let’s take a step back and look at this from the outside and wipe away the hype and media driven biases.
Cam Newton’s game log for this year
@ JAX 58% Com 175 yards 71.3PRat 1 TD 1 INT 35 rushing yards
VS HOU 49% Com 195 yards 71.3PRat 2 TD 1 INT 76 rushing yards 1 rushing TD
VS NOR 65% Com 315 yards 119.7PRat 2 TD 0 INT 33 rushing yards 1 rushing TD
@ TAM 50% Com 124 yards 97.5PRat 2 TD 0 INT 51 rushing yards
@ SEA 56% Com 269 yards 65.6PRat 1 TD 2 INT 30 rushing yards 1 rushing TD
VS PHI 58% Com 197 yards 59.2PRat 1 TD 3 INT 20 rushing yards 1 rushing TD
VS IND 46% Com 248 yards 76.8PRat 2 TD 1 INT 41 rushing yards
VS GNB 50% Com 297 yards 104.4PRat 3 TD 1 INT 57 rushing yards 1 rushing TD
@ TEN 81% Com 217 yards 114.3PRat 1 TD 0 INT 23 rushing yards 1 rushing TD
VS WAS 62% Com 246 yards 123.3PRat 5 TD 0 INT 16 rushing yards
Cam Newton these past 3 weeks has made a huge leap in the debate as he did own those games, and against New Orleans shined but otherwise has been average at best. Against Indiana, Philadelphia, and Houston in particular were bad games that would be criticized harshly if the team was not able to pull out the win. Many see the 10-0 record but do not look at the individual enough. Cam Newton has had 4 games that he played outstanding in, 3 games that he was horrible in, and 3 games he was average at best. Many Cam supporters will point to his WRs being below par and that is without a doubt something that should be noted. There are not many teams who will win with Ted Ginn as their 2nd option, but the team has gotten through without a single scratch. How is that? What exactly is the reason for the team’s success?
This season Carolina is 2nd in the league in yards allowed per play, 6th in total yards, and tied for 5th in points allowed per game allowing only 19.1 per game. The defense has not allowed a score off a single Cam Newton turnover. They have arguably the defensive player of the year on their defense Josh Norman and Luke Keuchley who by most is considered the best inside linebacker in the league. Where does Cam rank amongst his competition? Cam is 26th in passing yards per game, Tied for 6th in passing TDs, 17th in passer rating, and 28th in completion. Many will call foul on the completion percentage and point to his receiver core and say it is all on them because of how much they drop the ball, yet Carolina is 7th in dropped passes and 5 of the 6 QBs for the teams with more dropped passes have higher completion percentages than Cam. Cam has been a leader on and off the field for his team and I commend him for his maturation into a true leader worthy of being the face of a franchise.
Brady is having a historic season that seems eerily similar to his 07 historic season and has many talking about the possibility of the Patriots making another run at the undefeated season. Many were worried about the departure of many key pieces in the secondary effecting this team’s chances, but Brady has not only pulled them through but has thoroughly dominated the competition. Many have claimed that this is his race to lose but let’s look at things a little deeper.
Tom Brady game log
VS PIT 78% Com 143.7PRat 288 yards 4 TD 0 INT
@ BUF 64% Com 105.6PRat 466 yards 3 TD 0 INT
VS JAX 79% Com 118.1PRat 358 yards 2 TD 0 INT
@ DAL 74% Com 130.9PRat 275 yards 2 TD 0 INT 1 rushing TD
@ IND 62% Com 104.8PRat 312 yards 3 TD 1 INT
VS NYJ 63% Com 94.3PRat 355 yards 2 TD 0 INT 15 rushing yards 1 rushing TD
VS MIA 68% Com 133.2PRat 356 yards 4TD 0 INT
VS WAS 67% Com 96.0PRat 299 yards 2 TD 1 INT
@ NYG 62% Com 92.8PRat 334 yards 2 TD 1INT
So far this year Brady has had tremendous games all year long having 8 terrific games and 2 average ones. He has not missed a beat all year long never even having a 1:1 TD:INT ratio in a single game. His team is putting up the most points per game in the league and he seems to be on a mission after the deflategate debacle that went on all off-season long. Brady this year ranks 1st in yards per game, 2nd in passing TDs, 1st in passer rating, and 5th in completion percentage. Tom Brady this year has 24 touchdowns to only 3 interceptions, being extremely efficient and having this offense firing on all cylinders. I did not even mention that one of the teams that had more drops than the Panthers was in fact the Patriots who of course have powered through that and Brady still has completed 68% of his throws.
Andy Dalton has completetly floored many of us playing at an elite level worthy of being called a top 5 quarterback in the NFL. It definetly is not where most of us saw him going at the beginning of the season. He has gotten a bad reputation for shrinking in the big moments, and while that may continue to be the case, the MVP is a regular season award that Andy Dalton has firmly put himself into the race for.
Andy Dalton’s game log
@ OAK 74% Com 115.9PRat 269 yard 2 TD 0 INT
VS SD 62% Com 126.1PRat 214 yards 3 TD 0 INT
@ BAL 63% Com 122.3PRat 283 yards 3 TD 1 INT 1 rushing TD
VS KC 71% Com 127.1PRat 321 yards 1 TD 0 INT
VS SEA 68% Com 95.9PRat 331 yards 2 TD 1 INT 1 rushing TD
@ BUF 67% Com 118.6PRat 243 yards 3 TD 0 INT
@ PIT 61% Com 64.7PRat 231 yards 1 TD 2 INT
VS CLE 78% Com 139.8PRat 234 yards 3 TD 0 INT
VS HOU 58% Com 61.0PRat 197 yards 0 TD 1 INT 31 rushing yards
@ ARI 56% Com 99.8PRat 315 yards 2 TD 0 INT 34 rushing yards
Andy Dalton looking at his games one by one you get a better look at how his overall season has gone. He has had 2 horrific games and has 1 average game and 7 terrific games that have been worthy of MVP canadicay. He got away with a bad game in Pittsburgh that became a defensive game and just got stomped by a less than stellar Houston team. Andy Dalton this year is ranked 8th in yards per game, 4th in passer rating, 6th in passing touchdowns, and 10th in completion percentage. While things can change it looks like Dalton will not reach double digits in interceptions and since coming into the league he has always had at least 13 a year, getting as high as 20 one year. Dalton has put up the tremendous individual performances and has his team high in the standings sitting with an 8-2 record which can be deemed worthy of being an MVP candiate. Long term it is hard for me to believe in the Bengals success and that has more to do with Marvin Lewis than anything else, because from what we have seen this year leads me to believe Dalton will be in the conversation for top 5 quarterback in the league for many years to come.
Carson struggled to stay on the field last year and the Cardinals limped into the playoffs after the strong start Carson gave them. Right now he has his team at an 8-2 record in prime position for the 2nd seed in the playoffs and the best offense in the NFL.
Carson’s game log
VS NOR 59% Com 122.8PRat 307 yards 3 TD 0 INT 14 rushing yards
@ CHI 71% Com 115.5PRat 185 yards 4 TD 1 INT
VS SF 63% Com 102.5PRat 311 yards 2 TD 1 INT
VS STL 63% Com 84.7PRat 352 yards 1 TD 1 INT
@ DET 79% 154.2PRat 161 yards 3 TD 0 INT
@ PIT 64% Com 83.7PRat 421 yards 1 TD 2 INT
VS BAL 69% Com 122.1PRat 275 yards 2 TD 0 INT
@ CLE 61% 117.7PRat 374 yards 4 TD 1 INT
@ SEA 60% 96.1PRat 363 yards 3 TD 1 INT
VS CIN 65% 111.2PRat 317 yards 4 TD 2 INT
Carson has not had a bad game all year long only 2 average games and the rest of his 8 games being astounding. Carson could be arguably having his greatest season ever this year and Arizona absolutely needed it. If you want to see the true impact Carson has on this team you only need to look at last year’s numbers compared to this year. Carson only played 6 games last year and last year’s team missing him 10 games ranked 24th in total offense, 14th in passing offense, 31st in rushing offense, and 24th in total points scored. This season so far with Carson actually able to play all 10 games the Cardinals rank 1st in total offense, 4th in passing offense, 10th in rushing offense, and 2nd in points per game. This year Palmer ranks 5th in passing yards per game, 1st in passing TDs, 2nd in passer rating, and 16th in completion percentage. Carson has this team in the driver’s seat to make some noise deep in the playoffs while being the spearhead of the most deadly offense in the league.
My MVP Rankings and Why They Are Where They Are.
4th Cam Newton
Cam Newton this year has been extremely valuable to a putrid offense but has been saved by top 3 defense this year. He is the only person out of any of these 4 players who has been able to have multiple bad games and get away with it because his team’s defense so far this year has always found a way to come out on top. I am a huge fan of Cam, but to ignore all of that is denying facts. He just has not been on the same level as the other guys here and has been able to get away with bad performances and still somehow be on everyone’s top 2 MVP list. So far this year Cam has 7 games throwing under 60%, 2 games completing less than 50%, 2 games with more INTs than TDs, and has only eclipsed 300 total yards once this year.
3rd Andy Dalton
Andy Dalton has completely floored me with his play this year and instead of being the turnover machine he has been his whole career somehow has changed into this efficient machine for his team. He had 2 awful games one of which he got away with due to the state of the Steelers at the time. While I do see a huge gap between him and Newton and the man I have above him, he does deserve 3rd place considerations by everyone.
2nd Carson Palmer
Carson not only has shown us how important he is to his team but is having arguably the best season of his career. Last year it was painful to the Cardinals play and this year it has become a blast. This team is winning games convincingly and Carson is the reason for it as we have seen all year long. Who would have thought 3 years ago that a 36 year old Carson Palmer had a chance at being in an MVP race much less 2nd? If the man above him can falter even a little bit Carson has a chance at winning it.
1st Tom Brady
Brady has just been on another level this year and it looks like there is nobody who will stop him from reaching the Super Bowl again. He’s putting up historic numbers, playing extremely efficient, and doing this while having a patchwork offensive line. Even though there has to be a 2nd place I do not have any doubt that if the season ended today Brady would receive 100% of the first place votes.
Feel free to sound off in the comments of your own opinions.