NFL MVP race: Vick, Brady even (Ryan, White close behind)

Michael Vick passed and ran for four touchdowns against the Giants.

Michael Vick had four touchdowns against Giants.

Matt Ryan is close to setting an NFL record for wins in three seasons.

Matt Ryan is close to setting an NFL win record.

There are two games left in the NFL’s regular season. Other than finalizing the playoff field, the greatest debate seems to be: Who is the season’s MVP?

The way I see it, it’s a four-player race that’s still up for grabs. But right now, Tom Brady and Michael Vick are at the top, and I’ve got them even. The other two candidates: Matt Ryan and Roddy White of the Falcons.

I welcome your opinion. Also got a poll up.

Who's your pick for NFL MVP?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Just one thing: I was on Twitter last night and the rapper @BowWow turned moron when he Tweeted, “If @MikeVick dont get MVP the nfl and commisioner[sic] are [bleeping] racist. Who u kno can go to jail come out turn a franchise around and dominate.”

I will say this once: PLEASE let’s have a civil debate without getting into a race debate. I will grant you that a lot of folks probably hold a grudge against Vick for his past, but let’s remember that at one time he brought this city together like maybe no athlete ever has, and it wasn’t about race then. If, say, Brady wins the MVP, it’s not because the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell are racist. Sorry, Bowwow.

OK, here are my four candidates, listed in order of preference, going into the last two weeks:

1.) TOM BRADY. New England (12-2) is tied with the Falcons for the best record in the NFL. The biggest reason is Brady. He hasn’t thrown an interception since the Patriots’ fifth game against Baltimore. That’s nine straight games (283 attempts) without a pick. He’s tied for the league lead in touchdowns (31), has the fewest interceptions (four) and the highest quarterback rating (109.9).  There’s also this: He and the Patriots’ offense got better after they dumped Randy Moss. Brady made Deion Branch relevant again.

1a.) MICHAEL VICK. The New York Giants’ meltdown against Philadelphia Sunday notwithstanding, is there any quarterback in the league other than Vick who could’ve orchestrated that comeback? I don’t think so. He exuded leadership and was the ultimate weapon, throwing for 242 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for 130 and another score. Vick’s turnovers have picked up as he’s gotten more beat up as the season’s gone on. But if he can finish with two strong games against Minnesota and Dallas, he is MVP worthy. The biggest reason not to vote for Vick is he sat out three games and was knocked out early in another. But his body of work compensates for that.

3.) MATT RYAN. I’ve gone back and forth between Ryan and White as to who’s been more valuable this season. Right now, it’s a split vote. Ryan is closing in on an amazing achievement: He is 32-13 as a starter and with wins in the final two games can break Dan Marino’s record for most wins (33) in his first three seasons. But let’s focus on this year. Ryan’s been at his best when the game is on the line, leading several fourth-quarter comebacks. That defines a winner (and the Falcons have won eight straight and more than any team except the Patriots). Despite four interceptions in his last three games, Ryan is on the way to the best touchdown-interception ratio of his career (currently 25 to 9).

3a.) RODDY WHITE. There’s a tendency to lean toward the quarterback when picking an MVP. But White has had the best season of his career and he has made the Falcons a better offense and Ryan a better quarterback with his ability to make plays. White leads the NFL in receptions (106) and receiving yards (1,284), averaging nearly 92 yards per game. He was the reason the Falcons beat Baltimore (12 catches, 138 yards, two touchdowns) and Cincinnati (11, 201, 2). Some wondered if White was worth elite-level money when he got his last contract, but he has proven that he is. Without him, this Falcons’ offense becomes ordinary.

That’s my opinion. I welcome yours.

593 comments Add your comment

PMC

December 21st, 2010
11:38 am

No Matt Cassell?

Where would that team be without him?

Katherine

December 21st, 2010
11:39 am

cadilac

December 21st, 2010
11:40 am

Katherine

December 21st, 2010
11:41 am

I think it’s too hard to say who is the mvp until the last two games of the season are played.

PMC

December 21st, 2010
11:44 am

Vick for certain is the peoples choice. Brady has been in the discussion so often. People like new blood and they like redemption stories.

Vick is a completely different person on and off the field. It’s not that his skills are dramatically different (he still makes big plays with his arm and his legs, but he fits perfectly, he is charasmatically leading the team and he’s kind of the “grown up” now if that makes sense to the youthful exuberance of Jackson and Maclin and McCoy.

You need moments of greatness to win the MVP and Vick is always a guy who gives you moments.

Katherine

December 21st, 2010
11:47 am

Matt Ryan has had many moments of greatness this season as well.

PMC

December 21st, 2010
11:50 am

While I certainly love Ryan and Roddy, it’s an uphill climb for a receiver to begin with no matter what they do.

Ryan doesn’t have the stats or the media coverage to win over other canidates.

The way the Falcons team operates, until they win several playoff games or win over time like the Patriots, they aren’t going to be hyped. Now…as soon as they do all the “experts” who are really just people who watch football and make comments like the rest of us… will be all over them.

The Falcons couldn’t win without Ryan and White…. but that’s not what the MVP is really about.

It’s about hype and stats and all the things “experts” say they don’t care about.

Otherwise Polamalu would have won one already.

....

December 21st, 2010
11:52 am

Not a Falcon fan at all but its hard to vote against Ryan or in my mind Manning.
New England showed that they can win without Brady. I think its system there.
Vick is the sexy pick, but would the Eagles be that much worse off if Kolb was leading the team?
You take Ryan off the Falcons or Manning off the Colts the teams would be a shell of themselves

Nickz

December 21st, 2010
11:52 am

Everyone expected the Patriots and Brady to be good, but did anyone have the Falcons and Matt Ryan as the best in the NFC and probably the league? Yes, everyone expected the Falcons to be good, but not this good. Maybe Matty Ice deserves a little more MVP consideration…I’ll take seven 4th Quarter comebacks over a better TD to INT ratio any day…

tbake70

December 21st, 2010
11:54 am

Seems to me that if you’re considering White, you’d also have to consider Gonzalez. The presence of Gonzalez opens up so much for the passing game. Even if Gonzalez’s numbers don’t match up with White (and there’s no reason to expect them to, TE vs. WR), take Gonzalez out of the equation and White isn’t having anything close to the same season.

Hey, White has had a great year and is easily the best Falcons receiver in a long while. But I just can’t make a serious argument for him as MVP.

MV7 for MVP

December 21st, 2010
11:54 am

Mike Vick is the MVP hands down

Katherine

December 21st, 2010
11:55 am

Mike Vick is more a candidate for the comeback player of the year in my opinion.

FALCONS SORRY

December 21st, 2010
11:56 am

I AM SORRY I EVER DOUBTED THE FALCONS I CAN’T WAIT TO WATCH THEM IN THE SUPER BOWEL AGAINST THE PATRIOTS OF NEW ENGLAND ROLL FACLONS RISE UP AND SHUT UP THE NAYSAYERS

MV7 for MVP

December 21st, 2010
11:57 am

Katherine

December 21st, 2010
11:47 am
Matt Ryan has had many moments of greatness this season as well.

Yea throwing interceptions at key moments is greatness, the falcons would be nowhere without roddy white who caused the fumble against 49ers and the catch against the ravens

MV7 for MVP

December 21st, 2010
11:58 am

Katherine

December 21st, 2010
11:55 am
Mike Vick is more a candidate for the comeback player of the year in my opinion.

Vick is the Most Valuable player in the NFL

mike vick

December 21st, 2010
12:00 pm

Isn’t it amazing someone called BowWow likes me

how2fish

December 21st, 2010
12:01 pm

I think Brady is ahead simply on number of games played at this point I think MV is ahead with the popular vote….however I think it will go to the QB that goes farthest in the playoff’s honestly I think Matt Ryan’s only chance is to win the Super Bowl. Sorry while Roddy is having a great year with the 3 QB’s playing as they are its going to one of them …

MLH

December 21st, 2010
12:04 pm

Hey MV7

Who led the team down the field against the Ravens and threw Roddy White the ball he caught for the win?

Gilley

December 21st, 2010
12:05 pm

Although I am a huge Mike Vick fan, and I even voted for him in the poll (lol) truth be told, Tom Brady has a slight edge on Vick. 12-2 vs. 8-2 (7-1) in games he started & finished. 31 TD Pass vs. 20 (8 rush TD) 109 vs. 103 For Vick to have been hurt he is still around in stats but Brady has the edge. However I agree that Vick is the people’s choice!!!

Erik the BIRDS

December 21st, 2010
12:05 pm

VICK!! But I still love my BIRDS! Go Birds!!

MV7 for MVP

December 21st, 2010
12:06 pm

MLH

December 21st, 2010
12:04 pm
Hey MV7

Who led the team down the field against the Ravens and threw Roddy White the ball he caught for the win?

Who cause the fumble after someone threw a pick, without white the falcons have no other wideout playmakers and then TG won’t be so open

YANKEEGATOR

December 21st, 2010
12:07 pm

Without a doubt it’s Vick to do what he has done after coming out of prison and going to a new team he’s my choice. Brady second he knows the sys like the back of his hands and Matt Cassell showed it’s the system by winning 11 games win he started. I would put Rivers then Matt Ryan 3rd.

DawginLex

December 21st, 2010
12:08 pm

MV7,

You love Vick we know that. But to downgrade Ryan “just because” makes you look like a Vick homer idiot.

MLH

December 21st, 2010
12:09 pm

MV7

Who led the team to the win against the Packers? How about the Saints? Who made the unbelievable throw on 3 and 20 against Tampa? I could go on an on.

Supes

December 21st, 2010
12:09 pm

Is this even a debate?

TOM BRADY! Case closed…and it’s shameful to see all the Vick jock sniffers on here talking smack…and the fact that he’s leading in this AJC poll is astounding.

All I ask you to do is look at the teams that Brady and the Pats have beaten in the AFC in the last 6 weeks. Look at Brady’s numbers…and then look who he is throwing to? Deion Brach (Settle outcast)…Wes Welker…Danny Woodhead…2 rookie TE? Brandon Tate? Are you serious? You switch out the skill players on the Eagles and the Pats and I’d like to see Vick do the same with Brady’s players…who has the better skill players? is it even close?

Give me Jackson, Maclin and McCoy any day.

So again…Tom Brady winning with inferior skill players around him and against tougher competition.

Tom Brady is your MVP.

Give Vick comeback player of the year.

Stop being vick jock sniffers!!!

wesleywhatwhat

December 21st, 2010
12:10 pm

vote for vick the mvp over brady? nah.

vick’s a nice story but stats aren’t in same league:

vick has 20 TDs/5 INTs to brady’s 31 TDs/4 INTs.

anything who thinks vick is mvp is voting with something other than their head.

vick will be a great comeback player of the year, though.

Tron5000

December 21st, 2010
12:10 pm

Roddy goes off for 300+, 4 TDs in final 2 games, locks up MVP. I’m calling it.

Larry

December 21st, 2010
12:10 pm

Vick is a Murderer,

No, they wouldn’t, and this is why too many in the ‘black” community as a whole lack standards and integrity, as they have proven over and over–like the acquittal of an obviously guilty OJ Simpson, the re-election of political candidates, like Marion Berry, that are obviously criminal, and even condoning Vick’s activities, all in the single interest of “helping a brother!”

Personally, I am proud of what Vick has done to turn his life around. I’m glad we now have Ryan, but I am equally glad Vick has apparently turned his life around and, if genuine, he can be a testament to all that one can have it all, deservedly lose it, and then change for the better to get it back. It is, however, the degenerate blacks like those at the “town hall meeting” and those who are Falcon fans than wear Vick jerseys to the Georgia Dome and cheer for him over their own team that I am more appalled. They are simply cheering for Vick because, in their small minds, he is a black QB succeeding in a “white man’s world” and they would pull for him for this reason alone even if he was an ax murderer–simply because his is black!

....

December 21st, 2010
12:11 pm

Vick is a murderer….nice handle. To answer your question, if Vick were white he never would have been second guessed as a QB here. There was always a level of “he is not my QB…he doesn’t have the brains, he can’t throw, etc. I always go back to 680 the Fan have a segment for Matt. How may other cities had a radio show for a back up.
So you say if he wasn’t black he would not be getting the love.
I say if he wasn’t black he would have gotten more respect

MV7 for MVP

December 21st, 2010
12:11 pm

DawginLex

December 21st, 2010
12:08 pm
MV7,

You love Vick we know that. But to downgrade Ryan “just because” makes you look like a Vick homer idiot.

To be honest no one in the media is even talking about white and ryan for MVP, this debate is between Vick and Brady

MV7 for MVP

December 21st, 2010
12:12 pm

MLH

December 21st, 2010
12:09 pm
MV7

Who led the team to the win against the Packers? How about the Saints? Who made the unbelievable throw on 3 and 20 against Tampa? I could go on an on.

Who Cares, this is between Vick and Brady

DawginLex

December 21st, 2010
12:12 pm

MV7,

That’s not my point.

you blast everything Ryan does and give him no credit.

THAT is what makes you look like a Vick homer idiot.

bow wow

December 21st, 2010
12:12 pm

bow wow? really?

bow wow might think mike vick is amazing but i suspect mike vick thinks of bow wow as a piece of meat to be killed when he loses a fight.

truth be told

December 21st, 2010
12:14 pm

black people will vote for vick for mvp.

white people will vote for the best qb for mvp.

C. Tampa Ironworse

December 21st, 2010
12:14 pm

JS…GREAT stat about Ryan breaking Marino’s record. I haven’t heard that ANYWHERE else. If it was Jets’ Sanchez (or a team like Dallas, etc) we’d get killed with that info. Well done, my man.

MV7 for MVP

December 21st, 2010
12:15 pm

DawginLex

December 21st, 2010
12:12 pm
MV7,

That’s not my point.

you blast everything Ryan does and give him no credit.

THAT is what makes you look like a Vick homer idiot.

What did I blast ryan about???? Did ryan lead his team back from 21 points in 7 minutes??? No, Ryan or White are not MVP but Vick is

reconsider

December 21st, 2010
12:15 pm

Phillip Rivers

Mike

December 21st, 2010
12:15 pm

To Vick is a murderer … Yes. If Tom Brady or Brett Favre or Matt Ryan or Peyton Manning fought dogs, were arrested, condemned, ruined HIS own career … not mine let me add ( I’ll get more on this in a moment) … came back a changed man, showing dedication, and I was a fan of his to begin with, then yes I would forgive him and feel the same about him.

People think it’s a black thing. To an extent, coming to his defense is what’s a black thing because it’s the majority of the hate is coming from white people who barely wanted to give the guy a chance to begin with. Now that he screwed up, it comes across as an I told you so, and never again should he be given a chance … but the overall story is a human being who was punished and has come back to change his life, there is no shame in being a fan of a person like this. People want to say Vick RUINED our franchise and RUINED the falcons … he didn’t ruin the falcons. He didn’t hurt me. He didn’t have me wasting my money … he RUINED his own life. The falcons were mediocre for a couple years prior to Vick getting caught up. Vick isn’t the reason Jenkins and Roddy white were dropping all those passes. White said it himself that he wasn’t changed until Joe Horn came and taught him how to be a professional. VICK missed out on that opportunity to join in on the party by ruining his life … he didn’t ruin me. He actually helped us out … if it weren’t for his 70% effort, we wouldn’t have Mike Smith, Matt Ryan, and Thomas Dimitroff.

So no, I have no disdain towards Vick. It took the proverbial “slap” in the face to wake him up. Good for him. He’s having success now and I’m proud of that. I’m a falcons fan. I’m also a fan of Vicks. If you have a problem with that, then that’s your opinion. However, if they come to the dome, guess what … I need my falcons in the superbowl. If the eagles beat us, I’ll root for the guy.

I see nothing wrong with that.

USAF92

December 21st, 2010
12:16 pm

How about this…

Tom Brady – MVP
Mike Vick – Comeback Player of the Year
Matt Ryan – Superbowl MVP

I’d take that without complaint.

C. Tampa Ironworse

December 21st, 2010
12:16 pm

“Truth be Told”…so will the Mexicans vote for Sanchez? And who will the Asians vote for?

D Falcons

December 21st, 2010
12:17 pm

I love Ryan and Roddy, and together with Turner they’ve produced a great season; however Brady and Vick are the only legitimate candidates this year. Brady has done it over 14 games vs. 11 for Vick, but there’s no question that Vick has had more spectacular moments, including what happened this past Sunday. I’d give the edge to Brady at the moment, but I think having a great performance on national TV Sunday could turn the vote in Vick’s favor.

Noodle Arm

December 21st, 2010
12:17 pm

Matt Ryan – Superbowl MVP

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

With no playoff wins, yea noodle arm will be the MVP sitting at home

Pats for Life!!!

December 21st, 2010
12:18 pm

You people and your without a doubt Vick! Give me a break with that crap. Brady has been better in every phase of the game. All but one rushing TD. Big deal, Vick is a QB that like to run with the ball. Look at the stats Brady owns Vick! He has nothing that Brady has. Brady is a future HOF and done things Vick dreamed about while wasting away in prison. Brady will get the MVP and Vick will get come back player of the year. Got to love you Pats haters. Love to hate a winning team.

MLH

December 21st, 2010
12:20 pm

MV7

That’s what I thought. You have no comeback for that. You just hold a grudge against Ryan because he replaced you beloved Vick.

Ryder

December 21st, 2010
12:20 pm

Brady is hands down the league’s MVP, and this coming from a big Matt Ryan fan. Brady has been able to maintain excellence in spite of trades and injuries to his team while leading them to the best record.

Ryan and White are one in the same, and are having great seasons but they will cancel each other out. Vick has had a fantastic year, but he has to be second, because if you are going to have Roddy White cancel out Matt Ryan, then DeSean Jackson has to cancel out Vick as well.

truth be told

December 21st, 2010
12:21 pm

latinos watch football, but they spell it futbol and use a different shaped ball, so no mvp votes from them. i suspect both latinos and asians couldn’t care less about the nfl mvp.

in a nutshell: brady is the mvp.

take race out of the equation and look at the numbers.

C. Tampa Ironworse

December 21st, 2010
12:21 pm

When will the black athlete get a fair shake in pro sports??? When the day comes that they can:

1. make a bunch of money
2. get all the ladies they want
3. get a pass on crazy/child like behavior
4. get reality shows about their lives

Only then will we have equality in sports! Oh, wait…nevermind.

MV7 for MVP

December 21st, 2010
12:22 pm

MLH

December 21st, 2010
12:20 pm
MV7

That’s what I thought. You have no comeback for that. You just hold a grudge against Ryan because he replaced you beloved Vick.

Dude is this even a debate??? Vick is better than Ryan hands down

Richard

December 21st, 2010
12:23 pm

Schultz, do you honestly think there’s a single voter considering Ryan or White? They’ve both had great seasons, but neither one is remotely in the MVP discussion.

Right now Brady is number 1, with Vick closing in. Noone else is part of the discussion.

In fact, I’d put Rivers ahead of White and Ryan.

Alex

December 21st, 2010
12:25 pm

Okay, so I’m assuming you put Ryan and White in there because, gee, I don’t know, you are a falcons fan?

That’s fine actually, as the two have put up good seasons and are certainly worth the debate, but to say they are the only other contenders? Please, give me a break. You should at least be smart enough to have an “other” option in the poll. Let me rattle off some names for you. Phillip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers, Jamaal Charles. All of whom, more specifically the first two are just as worthy to be in discussion. Rivers dealt with injuries, holdouts and crappy players all year, and still had nearly record breaking numbers. And Rodgers, though it might not appear to be the case, is just as viable. The Packers have no run game, and without Rodgers are nothing on offense. Both the Detroit and Patriots losses proved that. Sure, Matt Flynn had a nice game, but he couldn’t orchestrate the comeback at the end. Rodgers probably would.