Tom Brady has been the most valuable member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers since signing with the team in March of 2020.
With a Super Bowl under his belt, is the greatest quarterback to ever play the game also the NFL’s Most Valuable Player?
As recent as mid-October, ESPN’s Courtney Cronin posed the same question to a panel of analysts, and Brady ranked fourth on their list.
Three other quarterbacks came in ahead of him. Kyler Murray (Arizona Cardinals), Justin Herbert (Los Angeles Chargers), and Josh Allen (Buffalo Bills).
About the fourth place placement for Brady, Cronin wrote,
“The 44-year-old quarterback continues to do MVP-like things on a weekly basis — he is +600 to win his fourth award — and he has a new achievement to add to a lengthy list. Brady recorded his first career game with 400-plus yards passing and five touchdowns in a 45-17 win over the Dolphins. Those 45 points scored in Week 5 marked the sixth time Tampa Bay has notched at least 44 points since Brady, who leads the league in passing yards (1,767) and completions (149) this season, took over in 2020.”
There’s been some time since this list was put together, and Brady still leads the league in passing with 2,275-yards.
He’s also being relied on to do the heavy lifting for his Buccaneers compared to the other quarterbacks, leading the NFL with 303 pass attempts through seven weeks. Despite putting the ball at risk so many times, Brady is tied with Allen for the lowest interception total of the four.
Many have speculated Arizona’s Murray is the leader nearing the halfway point of the season for the league’s MVP Award, but when you compare the young quarterback with Brady, it isn’t really close.
Murray leads the pack of candidates in completion percentage, which is impressive. When you consider the Cardinals quarterback has only attempted 20 more passes than Brady has completed, it’s less impressive.
Add to it the nearly one-yard difference in average air distance per completion, and not only are the Cardinals throwing the ball less, but they’re also pushing the ball downfield at a lower clip as well.
Still, Brady has two fewer interceptions, and five more touchdown passes. All while doing it without the benefit of the wheels Murray has.
Perhaps this is where the analysts see Murray’s value exceeds Brady’s.
The Cardinals quarterback is third in the position group in rushing with 31 carries for 126-yards and three touchdown runs.
Brady, who we would never argue is an elite athlete, has just eight carries through seven games. Those runs have gone for 37-yards and one touchdown.
Seems a bigger rushing differential would need to be present to make up for the clear difference in passing ability.
And as a leader on the team, none do it better than Brady.
Murray is having a great season, no arguing that. Is he the best? And the most valuable to his team? It’s up for discussion, but the on-field performance, and numbers, certainly paint a clear picture of what Brady means to his Tampa Bay Buccaneers franchise.
Or maybe, it’s Tennessee Titans running back, Derrick Henry.
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(Try to be unbiased) Who is the NFL MVP through Week 7?
This poll is closed
Arizona Cardinals QB, Kyler Murray
Los Angeles Chargers QB, Justin Herbert
Buffalo Bills QB, Josh Allen
Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB, Tom Brady
Tennessee Titans RB, Derrick Henry