Mays — top contender for MVW at the Ringer — you’re reaching here. Brady is phenomenal and a contender for MVP literally every year. But favorite? Not so fast. gmbaker44 summed up the argument against it pretty well. Pats went 3–1 without Brady, with their only loss being a game started by the injury-limited 3rd string QB. Brady, great as usual, has some competition this year: 2 QBs and a RB, at least.
Brady: 4–0 (@CLE, CIN, @PIT*, @BUF*). 1,319yds, 12tds, 0ints
Ryan: 5–3 (TB, @OAK, @NO, CAR, @DEN, @SEA, SD, GB). 2,636yds, 19tds, 4ints
Derek Carr: 6–2 (@NO, ATL, @TEN, @BAL, SD, KC, @JAX, @TB). 2,321yds, 17tds, 3ints
DeMarco Murray: 4–4 (MIN, @DET, OAK, @HOU, @MIA, CLE, IND, JAX). 953yds, 8tds, 188touches, 1fmbl
Derek Carr has to be the early favorite. Raiders’ defense is awful (even worse than Falcons) and their only 2 losses have come to likely playoff teams (ATL and KC). I’d put Ryan 2nd. He’s a completely different player than last year and makes throws we’ve always doubted he could, however he does have weapons all around him and the D is making some strides. The schedule Atlanta has faced is brutal, but 5–3 we are (though an argument can be made that it should be 8–0). Brady is Brady, maybe the best QB ever, but New England was 3–1 without him or Gronk. He’s probably the best player in the league, but is he the most valuable to his team? Maybe. Murray is the entire offense for the Titans. They’re 4–4 so that’s a knock against him. But if they go 10–6 and win the division? He’s on pace for 16 tds, 56 catches, and 1,906 yards on 376 touches. He’s probably going to have more than double the yardage and tds of anybody else on his team. He has like 3 or 4 less fantasy points than his QB (decent metric for comparison). The only other argument against his candidacy is that Henry has also looked good when he gets on the field, but then again Murray is always on the field so Henry gets few chances.
Depending on how the rest of the season goes for their teams, cases have to be made for Rodgers, Stafford, McCoy, and some others will pop up. It’s annoying that everyone wants to hand the trophy to Brady now after 4 games. I think this will be one of the most interesting debates for MVP with the most candidates in any recent year. Brady, at this point, is the easy and lazy answer. Give it some thought, have some debates. Do some Fn work sportswriters!