He’s 39 years old. He has played in only four games following a suspension. But at the midpoint of the NFL season, Tom Brady is the front-runner for the MVP award.
The New England Patriots quarterback has the stats, but — stop me if you’ve heard this before — Brady would be a controversial choice as MVP. Reggie Wayne was painfully, succinctly blunt about the matter. “There is no way Tom Brady can win MVP,” the former Indianapolis Colts receiver said on the NFL Network’s “Total Access,” “because he was caught cheating this year.”
You can debate all you want whether he was cheating or not — I had fervently hoped never to type the word “Deflategate” again — but that thing with footballs that may or may not have been intentionally deflated to gain a competitive edge occurred in January 2015. Brady played the entire 2015 season with, presumably, every official watching his every move.
He was punished this year, Reggie.
Which brings us to the heart of the matter and one of the biggest points made by people who argue against Brady as MVP. He has played in only half of the Patriots’ eight games and, while he was off sunning his backside in Italy as he served his four-game suspension, the team was 3-1 behind Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett. If Brady’s so crucial to the team, how on earth did it go 3-1 without him?
The answer, and it’s a convincing one, lies in what he has done since returning to the Patriots’ locker room on Oct. 3. Everyone expected that he’d be out for revenge, but he has pursued perfection with a scorched-earth focus that was surprising even for a guy who, after four Super Bowl wins, carries a chip on his shoulder over being the 199th pick in the NFL draft. There’s revenge — and then there’s what Brady is doing.
He is on pace to pass for 3,957 yards and 36 touchdowns. He has not thrown a single interception, has a 133.9 passer rating and has completed 73.1 percent of his passes.
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SOURCE: Cindy Boren
The Washington Post