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Monday, December 15, 2014

NFL MVP Race: Why Tom Brady Would Not Be My Pick

     Despite people freaking out after four weeks of football, worrying that Tom Brady had sprinted over the hill, he has quickly turned that nonsense around. By the end of the NFL's week 14, he is largely considered to be the frontrunner for the league's MVP. Even being the Patriots homer I am, I wouldn't give it to TB12. Many would consider Aaron Rodgers of J.J. Watt. But I refuse to stray too far from my homer ways. My vote for MVP would be Rob Gronkowsk.
     This isn't to suggest that Tom Brady isn't the best or even most important player on the New England Patriots roster. Without Brady, the Pats would still be fighting for the division and not a serious contender for the Super Bowl. But Gonk adds a dimension to the Patriots offense that even his great numbers can't quantify. Set aside that he's scored touchdowns at a rapid clip. He's Brady's most effective target and also opens up coverage for guys like Brandon LaFell and Tim Wright and allows Julian Edelman to be a true slot receiver instead of the number one option. Throughout his career, Gronk has been compared to Jimmy Graham. I think we're starting to see there's no comparison. I'm not even counting Graham's struggles this year. But Gronkowski's blocking skills and ability to physically dominate defenseman puts him a cut above any tight end in the league right now. Gronk's only demerit in the past has been his injury problems. He's stayed on the field this year and, once he got his feet under him, has had some of the best games I've ever seen him play.
     I'd say, more than I really want Gronk to win, I'd just like someone outside the quarterback position to get consideration. Yes, it's the most position in the game and maybe in all North American sports. But guys like Gronk and J.J. Watt deserve heavy consideration. Watt's been, perhaps, the most dominating player on defense that we've seen in 20 years. Not to mention his Mike Vrabel impersonation on offense. If that Texans team wasn't working on their third QB and in serious contention, I think you'd be hearing a lot more serious talk about Watt getting the award. It will likely end up going to Rodgers or Brady, which I won't mind. Tom Brady's chiseled jawline deserves praise at every turn. But I think what Rob Gronkowski adds to this team deserves some recognition, outside of New England.

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