Who Should Be Named NFL MVP?
By Pat Pitts
The 2021 NFL season delivered on the promise given to fans back in March that it would be the “biggest season ever.” Week 17 arrived and most of the playoff field wasn’t finalized, and now against all odds, the Cincinnati Bengals are heading to the Super Bowl.
Many players stepped up this season, but a few stand out from the rest. The debates already began on social media, as the question of MVP is all over the place.
With the 2nd annual “Golden Balls Awards” returning to the 4th and Goal platforms in just a few weeks, it is time to highlight a few players worthy of the 4th and Goal Golden Boy of the Year. There are a few players worthy of the honor, and not just quarterbacks. Here are the nominees for the award with a few reasons why that player is deserving of the honor.
Last season’s MVP defended his throne with honor in 2021. Amidst his off-the-field distractions, Rodgers continued to dominate defenses with the best receiver in the league, Davante Adams, by his side. He had nine QB1 finishes this season, averaged 21 fantasy points-per-game, and finished the regular season with a TD-INT ratio of 37-4. Sportsbooks have him at the top of their MVP odds, but does that mean should I do the same?
Tom Brady is 44 years old, and led the NFL in a multitude of passing categories… at age 44! Like Rodgers, Brady has finished as a QB1 nine times this season, but only one of them were outside of a Top-Five performance. Brady lost his WR1, Chris Godwin, to a season-ending injury, but replaced him with his buddy, Antonio Brown. The league has dealt with a lot of craziness this season, but a 44-year-old man taking home the Most Valuable Player award may take the cake.
If there was a year for a QB to not win MVP, it is this season. The Colts running back stepped into the spotlight after a slow start to the season. He ranked as fantasy football’s RB1 with a league-high TEN games of 100+ rush yards. He ran the ball 297 times for 1,626 yards and 17 rushing touchdowns. Opposing defenses lost sleep over the thought of having to stop Taylor. According to BetMGM, Taylor has the same odds of being named MVP (+650) as Tom Brady. In a QB-centric league, Taylor has an uphill battle for the award.
A running back has won the league’s MVP before, but a wide receiver has not and Cooper Kupp proved that narrative needs to change. Matthew Stafford helped elevate Kupp’s performance to a brand new level this season. In 2021, Kupp dominated his peers in nearly every receiving stat. Kupp caught 145 passes for 1,947 yards and 17 receiving touchdowns in 2021. The Rams offensive MVP deserves consideration for the league’s same title as Los Angeles now heads to the Super Bowl for a second time since 2018.
These four players need to be recognized, but only one can win. Each one has the resume deserving of it, but it comes down to how important they have been to their teams’ success. It is all about perspective.