Andrew Luck is clearly the MVP of the NFL this year. No, I'm not mad that he won't win it nor am I mad at whoever will. What bothers me is that, as a Cal Bears fan with no dog in this fight, I can clearly see Luck as more deserving of the award than anyone else. Yet not only is he not even in the conversation for MVP, he's not even in the conversation for Rookie of the Year. This is all simply too much for a rational mind to bear. Let's go over the highlights...
Let's look at who is going to win it, simply for the sake of comparison. Peyton Manning won the AFC East this year with a 13-3 record. The two major points regarding this are two fold: 1) His divisional competition went 7-9, 4-12, and 2-14, or in other words, the worst division in football; and 2) A Punt Protector led the same team to a playoff win versus a top 5 defense last year; meaning, MVP Manning has yet to over take the accomplishments of arguably the worst QB in NFL history. Yeah, he hurt his neck and his ball is wobbly and he's won a lot of games, I get that... but he did not turn a group of losers into winners. In fact, he's yet to even surpass his horrific predecessor.
Or, let's take the guy who will finish 2nd behind MVP Manning in MVP votes, Adrien Peterson. AP is more valuable to his team than Manning is. Obviously. It's a go nowhere team with a go nowhere QB and a go nowhere Head Coach. Yet he came off of a horrific knee injury to post a yardage record 8 yards short of the greatest RB season in history. AP has literally carried a team on his back all the way into the playoffs - on a bum knee. That's MVP material, yet sadly, only good for 2nd place.
Brady is going to come in 3rd for MVP votes - and rightly so. Yes, he's carried a bunch of no names, once again, to a first round bye, but he's coming off his 5th Super Bowl appearance. Yes, I know he carried that team too, but the point of the MVP is to value this year's contribution and the only way to do that is to measure where are they now relative to where were they last year. Coming off a Super Bowl record - that's Brady's bar. So what exactly has Brady done so far besides keep the team level with their performance last year .. ? At 12-4, New England reigns supreme over a division whose teams had no Super Bowl aspirations last year and don't have them this year, much like Manning's division this year, Brady's divisional challengers went 7-9, 6-10 and 6-10.
So let's get back to making the case for Luck. Last year, the team "earned" the #1 overall pick, fired their GM and Head Coach in the off season, yet really added nothing to their team while also losing Garcon, Saturday, and a few other key contributors. Coming off a 2-14 season, they then lost their Head Coach to cancer treatment. I don't know who their RB is, I don't know who TY Hilton is, but I submit this for comparison: Drew Brees is one of the greatest QB's of our generation, just last year he broke all sorts of passing records and is now the highest paid player in the NFL. He lost his coach too, but what happened to their team? They have a losing record and are out of the playoffs. MVP Luck, however, won 11 games. AaronRodgers, Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, the 9ers and Seattle, Matt Schaub and Manning are the only other teams/QBs to win 11 games or more. Russell Wilson, however, is in the Rookie of the Year talk, despite having the 2nd leading rusher in the NFL and a tremendous defense loving 3 years of continuity as a team from the GM down to the offensive line.
Luck, on a 2 win team, without a Head Coach, no running game and only Reggie Wayne to throw to, as a rookie on a rebuilding team, carried his team to the playoffs and won 11 games. 11 games. He broke Mannings' and Newtons' rookie records, among many others, while he started all 16 games behind a porous offensive line and beating Houston - a preseason Super Bowl favorite and divisional foe who finished 12-4..
Luck isn't going to win any award this year and that's a damn shame. The atrocity, however, is he isn't even in the conversation for Rookie of the Year when he in fact deserves to be the front runner for NFL MVP.
It's a damn shame.