During the past week I found myself apart of and very amused by my colleague and pal James Fitzgerald’s article and debate, claiming a case could be made for RG3 to be given this season’s NFL MVP award. To his credit, he made several key points to support his argument, but I have details to better support my being the yin to his yang.
Robert Griffin III, or by his fan preferred nickname of RG3, had a very impressive rookie season this year. He completed 66 percent of his passes, threw for 3,200 yards, 8.14 avg., 20 TDs to only 5picks, and the cherry on top being a terrific 102.4 QB rating. I’m not here to argue that he didn’t have a great season; in fact, it was a season well deserving of Offensive Rookie of the Year, but not enough for the league MVP.
The problem here is that I have some “obvious” picks in mind that conquers the performance of RG3. One is Adrian Peterson who is my hands down pick for MVP. Eric Dickerson’s record of 2,150 yards rushing in a single season has been deemed untouchable for decades. Peterson fell just short of his record setting attempt, finishing 2nd best of all time with 2,097 yards in one season, on 6.0 per carry and 12 TDs. He now sits 3rd best behind Barry Sanders and Jim Brown (at only 26 years of age) with 99.4 career rushing yards per game. While RG3 had a marvelous rookie season, Peterson’s near record setting marks far overshadow those of Griffin’s last season.
The other “obvious” pick is Peyton Manning. Following a season riddled by injury forcing him to sit his way out of Indianapolis in favor of Andrew Luck, which I will discuss later on, Manning went to Denver with nothing but question marks surrounding whether he was done for or could still lead a team to the big show. He answered those questions by completing 69% of his passes for 4,659 yards, an 8.0 average, while tossing up 37 TDs to only 11 picks. Those numbers far overshadow those of RG3’s, including an outstanding 105.9 QB rating. Historically, Manning past Marino this season for 2nd best in passes completed (5,082), while also passing Marino for 2nd best in career touchdowns thrown (436).
Now I’ll discuss the other rookie Andrew Luck, another player in his debate, Andrew Luck or RG3 for MVP? Luck had an excellent rookie season taking over for Peyton Manning. He was average at completing only 54% of his passes, but he did throw for 4,347 yards, a 7.0 average, Tossing 23TDs to 18 picks, resulting in a lesser 76.5 QB rating. Clearly RG3 had the better overall season than Luck and deserves the NFL Rookie of the Year award. While the yards grasp your attention, so does the inconsistency Luck played through all season long.
I tried my hardest to find a way to agree with my friend James Fitzgerald, but no matter which way I turned, twisted, and manipulated it, the numbers and achievements weren’t enough to warrant the MVP award. I fully understand his debate was between RG3 and Luck, but that’s like comparing a full house to four aces. Hands down RG3 was the better QB, that much was obvious, but enough to overpower Peterson and Manning? That’s where we go our separate ways in this discussion. The MVP award isn’t decided by omitting the “obvious” picks for the Rookie of the Year chase, it’s decided by who performs the best over the entire course of the season. Following this past season, the selection comes down to Peyton Manning vs. Adrian Peterson. The early dismissal of the Vikings doesn’t help, as Manning is poised at another Super Bowl run.
I would still give the award to Adrian Peterson because he almost broke a record no one could break. That type of effort comes along far and few between, but the NFL will keep their eyes on how far Manning takes the Broncos as well. An appearance in the big game would all but seal the deal for Manning. Regardless, it’s going to be a nail biter waiting for the player who performed best to be named MVP by the league. RG3 or Luck has been put to rest; neither deserves to be in the running. Griffin wins Rookie of the Year hands down, or does he? Russell Wilson also had a dynamic rookie season. Manning or Peterson, but let’s not forget names like Tom Brady, Aaron Rogers, and Matt Ryan. Now this debate should be well worth its weight in gold. Who wins it? I look forward to your feedback!