Should the NFL Most Valuable Player Award Include the Postseason?

By Bryn Swartz

Every postseason, it seems we hear some rumblings throughout the football world that the Most Valuable Player award, football’s most prestigious award, should be given after the playoffs.

This means that not only will a player’s regular season affect his chances, but so will his performance in the postseason.

And I’ll tell you right now, without even addressing the positives of including the postseason in the voting, that this is not a good idea. Not at all.

Take Tom Brady in 2010.

He will win the MVP award and everybody knows it. He threw 36 touchdowns, four interceptions, posted a passer rating of 111, and led the Patriots to 14 victories. There was not a single player in the National Football League more valuable than Tom Brady.

But because Brady’s Patriots lost to the Jets 28-21 in their first playoff game, should the award go to someone else, like Aaron Rodgers, who could easily win Super Bowl XLV MVP honors?

Absolutely not. The award is for the regular season. If we start adjusting the award to include the postseason, it’s never going to be given to a player whose team did not advance very deep into the postseason.

Take 2008, when Peyton Manning won the regular season MVP award but saw his team, as usual, lose their first postseason game.

If the voting was conducted after the conclusion of the postseason, I truly believe that the award would have gone to Super Bowl hero Ben Roethlisberger.

In 2004, Peyton Manning threw 49 touchdowns during the regular season but failed to lead the Colts to a touchdown drive in an embarrassing postseason loss. Meanwhile, Tom Brady turned in a very good season, followed by a third Super Bowl championship. He probably would have won the award, or at least seriously challenged Manning.

People are very influenced by what has happened recently.

Nobody would consider Drew Brees to be a top three quarterback right now, or even a top three clutch quarterback, but last year he was everybody’s number one for both categories. Why the change? Because he only led the Saints to 36 points in their playoff loss?

No, it’s because people focus on what is happening now. Right now the new guy is Aaron Rodgers, and guys of yesterday like Drew Brees are just your average great quarterback.

There’s nothing wrong with the praise Aaron Rodgers has received. He deserves it. But he is not the Most Valuable Player of 2010.

If we start altering the most prestigious award in the game to include postseason results as well, no one will like the results.

The award will basically go to the quarterback whose team won the Super Bowl, or at the very least, he will always be a serious contender.

Let’s keep the regular season Most Valuable award to only the 16 games during the regular season.

We have the Super Bowl MVP for postseason heroes.

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