I was reading Bucky Brooks’s column over at SI.com this morning, in which he tags Kurt Warner as a frontrunner for NFL MVP. Nothing too earthshaking as far as these types of articles go; he makes a reasonably solid argument for Warner based on the stats so far this year, and then he lists out his current rankings for MVP and Offensive Player of the Year. Here are the lists, including Brooks’s commentary.
1. Trent Edwards, QB, Bills (Last week’s ranking: 5): The Bills’ budding superstar has rallied the team in three of their four victories. With a looming showdown with the Chargers, the Bills need Edwards to pick up where he left off prior to his concussion.
2. Clinton Portis, RB, Redskins (3): The league’s leading rusher has topped the century mark in three consecutive games. His re-emergence as a premiere back has ignited the Redskins’ surprisingly hot start.
3. Jay Cutler, QB, Broncos (1): The Broncos star quarterback has cooled off in recent weeks, but his solid play under center is the primary reason the team leads the AFC West.
4. Drew Brees, QB, Saints (NR): After passing for more than 300 yards for the fifth time in six starts, Brees is on track to surpass Dan Marino’s single-season passing record of 5,084 yards.
5. Kurt Warner, QB, Cardinals (NR)
Offensive Player of the Year
1. Drew Brees, QB, Saints (1)
2. Kurt Warner, QB, Cardinals (2)
3. Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers (NR): The brash signal caller has passed for three touchdowns in four games and leads the league with a 109.1 passer rating.
4. Ronnie Brown, RB, Dolphins (3): The versatile playmaker didn’t play a starring role in the team’s “Wildcat” package, but he scored for the fourth consecutive week and finished with 93 yards total offense.
5. Clinton Portis, RB, Redskins (NR)
Now, I’m easily confused by math, but I honestly don’t understand any of this. It caught my attention because of Portis, but let’s look at Drew Brees. He’s the quarterback of the New Orleans Saints. He’s having a heck of a season, driving their offense and putting points on the board. It makes perfect sense that he’d be shortlisted for Offensive POY. Meanwhile, the New Orleans defense is currently ranked 19th in yardage allowed and 20th in points allowed. So it seems unlikely that there’s someone on their defense who is more valuable to their team than Brees is. How, then, is he ranked fourth for MVP, but first for POY?
The same essential question applied for Kurt Warner, and in reverse for Portis. Clinton is having a great offensive season, absolutely, but I think it’s hard to point at one guy on the Redskins and declare them the most valuable. The defense has been doing a terrific job, Jason Campbell still hasn’t thrown an interception, the offensive line has been opening holes for Clinton … you get the idea. So why is he ranked higher in the Most Valuable category than he is in the Offensive one? This genuinely baffles me, and I’d love to hear people’s suggestions.
Either way, though, while you can’t vote for either of these awards, do remember that Pro Bowl voting is open, so be sure to do that. Frequently.