Aaron Rodgers deserves hardware after amazingly efficient campaign
J.J. Watt was a serious consideration here and had he gotten his team into the playoffs, he’d have received my vote. But instead I’ll go with Aaron Rodgers, who led the league’s top-ranked scoring offense and was just the second QB in NFL history to throw 35 or more touchdown passes against five or fewer interceptions.
Hard to argue against J.J. Watt’s spectacular production — on both sides of the football
This year there are two very worthy candidates, but I believe Watt deserves the slight nod over Rodgers. Watt was both a point preventer and a point producer this fall. His unique talent was on full display all season long.
DeMarco Murray made the Cowboys a legit contender
There are a number of highly qualified candidates. I choose DeMarco Murray because I think his performance rushing the football transformed the Cowboys from a team that would continually just miss the playoffs into a division champion that won a postseason game and nearly upended Green Bay in the Divisional Round. His ground excellence also allowed Tony Romo to enjoy his best and most consistent year as a QB.
Watt or Rodgers? The answer becomes clear with a little role reversal
J.J. Watt had one of the all-time great seasons for a defensive lineman. Unfortunately for Watt, Aaron Rodgers had one of the all-time great seasons at the sport’s most important position. What’s more, Rodgers’ team won its division; Watt’s didn’t make the playoffs.
A percentage of people seem to always forget this award doesn’t have “best” anywhere in the title — it’s about who’s “most valuable.” Would the Packers have made the playoffs with Watt on the D-line and, say, Andy Dalton or Jay Cutler under center? I say no. Now flip that hypothetical: Would the Texans have made it with Rodgers at QB and a middle-of-the-pack replacement for Watt? Of course they would have. And thus ends this debate.
Rodgers is on his own level right now
Aaron Rodgers, hands down. Part of me still sees New England functioning somewhat properly without Tom Brady under center. (Maybe the Matt Cassel season contributes to such a potentially misguided opinion.) But even hobbled on one leg, Rodgers was the best player in the postseason. He is in his prime and he’s simply irreplaceable.
Split decision: Rodgers and Watt both deserve a piece of the hardware
It would be impossible to write the story of the 2014 season without Aaron Rodgers. On the other hand, a guy who just had the most impressive defensive season of the last three decades deserves it, too. Therefore, I have no qualms going Co-MVPs. That is how I would want it. Some call it a cop-out. I call it fair.
A victim of his own success, Rodgers still earned a second MVP honor
The Packers‘ quarterback willed his team to a division title on one leg. However, it was his performance prior to the injury that cinched his second MVP award. After his R-E-L-A-X statement, Rodgers played the most difficult position on the planet with ease. Teammates and coaches even opined that he was playing better than he did during his 2011 MVP season. His numbers would have been incrementally better, except the Packers were constantly blowing teams out early in games and he took his foot off the pedal.
Don’t overthink it, people — I sure didn’t
I voted for Aaron Rodgers on my Associated Press ballot and I didn’t even think twice. No player was more valuable and dominant for his playoff team than Rodgers, excelling at the most important position on the field.
Watt just authored one of the most singularly dominant seasons in league history
J.J. Watt had one of the most remarkable seasons of any player in NFL history. The 2012 (and soon-to-be 2014) Defensive Player of the Year completely dominated the opposition as the premier defensive end in the game. He also contributed as a red-zone weapons for the Texans as a jumbo tight end. Given his dominance and production on both sides of the ball, Watt deserves to be recognized as the top player in the league.
Rodgers made the Packers a Super Bowl threat — as they are every year with No. 12 at QB
This is easy. Rodgers tugged his team to within a few plays of the Super Bowl. That NFC title game loss was crushing, but the Packers arguably wouldn’t have made the playoffs without their star quarterback. His toughness and grit in playing through a painful injury underscores the type of competitor he is. With Aa-Rod under center, the Packers are an annual threat to reach the Super Bowl.
Next: FOX Sports decides