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Niles: Aaron Rodgers – MVP

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By Brandon Niles, Sports Writer

Every year toward the end of the football season, a debate starts up about who is most deserving of the annual MVP award in the NFL.

The debate often centers around statistics versus wins or positional value. Sometimes there are multiple players deserving of the award and sometimes the choice is obvious. Regardless of the merits, the debate rages on.

This year, Aaron Rodgers is the obvious choice for MVP. However, the debate prevails, with seemingly every sportscaster throwing a different name into the hat for consideration. This is what sports writing has come to. The business of drawing up controversy where there is none has replaced actual commentary on the sport itself. Despite the fact that Rodgers is the only logical choice for the award, people continue to argue for others in an attempt to create the illusion that there is actual competition.

Often, when people argue over who the MVP of any sport is, the debate comes down to personal achievement versus team achievement. Aaron Rodgers has led the Green Bay Packers to the NFC North division title and a first round bye in the playoffs. Rodgers is also leading or near the top in all significant statistical categories, including touchdowns, yards and completion percentage. He’s also been very efficient, ranking near the bottom of the league in interceptions thrown. Rodgers has the 14–1 record to warrant consideration and he has the statistics to solidify his status as the MVP for 2011.

Drew Brees has been thrown into the conversation as a viable alternative. Brees is a great player and has had an excellent season, however he’s thrown nearly twice the interceptions as Rodgers while leading the Saints to a worse record. Few can argue that Brees is the second best option for the award, but overall he has been clearly outshined by Rodgers.

LeSean McCoy, Arian Foster, and Maurice Jones-Drew have all been impressive running the ball this year, but with the exception of Foster, their successes have not led to significant wins for their respective teams. Foster has greatly contributed to Houston’s success, but he hasn’t played a full season due to an injury that plagued him early on.

Calvin Johnson is the only other possibility, and he’s proven that double and triple coverage can take him out of games. There have been several contests this season in which Johnson was hardly effective at all.

Only one player has done it all this season, and this year will be remembered as one of the greatest a quarterback has ever put together when all is said and done. In any other year, I might be willing to listen to the controversies brought up around the league. This year however, it’s become increasingly clear that all the debating really boils down to who comes in second.

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