Tom Brady is at it again. He is having another one of those Brady seasons that seems like he is some sort of robot that is nearly flawless in his execution. He has the best quarterback rating in the NFL at 111.1 and has amassed 3,043 yards passing to go along with 24 TDs and a mere three interceptions. The Pats are the best team in football… again. You would think Tom Brady is a runaway with the NFL MVP Award.
Should the Pats run the table — which The Wayniac feels is quite possible — then Brady becomes the front runner for the MVP Award. The Pats have been the most consistent team in the NFL this season. Sure, they have played some close ones — like last week’s win that was handed to them by a terribly coached New York Giants team — but each and every week I feel like they are the hands down favorite.
But when you look at it, Brady is simply having another Brady year. The numbers are out of this world and the Pats are the best team in football, but isn’t that simply what we have come to expect? I know I do. While Brady is certainly going to get the majority of votes at season’s end, I think the competition — right now at least — should come down to two candidates.
Remember when I just said about the Pats that each and every week I feel like they are the hands down favorite. That’s how I feel about the Carolina Panthers. Our own golf and fantasy football writer Dunton and I have a pick em pool that we do together. Every week he picks against the Panthers. Every week, I tell him I don’t care what they are favored by, they are winning the game.
Dunton is like a large majority of people that took a long time to actually believe these Panthers are for real. Even when they beat the Packers a few weeks back, many people felt it was because of the Packers struggling offense and not so much the Panthers. Well, folks, it’s time to believe. That Panthers defense is arguably the best in the business and Cam — simply put — is a winner.
Cam Newton‘s numbers aren’t the best in football. He has the 20th most passing yards in the NFL with 2,283. He has a nice TD:INT ratio at 20:9, but his QB rating is 90.1. Names like Brian Hoyer, Alex Smith and Marcus Mariota sit above him in the QB rating leaders. But that doesn’t matter.
What matters is that the Panthers look unbeatable. What matters is that at the onset of this season, Newton was decimated of any semblance of a receiving core and he is still driving a powerful offense. The Panthers aren’t sitting at 10-0 because Ted Ginn is their number one receiver, folks. It is Cam Newton.
I know the argument will be made that the Panthers’ No. 4 defense in the NFL plays a large part in that undefeated ranking, and that is 100% true. But every team — even that 2000 Ravens squad that was ALL defense — needs someone at the helms to guide the defense. Trent Dilfer did just enough to win ball games behind that defense. Cam? Cam is simply making this team unbeatable. Whether he is diving into the end zone for a touchdown, or continuing to make Greg Olsen the most under appreciated tight end in the NFL, the Panthers offense is winning games… a lot of them.
You know who has a better defense than the Panthers? The Arizona Cardinals. You know who I think Cam’s biggest competition for NFL MVP is? Carson Palmer.
No one will make the argument that the Cardinals are one of the best teams in football because of the defense. That is because Palmer looks 25-years old again. He is currently second in the NFL in passing yards at 3,066 with an NFL leading 27 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Palmer — who has always been a gunslinger — was more of a Brett Favre-type. He would throw for tons of yards and a good amount of touchdowns, but you would always have those interceptions (like when he threw 22 in 2013). Those interceptions are down, and Palmer is leading one of the most exciting offenses in football.
He has made John Brown and J.J. Nelson household names. He has resurrected the career of Larry Fitzgerald. And because teams have to pay such close attention to the Cardinals explosive pass attack, Chris Johnson — who dwindled in mediocrity for the past two seasons and was in fact shot this offseason — is the third leading rusher in football.
The Cardinals offense has so many interchangeable parts, but that’s because they have one constant: Carson Palmer. Michael Floyd is a late scratch? No problem, he will make J.J. Nelson a Sunday night superstar. CJ?K is struggling at running back? No biggie, he will hit Andre Ellington for the game winner.
Palmer has been nothing short of amazing this season and because Brady and Newton are at the helms of undefeated teams, he has taken a back seat in the MVP discussion. Right now, he should arguably be in the forefront. This Cardinals team has a sick defense and is one yard off the Patriots for the best offense in the NFL (of course that will change tonight). At 35, Palmer has found that former glory that made him the No. 1 overall pick 13 years ago, and the Cardinals are scary because of it.
So, Wayniac Nation, what do you think?