The regular season is over. All the records and statistics are set in stone. And before we turn our attention to the post season it’s worth reflecting on the regular season that was. Specifically in who should be the Most Valuable Player of the 2021 season.
There will be many legitimate cases made for great players. Guys like Aaron Rodgers, Jonathan Taylor, Matthew Stafford, TJ Watt and Cooper Kupp all deserve recognition for a great year. However, it seems obvious to me that the MVP is none other than Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady.
What The Team Has Accomplished
Under Brady’s leadership, the Bucs have had a year for the record books. What records you ask? Brady set the franchise single season passing yards and touchdown records this season. He also led the team to the most wins in franchise history (13) which is tied for the best record in the NFL.
Additional franchise records Brady has set this year include most pass completions, most pass attempts and game winning drives. It’s clear that when it comes to throwing the ball, no one has ever done more in a Bucs uniform than Tom Brady. However, MVP isn’t a franchise achievement award. It’s how he’ll compare to the rest of the league that should earn him this honor.
Brady is the Best in the NFL
There is no question that Brady has been the most productive quarterback in the NFL this year. He ranks first in passing yards, first in passing touchdowns, first in completions, first in passes for 20+ yards, and first passing attempts this season. That’s most of the major passing categories that Brady has the lead in.
There are also several other significant areas that Brady is near the top in. This includes 7th in completion percentage (minimum 300 attempts) and 7th in quarterback rating (minimum 300 attempts). No matter how you look at it Brady was among the best, if not the best, in every significant metric.
All Time Great Season
When we look back on Brady’s season in 2021 we will surely refer to it as one of the greatest years a quarterback has ever had. Even before the 17th game, which was added to the schedule this year for the first time, Brady had achieved the 14th most passing yards and 14th most passing touchdowns in a single season. This was more yards and touchdowns than any of his three previous MVP seasons. In fact he had more passing yards than all but two of the previous MVP quarterbacks in the last 15 years and more passing touchdowns than all but three in that time. Again, that is only counting the first 16 games this year.
With the 17th game Brady exposed 5,000 passing yards, which had only been done 12 times prior in NFL history. His total of 5,316 passing yards is the 3rd most in NFL history for a single season. Brady’s 43 passing touchdowns ranks 10th in NFL history for a single season.
Whether you’re a skeptic who thinks numbers are devalued in a 17 game season or not, Brady put together one of the all time great seasons for a quarterback. What he’s meant to the Buccaneers franchise in 2021 simply can’t be measured by just stats. His impact goes far beyond that.
With that said, Brady has been far and away the best quarterback this year by most statistical measures. He is the engine that drives the Bucs 2nd ranked scoring offense. Even at his advanced age of 44 years old he is at the top of his game and playing better than anyone in the league today.