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Tuesday, February 1, 2011
No kidding: Tom Brady named top O player

By Tim Graham

A drumroll was unnecessary.

As expected Tuesday night, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was named The Associated Press 2010 Offensive Player of the Year.

Brady produced one of the greatest quarterbacking seasons of his generation.

Brady had a dominant campaign despite a transitory cast. The Patriots traded Randy Moss after two games. Wes Welker was coming back from reconstructive knee surgery. Brady's tight ends were rookies. The running backs were undrafted players who'd been waived in the past. All-Pro guard Logan Mankins missed the first seven games. Right guard Stephen Neal missed the last nine games. Last year's right tackle, Nick Kaczur, missed the entire season.

Oh, and Brady played the final two months with a broken foot.

Yet he completed 66 percent of his throws for 3,900 yards and a league-best 36 touchdowns. He had an NFL-low four interceptions and broke a 19-year-old record for consecutive attempts without an interception. Brady's 111.0 passer rating ranks fifth all-time.

Such a prolific season made Tuesday night's announcement a formality. Earlier in the day I tried to stimulate a little OPOY discussion by trying to determine who should be second.

Brady received 21 of the AP panel's 50 votes. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick was second with 11 votes followed by Houston Texans running back Arian Foster with seven, San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers with five and Atlanta Falcons receiver Roddy White, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson two apiece.

The over on the national anthem is not the safest football bet you can make on Super Sunday. It's that Brady also will be named MVP. There was an interesting debate developing between Brady and Vick with a few weeks left in the season, but Vick sputtered in December while Brady finished the season with 14 wins.