Thursday, November 5, 2009
Mailbag: MVP Watch slighting Favre?
By Mike Sando
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Gail from North Richland Hills, Texas, writes: Some reasons why Brett Favre is MVP hands down: He's playing with guys he's never played with, new receivers, new offensive lineman, never taken a snap with the center, new coaches, new plays, a rookie wide receiver, no training camp, very little preseason, shoulder surgery, has had three come-from-behind victories, had to keep coming back after the defense let down in both Green Bay games, played two emotional games against his former team, has fewer interceptions than Manning and Brees and two were on deflected passes. Last year, when Manning won MVP , several reporters said it was because he was coming off surgery and had no preseason. Favre has had way more adversity to overcome.
Mike Sando: You don't know how close I came to moving Favre into that No. 1 spot in the latest MVP Watch. He has shocked me this season. I thought he was close to finished after the way things went down last season, to the point that I didn't like the Vikings' chances after they held open a spot for him. It just seemed unlikely for a 40-year-old waffling quarterback to assimilate seamlessly while playing at a high level and avoiding some of the impulsive mistakes he had made in past seasons. Favre had thrown more touchdowns than interceptions only once in his previous four seasons. He now has 16 touchdowns with only three interceptions. Unreal.
The obstacles you pointed to absolutely enhance his credentials. Watch out, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning. Favre could be gaining on you.
Richard from Huntingdon Valley, Pa., writes: Hey Sando, go back to the boonies in Seattle. Tony Romo for MVP? Are you kidding me? How do you not even mention DeSean Jackson in the mix? Let me know when Romo wins one big game in his life. You guys are so freaking biased towards Dallas it's pathetic. Your network constantly sets new lows for knowledge of any sport. Just keep covering the Yankees, Red Sox, Cowboys and Brett Favre.
Mike Sando: The very first mailbag item I ever received ripped me for daring to rank the Cowboys too low in a preseason ranking. People who automatically assume some sort of bias really aren't bringing anything to the table. Whether or not Romo has won a big game in his life has nothing to do with where he stands in this conversation through Week 8. The NFL values quarterbacks over receivers for a reason. They are more important. That is why they earn more money. Jackson is a terrific talent. He is also on pace for 55 receptions, less than half as many as Reggie Wayne.
Check out past MVP winners. Lots of quarterbacks and running backs on that list. Not many wide receivers with 55 receptions.
Jason from Atlanta writes: How can you drop Peyton Manning a spot on the MVP chart just for not throwing a touchdown last game? Manning still threw for 350 yards and no interceptions in that game. Drew Brees has two games he didnt throw for a touchdown and has five turnovers in his last two games.
Mike Sando: What's this, a well-reasoned argument in the MVP debate? It's much appreciated. Manning and Brees have gone back and forth atop the list. I think both are worthy. The Saints became my No. 1 team in the power rankings this week and that was one reason I gave Brees a slight edge. There's lots of time for this to play out.
Kevin from Chicago writes: How is Carson Palmer not in your Top 10? A healthy Palmer has the Bengals right back in contention. He has led the Bengals on several fourth-quarter, game-winning drives. a primary characteristic of an MVP. Most notably, overcoming a two-touchdown deficit to knock off the defending Super Bowl champs. What has Aaron Rodgers done this year to deserve consideration? He should not even be in the MVP discussion at this point.
Mike Sando: I nearly added Palmer to the list last week after his five-touchdown game. Cedric Benson was the Bengals player I considered more strongly because he was leading the NFL in rushing. Palmer had eight touchdowns with seven interceptions heading into that five-touchdown game. You're right that he should be in the conversation. His stats haven't quite been there this season and I do think those matter.
Mike from parts unknown writes: How can you rank Tom Brady over Matt Schaub when Schaub leads him in every statistic? Brady might have one less game, but he has almost the same attempts. And how in the world is Romo on the list and McNabb not? McNabb is fifth in passer rating and has a 9-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Mike Sando: Brady is averaging more touchdowns per game and fewer interceptions per game than Schaub. That would be one reason. McNabb opened the season on the MVP Watch list and I did consider adding him to the mix this time. It's just that McNabb has played in only five games and he has about half as many passing yards as Romo to this point. Keep an eye on McNabb, though. I do like his chances as the season progresses.
Kyle from San Antonio writes: One bad game and Kyle Orton is totally off the list? And Aaron Rodgers is on? I don't see it.
Mike Sando: Careful or someone might accuse you of being biased in favor of guys named Kyle.
Brad from Indianapolis writes: Are you crazy? Manning's arrow is down in the MVP Watch? The only number not equal to or better than Drew Brees is TD passes and he's only 1 behind. I can understand the No. 2 ranking given the Saints are having a great year ... but to put his rating down is just weird. Even without a TD pass in the Niner game, he still hit huge throws throughout the game. Finally, if Brees had the running game that Peyton has behind him, think how the Saints would be defended differently.
Mike Sando: The downward arrow only signifies where the player has moved since the previous week. Manning went from No. 1 to No. 2. He automatically received the downward arrow. It's very close at the top. Moving a guy from No. 1 to No. 2 doesn't reflect a lack of respect. It's not personal.
Dan from Fort Wayne, Ind., writes: You do realize Drew Brees has two games without throwing a touchdown, correct? I don't understand your logic dropping Manning if your reason is that he went one game without throwing a touchdown. May want to reword that.
Mike Sando: The comments associated with players on the list do not explain my full reasoning. It's a fluid list. Players can move around based on whether they had a bye that week, whether their team performed at a higher or lower level that week, whether they failed to throw a touchdown pass that week, etc.