Manning has lost his annual security blanket, Dallas Clarke, and his wide outs are currently busy injuring themselves any which way possible, yet still Manning is second in the NFL with 15 TD passes, second in passer rating at 101.4 and fourth in completion percentage at 65.9. Most importantly, the Colts are 5-2. Rivers is right now at this very moment sitting somewhere with his right elbow in an ice bucket, having tossed the pigskin for an incredible 2,649 yards to date. He would need a complete U-Turn by the Chargers though, to be seriously considered. There’s a reason he has to throw it so often! Johnson and LaDainian Tomlinson would also need strong second halves, but are very much in the equation.
Right now however, if you had to choose a worthy winner for NFL MVP, would there be any better candidate than the boy with the family name from County Cork in Ireland, Tom Brady?
Brady appears to be back to his game-managing best, doing everything he can to push the Patriots forward. He is doing so with a curious cast of characters around him. Gone is Randy Moss, in are the non-household names, the blue collar, almost nameless non-elite, Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski, Danny Woodhead and BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Brady’s excellent fake for the Danny Woodhead touchdown against the Vikings was a fully and passionately executed play fake, his athletic scramble and heat-seeking-missile accurate bullet of a throw to Tate in the same game was a thing of beauty. The former was someone doing a menial task diligently and faithfully, the latter was someone doing something roughly .05 % of humans could do. Brady is delivering from all angles.
Not only is he delivering in terms of what some would call intangibles, Brady is also submitting some fresh, progressive numbers too. He is completing 65.3% of his passes and that has added up to a decent 1,602 passing yards. He has 12 TDs and owns a very respectable 96.6 QB rating.
As the Patriots offence kicks into gear and shakes the rust off, he should see those numbers rise in tandem.
The most important numbers of all? His New England Patriots are 6-1, and scoring just a hair under 30 points a game (both NFL bests).
All things considered, the great personnel turn-over, the change of style of play and the drama surrounding Moss, Brady is submitting one of his finest bodies of work to date. With a good, healthy and productive second half of the season, perhaps it will turn into his finest yet.