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One ESPN panelist refuses to consider Patriots QB Tom Brady for MVP

The Worldwide Leader has an employee that refuses to acknowledge greatness.

Since week 13, ESPN has asked a panel of analysts who they would vote for NFL’s Most Valuable Player. These analysts rank their top five choices and points and for the past two weeks, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has received the most votes. Brady is thus considered the favorite to win MVP over the likes of Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott and Falcons QB Matt Ryan.

However, there’s something wrong. Brady has only featured on 12 of the 13 ballots in each of the past two weeks. Despite ranking first or second on 12 ballots this past week, Brady failed to rank in the top five of a mysterious 13th analyst.

These analysts think there are three tiers of candidates; there’s Brady; then there’s Elliott, Ryan, and Raiders QB Derek Carr; and then there’s Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers will have to keep winning to move up in the rankings over the final two weeks. If the Patriots clinch the #1 seed in the AFC, then MVP is likely Brady’s to lose.

But what’s the deal with the 13th analyst?

Last week, Brady collected 7 first place votes, 4 second place votes, and 1 third place vote. This past week, Elliott siphoned off a first place vote as Brady collected 6 first place and 6 second place votes. But someone is including the likes of Ravens K Justin Tucker and Seahawks QB Russell Wilson on their ballot, which seems like an insult to the handful of deserving candidates.

Now if a panelist wants to give their first place vote to Ryan or Elliott, or even Carr, then so be it. Ryan would have my vote right now because of how well he’s performed over the course of 14 games with one of the worst defenses in the league and without WR Julio Jones in recent weeks. Elliott is the most electric player on the best team in the NFC. Carr has been a godsend for a perennially downtrodden franchise.

But to not include Brady on the ballot at all, even if the voter objects to Brady playing 4 fewer games than his competition, denies not just the impact that Brady has had for a Patriots squad that was shutout on offense the week before his return, but also how sterling Brady’s performance has been this year, despite losing TE Rob Gronkowski.

I’m fairly certain that there’s a troll on the ESPN panel for the sake of discussion, because no player is listed on all 13 ballots. Brady (12 ballots), Carr (12), Elliott (11), and Ryan (10) lead the rankings and if Ryan, who ranks first in QBR and yards per attempt, second in yards and touchdowns, and third in completion rate for a division leader with an atrocious defense, doesn’t make every single ballot, then someone is rigging the vote for the sake of “discussion.”