Three weeks ago, the 2017 season came to an end that was a bitter one for the New England Patriots and their fans. Despite the team's 41-33 loss in Super Bowl LI, however, it still had a pretty successful season as one of the best and most entertaining squads in all of football – proving that the dynasty is still alive and well even with quarterback Tom Brady having hit the big 4-O.
In fact, Brady was one of the, if not the major reason why the team made it all the way to the NFL's title game: The greatest quarterback of all time delivered another marvelous season and rightfully was named the league's MVP because of his performance. The Associated Press was not the only institution to poll its members, though, analytics website Football Outsiders did as well.
For the 15th year, the website polled its fans in various categories and Brady again came out on top as the NFL's most valuable player. Football Outsiders writer Vincent Verhei had to write the following about the veteran passer, who received more than double the votes (37.7%) of second-placed Todd Gurley (16.9%):
Tom Brady led the league in passing yardage for the third time and passing DYAR for the fifth time. The Patriots rallied from a 2-2 start to win 11 of their last 12 regular-season games and home-field advantage in the playoffs, which went a long way in getting Brady to his eighth Super Bowl. So it’s not shocking that our readers voted him league/offensive MVP for the third time since 2007.
Brady is not the only Patriots player mentioned in the 27 categories that range from likely breakout player of 2018 to best touchdown celebrations to executive of the year. Overall, New England and its players and/or coaches are mentioned 16 times – twice as the top choice: Brady, apart from being named MVP, also led the voting in the category of “player to most likely significantly decline in 2018”.
Verhei had the following to say about the category, which saw Brady get 26.3% of the vote:
Well, let’s see. Brady threw for a league-high 4,577 yards at age 40, adding 32 touchdown passes. In NFL history, no quarterback age 41 or older has ever thrown for more than 3,678 yards or 25 touchdowns (both by Warren Moon with Seattle in 1997). So yes, either Brady’s numbers are going to decline sharply, or he is going to make history (again).
If the past is any indication, the latter appears more likely.