Happy Thanksgiving on NFL Thursday, as today is a football day for sure! In this space right now, we’re looking at awarded Super Bowl MVPs (16-for-44 so far) and Rookies of the Year (30-for-53). The Super Bowl saw the return of one of the league’s storied franchises to the top of the heap, and the regular season was an interesting one, too—as always. So, enjoy your turkey and have a stellar day of football from start to finish!
Super Bowl XLV MVP: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay (original, confirmed)
The Green Bay Packers won their first Super Bowl since 1996 and only their second title since 1967 with a 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, perhaps the best QB to ever play the game, won the MVP vote with a stellar performance: 304 yards and 3 touchdown passes. Green Bay built a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and hung on in the second half for the win. Can anyone else challenge Rodgers for this award?
The Packers defense forced three turnovers, as three different players made big plays—none bigger than defensive back Nick Collins and his INT return for a TD in the first quarter. Collins added four tackles to his big night, but it’s arguable that his defensive TD, which gave Green Bay a 14-0 lead, was the biggest play of the game. But nothing else he did really stood out significantly. Meanwhile, Rodgers tossed his TDs in the first, third, and fourth quarters to consistently bury the Steelers.
With the offense around him running for just 50 yards total, it’s clear Rodgers was the primary engineer behind the Packers victory. The team defensive effort was collective, so we will confirm the MVP vote, readily.
2010 NFL ROTY: Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis & Ndamukong Suh, DT, Detroit (original); Bradford (revised)
Neither DPOY vote winner reached the postseason, although the Rams lost out on a division title due to a tiebreak, so that gives QB Sam Bradford—with 3,512 passing yards, 18 TDs, and 15 INTs—an edge here. Who else is there to consider, however Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back LeGarrette Blount played for missed-postseason-by-tiebreak team, too, gaining 1,021 yards and scoring 6 TDs. But his rookie teammate, wide receiver Mike Williams, also came up big (964 yards, 11 TDs).
They’re both out, therefore. Ndamukong Suh (49 tackles, 10 sacks, 1 FF) was the best defensive player, but that doesn’t factor in here due to the Lions’ poor finish. New England Patriots CB Devin McCourty (69 tackles, 7 INTs) came up big for a 14-win team, but the Patriots were obviously a very good team already. Bradford joined a 1-win team from 2009 and helped them win 7 games to get the verge of a postseason slot. We have to reward that, even if his 76.5 QB rating was mediocre.