We have hit, officially now, the final NFL Thursday miniseries entry that has to ignore the “achievements” of cheatin’ Tom Brady. Yay! However, since Brady had changed teams at this point, we have no reason to believe that the systematic deviousness associated with the New England Patriots followed him to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (other than his own individual subversive influence, of course). Even so, we didn’t watch this Super Bowl, because we felt strongly it was going to be fixed. Seriously.

Super Bowl LV MVP: Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay (original); Devin White, LB, Tampa Bay (revised)

As noted above, we didn’t even watch this game, making it the second time in three seasons we didn’t do so. Why the NFL would choose to anoint Brady again—over the opponent who was younger, honest, and simply better naturally—says a lot about the “fans” the league caters to these days (think SEC). Anyway, Tampa Bay beat the Kansas City Chiefs (the defending champs with their extremely beloved, young quarterback, Patrick Mahomes) by a 31-9 score, and it was pretty laughable, evidently.

Brady was named the MVP, of course, by sycophantic mediots, and even though his performance was “great” by objective standards, we don’t reward confirmed cheaters here with anything but scorn and defiance; slight regard, contempt. So, we have to look elsewhere, as usual when ignoring Brady. Our candidates? Running back Leonard Fournette (135 total yards, 1 touchdown), tight end Rob Gronkowski (2 receiving TDs), and linebacker Devin White (12 tackles, 2 TFLs, 1 INT, 1 PD).

Here’s our take: Gronk’s success always has been dependent on Brady’s cheating, although 2022 proved that maybe Brady missed Gronk tremendously. But we digress: Gronk’s yardage is really too low, anyway. Fournette did a good job moving the chains, but so did the other TB back, Ronald Jones II. Meanwhile, Kansas City outgained Tampa Bay on the day, but the two INTs were significant, and White also made a lot of stops that mattered in holding the Chiefs to just 9 points. White’s our guy here.

2020 NFL ROTY: Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers & Chase Young, DL, Washington (original); Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis (revised)

We wrote about Justin Herbert a long time ago, and he won part of the official ROTY vote here—but the under-talented Los Angeles Chargers missed the postseason. Meanwhile, defensive lineman Chase Young helped the Washington Football Team “win” the NFC East with a 7-9 record (the same record the Chargers posted in the AFC West). We will keep both as true candidates here for the singular ROTY hardware, and now we explore if we have any other candidates.

Just one, really: Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor, who helped his team improve four games (11-5). Meanwhile, the Chargers improved two wins, while Washington also improved 4 games. The stats for all three players carry impact in this analysis, but perhaps we should drop Herbert from the conversation, despite his 98.3 QB rating, 31 TDs, and a mere 10 INTs, especially with Indy improving more and making the postseason with a real record. And perhaps that’s the nail in Young’s case, too.

Washington’s rookie stud “only” managed 32 tackles and 7.5 sacks, the latter being a “good” number but hardly a “great” one. Meanwhile, Taylor ran for 1,169 yards and 11 TDs, while adding 299 receiving yards and another TD through the air. And he only fumbled once in 268 touches. Young may have more of an impact on his team, value wise, but we’re talking about a 7-9 team that made the postseason solely because the NFC East sucked. Miami missed the AFC postseason with 10 wins, you know?

Indy improved the same amount as Washington, beating quality competition for the postseason berth it earned. Taylor was the key there, as the Colts improved their scoring output by 90 points with the addition of their rookie RB. Washington also improved its defensive scoring (by 106 points, in truth), but how much of that had to do with the weak division? Indy finished second in the AFC South, losing the division title on a tiebreak to the Tennessee Titans. Again, Young was good, but Taylor had a bigger impact.