The Kansas City Chiefs have exceeded expectations this season but do they have the league’s most valuable player?
Until recently, the NFL MVP discussion has been a two horse race between Patriots QB Tom Brady and Eagles QB Mike Vick. After the way Vick played last night against the Minnesota Vikings, it is looking more and more like Brady will receive the award.
But not so fast Mr. Brady. If there is a dark horse in the MVP race then it is your former backup, Chiefs QB Matt Cassel.
Brady has had a very fine season, there is no doubt about that but is he the most valuable? I guess it depends on how you think the MVP award should be viewed.
Does it mean the player should be the most valuable to his team or the most valuable player in the league period? My guess is that most people assume the former and if that is the case and it was coming down to Vick, Brady and Cassel, I’d have to go with Cassel.
I explain, after the jump.
Let’s start with Vick. Michael Vick has had an unbelievable season and he is certainly a wonderful story but is he more valuable to the Eagles than Cassel is tot he Chiefs?
The Eagles have the same record as the Chiefs (10-5), however, Vick missed three games due to injury and in those games, backup QB Kevin Kolb lead the Eagles to a 2-3 record. In fact, one of those wins was a 31-17 drubbing of the Atlanta Falcons. That could lead one to argue that while Vick is certainly valuable, he is replaceable on his own team.
Now let’s take a look at Brady. Brady has been fantastic, throwing for 3,701 yards, 34 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. By contrast, Cassel has only thrown for 3,001 yards (though he missed one game), 27 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. They are solid numbers but certainly are not as good as Brady’s.
But could the Patriots still win without Brady? Unlike the Vick situation, we do not know that as Brady has been healthy all year long.However, there was a time, just a couple of years ago when the Patriots did have to play without Brady and they were still able to win. In fact, not only did they win, they went 11-5.
And their QB was Matt Cassel.
In the only game Cassel missed for the Chiefs this season, Kansas City got absolutely handled by the San Diego Chargers. In fact, the Chiefs didn’t score at all without Cassel, putting up their only goose egg of the season.
In the three games leading up to Casse’s absenece, the Chiefs offense scored 83 points. In the two games since his return, they have scored 61.
In the end, I highly doubt Cassel will win the MVP. In reality, he would have needed to play better early in the season to be in the conversation, though it is a mark of just how far he has come this year that folks are even mentioning the words Cassel, MVP and Brady in the same sentences.
Cassel has had his breakout year and if he continues to string together good performances in the playoffs and into next season, the MVP conversation this time next year may involve a lot more than just buzz for Matt Cassel.