Both of the top two MVP candidates heading into week 8 of this season, were not even considered for the MVP award last season. JJ Watt was an inexperienced rookie with lots of potential, but questions of whether he’d be able to reach his max ability. Matt Ryan was still trying to prove that he’s a top ten QB, and that the Falcons are “the real deal”. Both players have brought their game to a whole different level this season, and both are having career years. But who’s been better, and has been the NFL MVP through 7 weeks? Read below to find out.
Once you’ve done that, vote on the poll at the bottom of the article. Make sure you vote wisely, because the winner of the debate gets $10.
[one_half]By: Lucas Sheiner
Through seven weeks the Texans have been the NFL’s best team, and JJ Watt has been their most valuable, and best overall player. The Texans defense has been the main reason for this team’s dominance, and Watt in just his second season has managed to be been the leader of the defense. He has the most sacks, and swats in the NFL, and has been a fear for QB’s to face since the season started.
I know what you’re thinking. “BUT HE PLAYS DEFENSE?? HE CAN’T WIN MVP!”
Wrong. While top offensive players generally have more of an effect on a game then top defensive players, there are exceptions and this is one of them. The Texans win because of their defense, and Watt is the reason that this defense finds success.
A defensive player winning MVP has happened before. In 1971 defensive tackle Alan Page, and in 1986 linebacker Lawrence Taylor won in 1986. A kicker even won the award in 1982!
What the MVP voting will boil down to is whether the voters think of it as most valuable player, or most valuable quarterback. If it’s most valuable quarterback, like it has been in years past, then Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady. But if it’s most valuable player, then JJ Watt is taking home that MVP award.
[one_half_last]By: Josh Moeschl
His 98 passer rating this year puts him fourth in that category. He is tied for fourth with 14 touchdown passes. All four ahead of him have had one more game played that Matty Ice.
The most telling stat, and my main argument for him as the MVP so far, is his receiving corps. Tony Gonzalez is having his best season in what is most likely his final season. Roddy White and Julio Jones have each had a monster game.
All three have the same number of touchdown receptions at four.
That means Ryan is making his progressions as a quarterback and finding the guy who is open. If a guy blitzes, he immediately looks to the player going toward the void left by the blitzer then to his check down. If he sees evidence of single coverage, he audibles at the line and sends Jones, Douglas, or White deep.
In the pass-happy NFL, there is no more valuable commodity than a stud starting quarterback. Ryan commands the respect of his teammates and opponents alike. This might be the year he takes the Falcons to the Super Bowl.
He is playing like an MVP and his team’s undefeated record speaks to that.