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Thread: Gronk MVP

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    14

    Gronk MVP

    There's little debate that quarterback is the most critical position in football, as is evidenced in a number of ways (not the least of which is how starting quarterbacks are paid in free agency). As a result, the NFL's most valuable player award skews towards quarterbacks, who have won the award in 10 of the past 13 seasons (note: in 2003, Peyton Manning and Steve McNair shared the honor). This year's most valuable player conversation will once again center largely around quarterbacks, with compelling cases to be made for both the Packers' Aaron Rodgers (whose flawless play at Lambeau Field has Green Bay in the mix for one of the NFC's top two playoff seeds) and Tom Brady, who has brushed off a slow start to lead the Patriots to a tie for the best record in the NFL at 11-3, while throwing 32 touchdowns, compared to just eight interceptions. But there's another player who must be in this conversation, however...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    16

    Re: Gronk MVP

    THere were a lot of weird and wacky things in NFL Week 13, none weirder than the Philadelphia Eagles beating the New England Patriots, 35-28. This is the same Eagles team that had lost 45-14 in consecutive weeks winning in Foxboro. What the game showed me was the Rob Gronkowski is the league's true MVP.
    I will stipulate that quarterback is the most position on a team. If Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Carson Palmer, Andy Dalton, Ben Roethlisberger or Tom Brady go down, so do their team's Super Bowl chances. Only Denver, which replaced an injured Peyton Manning and has gone 3-0 with Brock Osweiler getting valuable reps, might be immune. But I will make the case for Gronk as most valuable.

    Gronkowski missed the Eagles game with a knee injury and the Patriots offense looked out of sorts. Brady completed just 51% of his passes, got sacked four times and threw two interceptions, almost unheard of at home. A lot of it had to do with receivers not getting open and Brady missing his 6-6 safety blanket. I realize he was also missing Julian Edelman, but Gronk is the guy who papers over a lot of holes in an offense since he is consistently the most unstoppable pass catcher in the league. It's no surprise that the Patriots won their first Super Bowl in 10 years last season the only time Gronk has been healthy for the playoffs; he's that important.
    No Gronk means the defense doesn't have to commit a ton of resources to game plan him. Against the Eagles, the Patriots went from midway through the second quarter to midway through the fourth quarter without scoring any points. That wouldn't happen if Gronk was in there. I don't put a whole lot of stock in the Patriots' last two touchdowns, since they came when the Patriots were down 21 points; desperation points aren't indicative of a team's offense.
    Gronkowski will likely miss the next game at Houston and maybe more, but the good news for New England is that he should be healthy for the playoffs. The Patriots better hope so because their offense revolves around him driving defenses nuts. Cam Newton is the odds-on-favorite for MVP right now and he is certainly deserving. But if I had a vote, I'd go with Gronk.
    AFC tightens: It was eight days ago that the Patriots (10-2) were two games up on the AFC field and appeared a shoo-in for the top seed. Now, two losses later, they have the same record as the Broncos and Bengals and need help to get the top seed and home field advantage.
    If the Broncos win their last four (Oakland, at Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and San Diego), they get home field, making them the favorites in the AFC. After all, the Pats are 3-6 in Denver under Brady and Bill Belichick, and 0-2 in the playoffs. The Bengals get top seed with four wins (Pittsburgh, at San Francisco, at Denver, Baltimore) and one Patriots loss. The Patriots have two games they should certainly win (Tennessee, at Miami) and two tough games (at Houston and at the New York Jets). I have no idea how this all plays out, but the Week 16 Bengals-Broncos game looks huge.

    The wild card race in the AFC looks like it will come down to two of these three: Chiefs, Jets and Steelers, all 7-5. The 6-6 Bills have an outside shot but need to sweep their final four, while the lousy AFC South will be won by either the Colts or Texans, each 6-6.
    NFC settles in: The Panthers (12-0) and Cardinals (10-2) look solid for the top two seeds, with the NFC North winner (Minnesota or Green Bay, both 8-4) getting the third seed. The NFC East is dreadful, with 5-6 Washington a half-game ahead of the 5-6 Giants and Eagles. But if the 3-8 Cowboys beat Washington tonight, 5-7 leads the division. Amazingly, one of these dog teams will host a playoff game, likely against the Seahawks, clearly better than any of the four.
    Unbeaten and on track: The Panthers have an excellent chance to go 16-0. Their last four games: Atlanta (6-6); at Giants (5-7); at Atlanta; Tampa Bay (6-6). Carolina will be favored in all four. Best chance of an upset will be Week 15 at the Giants, a Jekyll and Hyde team that will get up for this game and came within one play of upsetting the Patriots three weeks ago.
    Humping the goal post: That's certainly what it looked like Antonio Brown was doing after scoring on a punt return in the Steelers' 45-10 blowout over the Colts:
    The celebration was weird and yet mesmerizing. Why you'd want to hump the goal post is beyond me, but it made for one of the most memorable moments this season.
    Losing his lunch: I was watching live with three friends, when Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters threw up in full view of the cameras. I would have thought he'd have been happy with a Raiders' missed field goal.

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