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CBS, BRETT FAVRE, give Matt Ryan MVP nod


likeriver
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Nailed it

2016 Final NFL MVP Vote: Matt Ryan holds off Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers

Brady's lead slips down the stretch run as Ryan's strong finish vaults him to the top of our vote

Back in September, the CBS Sports NFL writing staff submitted our predictions for MVP. None of us picked Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.

We had no real reason to, considering Ryan was coming off a 2015 season that saw him throw 21 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, average 7.5 yards per attempt, and post a 89.0 passer rating. Kyle Shanahan's offense failed the first time around. Ryan was even getting picked off by his offensive coordinator a month before this season.

On Tuesday, the CBS Sports NFL writing staff submitted our final MVP ballot. We didn't hand the award to Tom Brady, who led our vote for most of the year, or Aaron Rodgers or Cowboys rookie sensation Ezekiel Elliott. We gave the award to Ryan.

Final 2016 MVP vote

  1. Matt Ryan -- 24
  2. Tom Brady -- 20
  3. Aaron Rodgers -- 14
  4. Ezekiel Elliott -- 9
  5. Le'veon Bell -- 8

Below, you'll find our individual ballots. Of note: All five writers chose the same five players and four of our five writers placed Ryan in first. So, he was nearly a unanimous choice.

matt-ryan-1400.jpg
Matt Ryan deserves to take home NFL MVP honors. USATSI

Sean Wagner-McGough's top 5

  1. Ryan
  2. Brady
  3. Bell
  4. Rodgers
  5. Elliott

Ryan has been the best quarterback in football this year on an 11-win team that also featured the 27th-ranked defense in points allowed. He posted a better completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdown percentage, and passer rating than Brady and Rodgers. He quarterbacked one of the best offenses in the history of the NFL.He's the MVP. And, to be honest, it wasn't even much of a debate for me.


Jared Dubin's top 5

  1. Ryan
  2. Brady
  3. Elliott
  4. Rodgers
  5. Bell

Ryan was the best quarterback in the NFL this season and led one of the 10 best scoring offenses in NFL history. He led the league in yards per attempt, passer rating, touchdown rate, DYAR, DVOA, and QBR, and he outperformed Brady in games against common opponents. He had a great offensive line, two good running backs, and Julio Jones, but everyone on this list is working with good teammates. Everybody gets some help.

Brady was downright incredible this year, setting a new record for TD:INT ratio and keeping the Pats humming even without Gronk over the final few weeks. Had he played 16 games, he might have pushed in front of Ryan for me. It's not necessarily his fault he didn't play those four games, but he really did sit out. It happened.

tom-brady.jpg
Tom Brady scorched the NFL in his 12-game Deflategate revenge tour. Getty Images

Zeke was the best player on what was the league's best team for most of the season. Anyone that thinks anybody could do what he did this year didn't actually watch the Cowboys. Rodgers pushed his way onto the list with his ridiculous final six games, but he did contribute to Green Bay being 4-6 in the first place and I can't pretend that didn't happen. Still, another awesome season and he's absolutely on fire heading into the playoffs. And Bell might just be the best player in football. Had he not missed four games, he also might have pushed higher on the list.

 

Ryan Wilson's top 5

  1. Brady
  2. Ryan
  3. Rodgers
  4. Bell
  5. Elliott

Brady finished with 3,554 yards, 28 touchdowns and just two interceptions in 12 games, and looks nothing like a 39-year-old, 17-year veteran. Ryan, meanwhile, had 4,944 passing yards, 38 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 16 games to go along with a 117.1 passer rating. And if you're into the whole advanced stats thing, Brady was No. 2 in value per play among passers, according to Football Outsiders' metrics, and Ryan was No. 1. And according to Pro Football Focus, Brady graded out as the league's best quarterback while Ryan was second.

It took until Week 16 but Ezekiel Elliott finally cracked our top five. This isn't a knock on him or what he's been able to accomplish as a rookie, but an acknowledgement that he has a fantastic supporting cast that includes an all-world offensive line, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and the other rookie in the Cowboys' backfield, quarterback Dak Prescott. Still, Elliott has been consistently great this season and it's hard to overlook his 1,631 rushing yards, 5.1 YPC average, or his 15 touchdowns.


John Breech's top 5

  1. Ryan
  2. Brady
  3. Rodgers
  4. Elliott
  5. Bell

Matt Ryan must've taken my ballot last week as a personal challenge. Going into Week 17, I had Ryan at No. 3 and said that I'd need to see him throw at least six touchdown passes if I was going to move him up to No. 1. Although he didn't do that against the Saints (he ONLY threw four), I'm still moving him up to No. 1.

The bottom line is that Ryan just finished one of the most impressive seasons put together by any quarterback in NFL history. The one stat that really stood out to me was Ryan's 9.26 yards per attempt. That total was higher than any quarterback since 2000 (when Kurt Warner hit it and won MVP), and higher than even Rodgers' 2011 total when the Packers quarterback won the MVP after putting together one of the best all-around seasons for a QB in NFL history.

Ryan led the Falcons to the No. 2 overall seed in the NFC plus a first-round bye despite the fact that he was stuck on a team that had the NFL's seventh-worst defense in terms of total yards surrendered. Basically, Ryan and the Falcons offense had to outscore everyone they played, and that's exactly what they did.

Although I love what Ezekiel Elliott did in Dallas, I could just as easily give his vote to Dak Prescott. As for Brady, he was good, just not better than Ryan.

If Ryan doesn't win it, it will prove everyone in Atlanta's theory that the media doesn't know the Falcons exist.


Will Brinson's top 5

  1. Ryan
  2. Rodgers
  3. Brady
  4. Elliott
  5. Bell

I kind of feel like I'm taking crazy pills here because Matt Ryan just put up a historically good season and he's not getting nearly enough credit for it. The Falcons quarterback played lights out all season, even when Julio Jones was gone, and ended up passing for just under 5,000 yards. He's one of three quarterbacks in the last 25 years to average 9 yards per pass attempt while throwing for 4,500 yards and 35 passing touchdowns. The other two -- Peyton Manning in 2004 and Aaron Rodgers in 2011 -- were slam dunk MVP winners. Ryan should be too.

 

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/2016-final-nfl-mvp-vote-matt-ryan-holds-off-tom-brady-aaron-rodgers/

Edited by likeriver
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I hope the actual voters think about it as fairly as the folks above.  Voters all over the country are looking for a reason to give it to anyone but Ryan.  E.g., Brady was better on a per game basis (he wasn't), or Rodgers' hot stretch overrides his mediocre stretch (forget that Ryan was just as good for that six game stretch), or Carr must be the most valuable because despite having far worse numbers than any of the other three, his team isn't as good without him (as if the Falcons would be nearly as good without Ryan).

Most seem to forget a few simple facts: Out of the 40+ analysts at CBS, ESPN, USA Today, SI, and NFL.com, not one picked the Falcons to win their division in the preseason, in large part because of the Falcons tough schedule.  Matt Ryan then puts up a historic QB season against that insanely tough schedule, with numbers better than any of the other MVP candidates, and leads his team to a first round bye.  Yet somehow, he's like an afterthought.  So frustrating.

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They keep going on and on about Aaron Rodgers, and the 6 game run, but don't mention the 4-6 record he led them too as well. Just as with anything else you're responsible for both you're face of the franchise don't give me that crap about terrible defense.

 

Plus looking at schedules we had the tougher schedule then most teams in the playoffs this season.

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51 minutes ago, likeriver said:

Ugh.  The primary arguments...the team is nothing without him, and he had to overcome a bad D...are exactly true of Ryan as well.  Ryan was just better at each stage.

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1 minute ago, takeitdown said:

Ugh.  The primary arguments...the team is nothing without him, and he had to overcome a bad D...are exactly true of Ryan as well.  Ryan was just better at each stage.

The only way Carr wins is if a large amount of writers go the "smartest guy in the room" route - which could happen considering the group of schlepps we're talking about.  Ultimately, though, I don't believe Carr's a threat directly, but he could eat up some of the votes Ryan will need to cancel out the lazy Brady and Rodgers vote.  I am more optimistic about Matt's chances today than I was yesterday, however, and think in the end he ends up winning.

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Two things from that article stand out. One of those writers said "If Ryan doesn't win, it will prove everyone in Atlanta's theory correct that the media doesn't know the Falcons exist." Another writer says "Ryan's YPA has only been matched by two QB's, Manning and Rodgers. The years they did it they were slam dunk MVP's and Ryan should be too." 

Nothing else should have to be argued.

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The delusional cognitive dissonance here is infuriating.

Most years an analyst can "cherry pick" a couple stats to push his candidate, but this year EVERY cherry picked stat actually favors RYAN! It's unbelievable. He dominates every single one.

He beat not one but 2 MVP candidates! He beat BOTH Super Bowl teams from last year and one of them twice!

He has better stats than Brady against common opponents. He has better efficiency stats than anyone. He had a better passer rating during Rodgers magical stretch AND he has a better overall record than Rodgers and won the SAME number of games as Brady.

Usually there's plenty of "Yeah but Ryan..."

This year they have NOTHING to say against him so the only option is to not even mention his name.

I know the Lombardi is most important, but if we don't win it at least give us this consolation prize. Jeez

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4 minutes ago, NeonDeion said:

The delusional cognitive dissonance here is infuriating.

Most years an analyst can "cherry pick" a couple stats to push his candidate, but this year EVERY cherry picked stat actually favors RYAN! It's unbelievable. He dominates every single one.

He beat not one but 2 MVP candidates! He beat BOTH Super Bowl teams from last year and one of them twice!

He has better stats than Brady against common opponents. He has better efficiency stats than anyone. He had a better passer rating during Rodgers magical stretch AND he has a better overall record than Rodgers and won the SAME number of games as Brady.

Usually there's plenty of "Yeah but Ryan..."

This year they have NOTHING to say against him so the only option is to not even mention his name.

I know the Lombardi is most important, but if we don't win it at least give us this consolation prize. Jeez

He beat two shoe-in Hall of Famers on top of it all!  :tiphat:

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I just spammed Twitter with all sorts of stats.

I don't know how adjusted yards per attempts works but Matt Ryan just had the 2nd highest mark in NFL history with a minimum of 500 attempts. The only season better was Rodgers 2011 season (MVP). Rodgers was at 10.50. Ryan was at 10.09 this year. Only two QBs ever over 10.

Matt Ryan's 7.1 TD% was one of the highest in NFL history.

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