Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 11/5/14

DETROIT , MI - NOVEMBER 26: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers reacts after throwing a second quarter touchdown against the Detroit Lions on November 26, 2009 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

As we head into the weekend of Divisional round play in the NFL, most fans and pundits are focusing their attention, and rightly so, on the four matchups that will take place this Saturday and Sunday. At the same time, there is an awful lot of focus on the coaching merry-go-round; determining who is to blame for the knee injury suffered by Redskins’ quarterback RGIII; and which teams might be looking to trade for Mike Vick, Alex Smith, and Tim Tebow. That, of course, leads me to make the following blanket statement about a topic entirely apart from this list: Aaron Rodgers will not repeat as the National Football League’s Most Valuable Player, but he probably should. Conventional thinking on the 2012 NFL MVP has it as a two-person race, with the same pair running neck and neck for Comeback Player of the Year as well. Stats Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and Vikings running back Adrian Peterson are the odds-on favorites to finish one-two in the MVP balloting, and both have had the kind of year that merits such consideration. But a quick look at some of the statistics would indicate that Rodgers might well deserve better than the third place finish that most prognosticators think he is heading toward. In comparing the two quarterbacks, it’s true that Manning threw for more yards than Rodgers (4,659 to 4,295), but Rodgers, the reigning MVP, threw for two more touchdowns with three fewer interceptions. And while I am not sure of the algebraic equations that determine the quarterback ratings, Rodgers again bests Manning with a 108 rating compared to Manning’s 105.8. Peterson came within nine yards of matching Eric Dickerson’s single season rushing record of just over 2,100 yards. In fact, he rushed for more yards than both the Broncos and Packers entire teams. The Vikings running back averaged an astonishing 6-yards plus per carry and accounted for 80-percent of his team’s rushing yardage. And he was able to find the end zone 12 times. Records Looking at the record of each team (remembering that post season play is not to be taken into consideration), Manning’s Broncos came in with the best record of the three at 13-3. Two of their losses were to teams that made the playoffs (Atlanta and New England) and they did sweep their division – although, sweeping a division where your opponents were Oakland, San Diego, and Kansas City does not automatically qualify you as world-beaters.  The Broncos have won 11 in a row. Green Bay finished first in the NFC North with an 11-5 mark, losing to four teams that made the post-season tournament. Those teams include San Francisco, Seattle, Indianapolis, and the Vikings. And unless you were in a coma in week 3, you probably realize that it is hard – really, really hard – for anyone to classify the loss to Seattle as legitimate. The only team that beat Green Bay this year and did not get a post-season berth was the defending Super Bowl champion Giants. The Vikings finished a game back of Green Bay with a 10-6 record, losing to four playoff-bound teams (Indianapolis, Washington, Seattle, and Green Bay) and two (Tampa Bay and Chicago) that didn’t qualify.  They did string together four consecutive wins at the end of the year to claim that final wild-card spot. Supporting Casts It should also be noted that, of the three, Manning probably had the best supporting cast throughout the season – a stronger running game than the Packers, by far, and Manning’s ability to throw the ball will never be challenged by Peterson’s quarterback, Christian Ponder. It would be hard to classify the Packers wide receiver crew as anything less than the best in the game, but that’s when they’re healthy, which wasn’t the case for most of the year as Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson both spent a number of games on the sidelines, in street clothes, nursing a variety of injuries.  Also, injuries cost the Green Bay offensive line a great deal of missed games, which played a big role in Rodgers being sacked a league-leading 51 times, 30 more times than Manning was sacked. Rodgers’ Biggest Competition? Himself There is no doubt that, in debates like this one, statistics can be massaged and skewed to make just about any point one wants to make. And there are solid cases for each of the three to grab the Most Valuable Player award. But there is no debate as to the player who will, more than likely, push Aaron Rodgers to the third in this year’s balloting: Aaron Rodgers from 2011. Rodgers’ performance last year, when he won the MVP hardware, was one for the ages. Last year, it seemed as though he hit almost every pass that he tried, and more often than not they were for long distance. This year, there were a few times in several games when he just couldn’t quite thread the needle like he did so easily last season, and that had some writers and broadcasters talking about how his performance had fallen off. His stats this year may not have matched last year’s totals, but it would be hard to find any NFL coach who wouldn’t take his 2012 numbers for their quarterback. Final Thought Manning and Peterson obviously delivered Herculean efforts this season. Both were outstanding, and to make their performances more impressive they were coming off major injuries and surgeries. Without a doubt, one of them will be named Comeback Player of the Year unless, and this will happen if there is such a thing as justice in the voting, they tie for the award. Only one of the trio will be named MVP this season. For Peterson, whose Vikings are eliminated from the playoffs, that’s now the best he can hope for. For Manning and Rodgers, there is some bling that they are still in the running for and that would probably make up for finishing as an also-ran on the MVP ballot. A Super Bowl ring can go a long way toward soothing some disappointment over missed individual awards. Last year Rodgers got the MVP ring he deserved, but his team fell short of expectations in the playoffs. He’s unlikely to win the MVP again this year, but perhaps his Packers can avenge last season’s playoff disappointment and make another unexpected run to the Super Bowl. The post The NFL MVP Debate … And Why The Guy Who Should Win It Probably Won’t appeared first on Midwest Sports Fans.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Duke takes over as the No. 1 recruiting class

Kevin Love not expected to be available next series

Titans have reportedly been 'all over' Marcus Mariota

Report: Browns talked with Redskins about trading up

Doc Rivers tore into Clippers in film room after blowout loss

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jon Jones facing felony charge for leaving scene of crime

Josh Hamilton officially traded back to Rangers

Report: Landing Adrian Peterson too costly for Cardinals

Report: Antonio Brown joins Steelers voluntary work outs

Charles Barkley: JR Smith should be suspended 10 games

Report: Redskins likely to pick up Robert Griffin III's option

Report: Brady was at stadium day of White House visit

Arkansas has leather belt to commemorate Texas Bowl win

John Angelos, Orioles got it right with Freddie Gray protest

Belichick's girlfriend fine with coach checking out Teigen

V. Stiviano posts birthday message to 'BFF' Donald Sterling

Mark Cuban and the inevitable playoff peril of the Mavs

Wizards made Raptors look bad while remaking themselves

Previewing Game 7 showdown between Islanders and Capitals

WATCH: Rick Carlisle tapes mouth shut so he can't rip refs

NFL Draft 2015: Ranking the quarterbacks

Greg Hardy faces teammate, Cowboys locker room leak

Top 10 storylines for the 2015 NFL Draft

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Duke takes over as the No. 1 recruiting class

Titans have been 'all over' Mariota?

Doc Rivers tore into Clippers after loss

Jon Jones facing felony charge

Worst picks ever by every NFL franchise

Report: Cowboys not in on Peterson

NFL Draft 2015: Ranking the QBs

Top 10 storylines for the 2015 NFL Draft

Paul Pierce trolls Raptors fans

Yes, ESPN2 is airing video games

Darko Milicic is enjoying life

Pitcher throws perfect game, still loses

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.