Aaron Rodgers can win his third straight NFL MVP this coming season.
Many will scoff at this lofty notion, but there is a clear path most just don’t see.
They could point to all the young gun quarterbacks in the NFL, including Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, and Josh Allen. Others could use the excuse of voter fatigue to discount A-Rodg’s chances.
And some could simply point to the loss of the best receiver in the NFL — Davante Adams — and use that as the reason why this goal won’t be achieved.
In reality, Adams’ departure — he was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders and then signed a five-year, $141.25 million deal with his new team — is the biggest reason why Rodgers could wind up scoring the hat trick when it comes to the coveted award.
The Packers were 7-0 with Adams since 2019 and 10-3 overall. It’s an incredible record to be missing such a talent from the lineup.
But it tells you about Rodgers being able to elevate others and make them better.
For sure, it will be a huge task, by no means easy with many new receivers. The Packers lost Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. But they picked up second-round rookie Christian Watson, fourth-round rookie Romeo Doubs, and veteran Sammy Watkins. Returnees include Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb.
If Rodgers is able to put this receiving corp together and make up for the loss of Adams, it will be a narrative that will be hard to beat come award time.
The other thing that helps is that many have the Packers’ defense as top five. Plus, the Pack can run the ball. They are expected to win a lot of games.
It’s a formula for success. And another piece of hardware for Rodgers.
The only player to three-peat was Brett Favre from 1995-1997 when he was quarterbacking the Green Bay Packers.
For sure, it will be a tall order to do what his former teammate and predecessor did in the 90s. But it’s definitely not impossible.
He is already in Mount Rushmore status, winning the award four times. With MVPs in 2011, ’14, ’20, and ’21, Rodgers joins a short list of winners with three or more. Only Peyton Manning has more MVPs than Rodgers. Manning is at the top of the list with five.
To win the award, it’s not just about piling up empty numbers. Bucs’ QB Tom Brady filled the stat sheet a year ago. In fact, he had more TDs and yards than Rodgers and didn’t come close to winning the award.
Rodgers was the runaway winner, getting 39 of the 50 votes from the AP panel. Brady finished with just 10 votes and Rams WR Cooper Kupp got one vote.
Brady had 43 TDs to Rodgers’ 37 and TB had 5,316 yards, more than 1,200 yards more than Rodgers.
The reason Brady didn’t win is simple: Voters take into consideration the degree of difficulty and quality of wins. Who did you beat in putting up those monster numbers?
The Packers have a few huge victories last season. They went into the desert and beat the unbeaten Cardinals (7-0 at the time) without Adams. Rodgers also beat the 49ers on the road after getting the ball back with 37 seconds and trailing. It was a Sunday night game that stunned NFL America.
When Rodgers won his third MVP in ’20, he became the first QB to lead the league in the categories of TD passes, completion percentage, passer rating, and interception percentage (1.0) in the same season since 1992, when Steve Young won the first of his two MVPs.
Last season, Rodgers’ numbers were gaudy. In 16 games, he passed for 4,115 yards and 37 TDs against just four interceptions and led the Packers to a 13-3 record.
As for this year, the Packers are poised to win their division again. Minnesota and Chicago have new head coaches; there will no doubt be a year of adjustment in those cities. The Lions are well, the Lions. They have NEVER won an NFC North division title — and 2022 won’t be their first.
So imagine the Packers winning another 13 games. They have won 13 games in each of the last three seasons while securing the division title.
Rodgers can win MVP again. The path and narrative are in place. He just has to perform like he always does.