Could the Washington Redskins new superstar rookie actually be in the running for the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award? Before you entirely scoff at the notion, think about what type of player should win the award? Is it the best player on the team with the best record, the one with the best stats, or the player who is the most valuable to their team’s success?
Clearly, the biggest critique of Robert Griffin being considered the league’s MVP at this point in the season would be the Redskins’ losing record. However, given DC’s defense and schedule so far, RGIII should not be penalized for their 3-4 record. Washington’s defense is currently ranked 29th in yards allowed per game, 28th in scoring, and dead last in passing yards. All four of their losses were decided within the last two minutes of the game and by seven points or less. Their last three games were against teams with a combined record of 16-4. There have been instances in the past where the MVP came from a losing team or a pitcher won a Cy Young award with a losing record due to a lack of run support, so the feat has some precedent.
Maybe in this fantasy football/videogame driven era of the NFL, all the MVP voters would care about would be numbers and statistics. Well, Griffin is third in the NFL in passer rating, ahead of the likes of Brady and Brees. He is first in yards per attempt and at 70.4% has the highest completion percentage of any quarterback in the league. His mere three interceptions are also tied for fewest in the league. With RGIII, the attention is obviously focused on his running abilities as well. He is currently 12th in the entire league in rushing yards and second in rushing touchdowns. His 468 rushing yards are more than the Saints and Raiders have as a team and his six rushing TD’s are more than 24 entire teams. In fact he is leading the NFL in yards per rush and yards per pass attempt, the first player in history to do so. (While Cam Newton and Michael Vick have also recently had outstanding dual threat seasons, Newton was 15th in passer rating last year while Vick’s career year in 2010 was still only 10th in the league in completion %.)
Those impressive stats mean even more to the team, illustrating his immense value. His 2,069 combined yards account for 73% of the Redskin’s total offense and he has had a hand in 13 of the 19 offensive touchdowns. DC’s offense is ranked sixth in scoring per game, fifth in overall yards, and first in rushing yards. The last time they finished the season ranked this high in these categories was 13 seasons ago. Amazingly, the Redskins have scored 30 points or more three times already this season, which is the same amount of times they achieved that in the past four entire seasons combined.
Given all his numbers and value to the team, RG3 should not lose out in an early MVP race to similar rated quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Rodgers, Big Ben, Brady and Brees, who already have hardware and only have a combined record of 16-16 themselves anyways.