The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were always going to win the NFC South, it was only a matter of time. They did just that in Week 16 with a 32-9 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon. While the division and a playoff spot are sealed up, the Bucs aren’t in the clear yet. Tom Brady didn’t hurt himself in his chase for the NFL MVP award in 2021. He also didn’t help himself as much as he could have. Let’s take a look at his MVP odds heading into Week 17.
Tom Brady NFL MVP odds: +750
Brady threw for 232 yards and a TD, completing 18-of-30 passes while added 11 yards on a one rush. The Bucs were heavy favorites in this game, so the win isn’t all that impressive/surprising. Brady really need to throw for 300+ yards and at least 3 TDs in this contest. All the injuries on offense clearly hurt his production. No Mike Evans, no Chris Godwin, no Uncle Lenny. It’s just hard to envision Brady putting up the stats the last two games to catch Aaron Rodgers. Maintaining production or doing more with less would have went a long way in helping Brady pull closer in terms of odds.
It also doesn’t help that, behind Rodgers and Brady, there were a few candidates who continue to make a late push. Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor ran for another 100+ yards in a win over the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday. He jumped up to the third-best odds at 10/1 to win MVP after Week 15. Taylor was tied with Matt Stafford and Patrick Mahomes on the board. Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen took a big step to get back in the race with a Week 16 win over the Patriots.
Even with the division title and another win, Brady likely hurt himself this week. Rather, he just didn’t do enough. We could also see Brady rest a bit down the stretch if the Bucs feel Green Bay will definitely win one of its last two games. Seeding and home field won’t matter as much to a team like Tampa Bay. Having Brady and other players fresh is important. If that’s the case, getting off Brady for MVP makes sense.
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