Why Antonio Brown Will Be The 2017 MVP

By Jared Villani

Over the years, we have seen our fair share of quarterbacks taking home the coveted award for the league’s most valuable player. In the last decade, only Adrian Peterson could break the trend in 2012 and rightfully earn the award as he rushed for 2,097 yards and added 12 touchdowns to his historical season stat line. The quarterback position is very valuable we all know that. We usually see the teams with a MVP quarterback or one of that caliber, finding themselves making a promising run for the Lombardi Trophy. As the season is playing out, this can be said for the wide receiver position as well, more notably when you have a wide receiver of the caliber that Antonio Brown is. The Pittsburgh Steelers are currently 9 and 2 entering Week 13 of the season, and Antonio Brown has been a huge part of that success. AB leads the league in receptions with 80, as well as receiving yards with 1,195. He is currently second in receiving touchdowns with 8, just behind Texans star wide-out DeAndre Hopkins who leads the league with 9 and second to Lions wide-out Golden Tate (414) in yards after catch with 356. Brown is currently on pace to surpass 1,700 yards, but we all know what he is capable of and that is likely on the low end of what he could finish the regular season with. Since the Week 9 bye, Brown has 23 receptions, 352 yards and 5 touchdowns (20 receptions, 305 yards, and 5 touchdowns in the last two weeks), so he averaged 10 receptions, 150 plus yards a game, and 2.5 touchdowns in those last two contests. If he keeps that level of play going he has a realistic shot at hitting the 2,000-yard mark which no other wide receiver has ever done. Calvin Johnson had the most single season receiving yards with 1,964 in 2012. With remaining matchups against Cincinnati, New England, Baltimore, Houston and Cleveland, AB can realistically continue to build upon an already impressive season and possibly break Megatron’s record which would certainly be enough to win the award.

The frontrunners for the MVP race are Carson Wentz, Russell Wilson, and surprise…Tom Brady. In recent weeks, AB has earned a spot amongst the list as well, seeing former candidate Alex Smith and the rest of the Kansas City Chiefs have fallen off the radar. While Wentz leads the league in touchdown passes with 28, Brady leads the league in passing yards with 3,374, and Wilson is having an overall great passing season but adds 401 rushing yards and 3 rushing touchdowns. Point being, these guys are great players having great seasons, but the quarterback position dictates the game and they have a lot more opportunities to make plays. Seeing as a quarterback can throw the ball upwards of 30-40 times on occasion and realistically a wide receiver may only see 10 of those targets on a good day. Once the ball touches AB’s hands, his case for MVP becomes increasingly prevalent. Brown does average well over 10 targets a game with Ben Roethlisberger under center but a wide receiver can not make their presence known in a game unless the quarterback makes that possible. More notably, what AB does once the ball touches his hands is what sets him apart from the rest of the players at his position. In addition to his freakish catching ability, AB often uses his speed and evasiveness to leave defenders in the dust. Brown is the total package and a walking highlight reel, and it seems like every week he makes a play that we as spectators are almost used to seeing from him at this point. Most recently we witnessed his impressive toe-tapping catch against Green Bay last Sunday night to set the Steelers up for a game-winning field goal and the week prior he reeled in a one-handed catch against his helmet for a touchdown against Tennessee. While there is no way of comparing Wentz or Brady to Antonio Brown, you must consider the overall season in correlation to statistics. So do Brown’s season stats equate to the season these quarterbacks are having? Brown is one of many star players on what is arguably the best offensive team in the league in terms of potential. So a player putting up the numbers that he has with all of that star power alongside furthermore separates him from the competition. Many might argue that Brown does deserve to be MVP, and many others might be too stubborn to visualize a wide receiver ever taking home the award. There is a very promising chance that AB can break the trend and be the first player at his position to ever take home the award. After all, the award is given to the most valuable PLAYER, not necessarily most valuable quarterback, and as the season progresses the improbability of him taking home the award continuously fades.

In case you missed AB’s catch against Green Bay, I’m just going to leave this right here…

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