The MVP competition is “not even a close race” with Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady ahead of the pack, head coach Bruce Arians told reporters earlier in the week.
The Associated Press All-Pro voters believe otherwise.
A national panel of 50 media members voted Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers as their All-Pro first-team quarterback for the 2021 season. He earned 34 votes compared to Brady’s 16. And since All-Pro and MVP are both voted on by media, the news is an indication Rodgers might be on his way to a second consecutive nod.
NFL MVP race: Rodgers vs. Brady
Rodgers, 38, is the heavy favorite at Bet MGM for the league’s MVP award. He threw for 4,115 yards, 37 touchdowns and only four interceptions in the regular season. It was the lowest interception rate in the league. The Packers (13-4) are the top seed in the NFC playoffs and have a bye through wild-card weekend.
Brady, 44, is second on BetMGM’s list of favorites. He led the league with 5,316 passing yards and 43 touchdowns in playing every game. The Buccaneers (13-4) are the No. 2 seed in the conference and host the Philadelphia Eagles this weekend.
Both are going for their fourth NFL MVP award for the trophy case. Rodgers is the reigning title holder while Brady last won in 2017.
In an anonymous NFL Network survey completed by 23 high-ranking executives of 23 NFL teams, Rodgers was named MVP with 11 votes and Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor earned eight. Brady had two votes. The league’s MVP award is voted on by national NFL writers.
2021 AP All-Pro team unanimous picks
Taylor, Packers receiver Davante Adams, Los Angeles Rams receiver Cooper Kupp, Pittsburgh Steelers edge rusher T.J. Watt and Rams defensive end Aaron Donald were all unanimous picks. They received the nod from all 50 voters.
Taylor and Kupp are making their first All-Pro appearances. They are two of 14 players named to the team for the first time in their careers. Taylor had 1,811 rushing yards, leading all backs, and 18 touchdowns. Kupp led the league in receptions (145), receiving yards (1,947) and touchdown catches (16).
Watt, making his third appearance in five seasons, finished his regular season by tying Michael Strahan’s single-season sack record of 22.5. The team’s appeal to have an additional sack counted in the finale fell short.