Tom Brady was named the 2017 Most Valuable Player for the third time in his career on Saturday. At 40, Brady is the oldest player to win the award. The Patriots star led the league in passing yards (4,577) while finishing third in adjusted yards per attempt (8.36), passing touchdowns (32) and passer rating (102.8).
The 18-year pro led New England to a 13-3 record and a ninth straight AFC East title. The Pats’ season ended in a 41-33 shootout to the Eagles in Super Bowl 52.
Brady and the Patriots’ success is typical of an MVP winner. Last year, Matt Ryan set career marks in passing yards (4,944) and touchdowns (38), helping the Falcons win the NFC South for the first time in four seasons. The year before that, Cam Newton set career-highs in touchdowns and the Panthers started the season 14-0. Same story when Aaron Rodgers took home the hardware in 2014. The Packers star threw 35 touchdowns against five interceptions a season after playing just nine games and Green Bay won the NFC North for a fourth consecutive time.
A player needs an exceptional, if not career-year to win the award. However, it is called a career-year for a reason, as MVPs tend to regress the following season. How big of a step back will Tom Brady take in 2018?