Of the 52 Super Bowls that have already been played, a quarterback was named the game’s MVP on 29 occasions. In the five Super Bowls in which Tom Brady has won with the Patriots, he was named the MVP in four of them.
So, with the Patriots favored to win Super Bowl LIII, it should come as no surprise that he is the favorite to win MVP. After all, quarterbacks have won over half of them in the history of the game, and in seven of the last ten.
With Brady winning it 80 percent of the time when the Patriots win a Super Bowl he has played in, he is the safest and most logical choice. But sometimes the safe, logical choice is not the best one. Sometimes there are other players in position to make a more significant impact.
But who could they be?
The following are Patriots players which Betway.com has given odds on winning the MVP of Super Bowl LIII:
- Tom Brady: -111.11
- Sony Michel: +1600.00
- James White: +2000.00
- Julian Edelman: +4000.00
- Rob Gronkowski: +4000.00
- Rex Burkhead: +6600.00
- Chris Hogan: +10000.00
- Kyle Van Noy: +10000.00
- Cordarelle Patterson: +12500.00
- Stephen Gostowski: +15000.00
- Mathew Slater: +30000.00
Should the Rams win, Jared Goff is the heavy favorite to win (+225.00). Quarterbacks are in a prime position to have a significant impact, so the odds make sense. But they aren’t always the players who make the most significant impact.
However, for someone else to win, there impact not only has to be big, but it also has to be bigger than Brady’s.
What Will It Take?
The one time Brady didn’t win it was back in Super Bowl XXXIX. He did not have a statistically significant game that day (23-33 for 236 yards and two touchdowns). It was a good day, but it was not a great day. Wide receiver Deion Branch, however, had a great day (11 receptions for 133 yards) and won the award.
Hines Ward won it a year later (five receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown). Santonio Holmes was the last receiver to do so in Super Bowl XLIII (nine receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown).
The last running back to win the MVP was Denver Broncos great Terrell Davis who had 157 yards and three touchdowns on the ground in Super Bowl XXXII.
For a defender to win, no offensive player can have a statistically significant day, and the player in question will have to have a phenomenal one (i.e., Von Miller recording 2.5 sacks in Super Bowl 50). Special teams players/return men will need to score multiple touchdowns.
As for the kicker, if he ends up kicking seven field goals in a 21-0 victory—maybe.
So—Who Can Do it?
Since the player will need to be someone who can have a statistically significant day while Tom Brady doesn’t have one, there is only one realistic choice—running back Sony Michel.
Michel has been running the ball exceptionally well during the postseason with two 100+ yard games and five touchdowns. A similar day would definitely have him in the running for MVP. However, as good as Michel was in both games, Brady also had great days.
Is there any reason to think he could have a better day than Brady?
The Rams were not a good defense against the run during the regular season (23rd; 122.3 yards/game). So, it is not hard to imagine Michel having a good day against them.
If Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib can live up to their reputations, Brady might find it tough to dominate like he often does. More importantly, Brady has been known to struggle when under extreme pressure (i.e., like what the Denver Broncos put on him in the 2015 AFC Championship).
However, the Rams have only had three sacks in the postseason and just had 41 during the regular season. But they do have arguably the best defensive player in the league in Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh, and Dante Fowler in the front seven.
Can Michel Do It?
If the Rams defense can step up and slow Tom Brady down enough—absolutely. Will they? That is a lot harder to say. But if you take the safe way out and bet on Brady, you are not going to win much. Put our money down on Michel, and if he comes through, you stand to make a tidy profit.