The best player who also plays for the best team in the league is called the most NFL MVPs. Most of the time, the quarterback is that player. Looking back, you will be surprised to realize that the number of MVPs who have gone on to win the Super Bowl is only ten. That’s below 20%. This fact makes you wonder if it is worth it to put your stake on the league MVP winning the Super Bowl. It may be a good idea to keep them since they don’t represent great value. When you look at previous championships, you will notice that there are several NFL MVPs that should not have the Super Bowl. Let’s see why we think they did not deserve it as we analyze each of their seasons.
1. Tom Brady (2007)
Definitely, the efforts put by Tom Brady were enough to earn him the MVP trophy! England Patriots Tom Brady in NFL history had arguably the greatest season. However, it is obvious to note that it was missing. In the season’s first half, the Patriot’s offense had no one holding a candle for them. In their first eight games, the Patriots scored 34+ points. Their 21-point victory over the Cleveland Browns in that stretch was the closest game. Of all the eight games, Brady only managed to pass for 3+ touchdowns. During the second half of the season, New England came across a few close games. Lucky for them, Brady was always there to save the day. In the history of the NFL, The Patriots were the first team to finish the season 16-0. A record-setting year from Brady was what made them finish the season with a punch.
Brady’s Record-Setting Numbers
- 50 touchdowns
- 4,806 passing yards
- 87.0 QBR
- 68.9 completion percentage
- 117.2 passer rating
- Eight interceptions
Brady’s 50 passing touchdowns at that particular time were an NFL record. A massive (-400) favorite playoff win in the Super Bowl was what got New England their victory. New England managed to pull themselves away in the second half of the season after hanging with the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first half of the Divisional Round. Tom Brady managed to pass for three touchdowns and 262 yards. The San Diego Chargers fought tooth and nail in the AFC Championship Game, but the fourth-quarter touchdown from Brady denied them their victory. Phillip Rivers put up a good fight in the game, although he had a torn ACL.
In the Super Bowl, New England got in the game as (-12.5) point favorites over the New York Giants. The Giants trailed by four points but managed to keep it close throughout the game until the last three remaining minutes.
The Patriots were denied that perfect season by Eli Manning, who led the game-winning touchdown drive. Without a doubt, Brady had a great season for an MVP, but he fell short by a whisker to claim the ultimate price.
2. Peyton Manning (2013)
The Denver Broncos Peyton Manning could not scoop the victory in a playoff game even though they had a great first season. Manning and the Broncos were hell-bent on winning the championship in 2013. Manning started the season with an exemplary performance of all time in a single game.
- 462 passing yards
- Seven touchdowns
This certainly set the tone for a record-breaking season. Manning cleared 300 yards in nine of the first ten games that Denver started with. In Week 12, things started to fall apart for Manning when they lost to the New England Patriots in overtime. However, he managed to bounce back in four of his last five games by throwing 4+ touchdowns.
With 55 touchdowns and 5,477 passing yards, Manning managed to set an NFL record. This helped the Bronco’s offense break a record with 37.9 points per game, which also saw them ranking second all-time in yards per game.
What made the Broncos clinch a 24-17 victory against the San Diego Chargers was the late hold of a rally in the Divisional Round. Manning managed to scoop two touchdown passes. Manning was matched up with his old foe, Tom Brady, in the AFC Championship Game. In the fourth quarter, the Denver Broncos were able to secure a 23-3 early lead. They were too far back as Brady tried to lead a comeback. Manning helped the Broncos to victory with his outstanding performance.
- Two touchdowns
- 400 passing yards
The matchup during that Super Bowl between Seattle Seahawks’ number one defense and the Bronco’s number one offense. Even though the hype was above the roof, it immediately came tumbling down. It was one of the worst Super of all time where Seattle’s dominance gave them a 43-8 win. Manning managed 280 yards with three turnovers. Although Manning won his second Super Bowl two years later, Denver’s defense contributed much of it. He was one of the last 10 NFL MVPs to win the 2013 Super Bowl season.
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3. Dan Marino (1984)
The legacy left by Dan Marino was being the best quarterback who never won the Super Bowl. He also never won a title despite being the greatest athlete ever. Nevertheless, his run at the Super Bowl in 1984 can’t be discounted. Dan Marino started the season with a bang when he helped the Washington Redskins to secure a win by passing for 311 yards and five touchdowns.
The season started with an 11-game win streak by the Miami Dolphins. The only time Marino failed to pass for multiple touchdowns was in Week 11.
From their last five games, the Miami Dolphins dropped two. However, this wasn’t Marino’s fault. Marino passed for four touchdowns in each game out of his last four games. He managed to finish the season by passing 48 touchdowns and 5,084 yards. Today’s generation will still see these numbers are great, but these numbers were unbelievable at that time. Below are other outstanding passing seasons in the 20th century.
The Dolphins claimed a 31-10 victory in the Divisional Round, thanks to Marino’s three touchdown throws. Nothing could slow him down in the AFC Championship Game. Miami made it to the Super Bowl due to Mario’s 421 yards passing and four touchdowns. At the end of the first quarter, Miami held a 10-7 lead, even though they went in as the underdog to the San Francisco 49ers with (+3.0) points. However, this was the game’s only highlight. San Francisco outscored Miami 31-6 after dominating both sides of the ball in the final three quarters. This year was the perfect season for Marino to win the Super Bowl, and he should have capped off his MVP season with a title.
4. Patrick Mahomes (2018)
The 2018 MVP season was impressive for Patrick Mahomes in its own right. You can then consider the fact during his rookie season; he made one start. This was the first full season for him. Mahomes came out guns blazing in his first three games by passing for 11 touchdowns. He made a crazy run in seven games by passing for 27 touchdowns in the mid-portion of the season. In the history of the NFL, this was one of the greatest Monday night football games. Finishing at 12-4 in the AFC, this was the best record for the Kansas City Chiefs. These numbers are what made Mahomes win the MVP.
Patrick Mahomes Stats
- 66.0 completion percentage
- 12 interceptions
- 80.3 QBR
- 50 touchdowns
- 5,097 passing yards
- 113.8 passer rating
Kansas City had a terrible defense and an elite offense, just like the 2011 Green Bay Packers. They let in through the second-most yards. Their defense played well in the Division Round. They held down six points in a 31-13 victory against the Indianapolis Colts offense. Mahomes had a rushing touchdown and 278 yards, but he couldn’t throw for a touchdown. Although Chiefs came in as (-3.0) point favorites, they came in short because they had the worse Super Bowl compared to the New England Patriots.
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It was a defensive battle in the first three quarters where the Patriots led by 17-7 lead through to the fourth quarter.
An early fourth-quarter touchdown Kansas City pulled within three. Both sides had to do something about their offenses after three scoreless drives.
- 23-yard touchdown pass (17-21)
- 39-yard field goal (31-31)
- 10-yard touchdown run (24-21)
- 2-yard touchdown run (24-28)
- 4-yard touchdown run (31-28)
All that occurred within eight minutes of the game. A penalty caused the Chiefs a game-sealing interception on the Patriot’s final touchdown drive. Victory went to the Patriots in overtime when they scored the winning touchdown after winning a toss.
5. Aaron Rodgers (2011)
Aaron Rodgers has experienced many great seasons during his Hall of Fame career. Whoever, the greatest season for him was 2011. In his first seven games of the season, Rodgers passed for 295+ yards. You can call his first two games under that mark a coincidence because it included four touchdown passes each. It wasn’t until Week 16 of the season when the Green Bay Packers lost their first game. The Packers came into the matchup as (-11.5) point home favorites, which was a huge upset. This was also the only time Rodgers failed to have multiple touchdowns passed in 2011. The season ended well for Green Bay with a 15-1 record.
Aaron Rodger’s Final Numbers
- 45 touchdowns
- 4,643 passing yards
- 83.8 QBR
- 68.3 completion percentage
- Six interceptions
- 122.5 passer rating
A fantastic offensive display led to the Packers ranking third in the league in points per game. On the flip side, most yards were allowed by their defense. If the offense ever had a downfall, this would spell disaster.
The Packers had a bad season, but this did not hinder them from becoming favorites to win the Super Bowl. They hosted the New York Giants in the Divisional Round.
New York’s offense managed to score four out of the six drives. On the first two drives of the first half, Green Bay managed to score. However, they came out shortly after failing to score in the rest of the first half. The Hail Mary touchdown made it easy for the Giants to cap off the first half. This gave them a 20-10 head start. The offensive side of Green Bay couldn’t manage a comeback. Their 37-20 loss denied them a second straight shot at the Super Bowl. With two touchdowns and 264 passing yards, Rodgers had an outstanding performance. However, it did not level up to every NFL MVP standard. This was what made the Packers lose their chances of winning the Super Bowl 2011 even though they were the best at that time.
6. LaDainian Tomlinson (2006)
It is unusual to find an MVP football player who isn’t a quarterback. An exception is LaDainian Tomlinson, who had a record-breaking season that made him a Super Bowl winner. When it comes to rushing yards, Tomlinson did not begin the season with a punch. Out of his first six games, he only managed to clear one 100 yards. In that stretch, he had a four-touchdown game. San Diego Chargers 4-2 start allowed a turn to end the season 14-2. Out of the ten games, 9 of them saw Tomlinson clearing 100 rushing yards. This includes the Week 15 season-high 199. Eight times, he also had several rushing touchdowns.
Tomlinson’s Final MVP Season Numbers
- 28 rushing touchdowns
- 508 receiving yards
- Three receiving touchdowns
- 1,815 rushing yards
His NFL record came from the 31 total touchdowns, including the 28 rushing touchdowns. Even though San Diego had a great passing offense, their rushing attack ranked first in touchdowns and second in yards.
The Chargers made it to the playoffs thanks to Tomlinson, who helped them attain the best record in the league. Their odds to win the Super Bowl were also high (+250)
The Chargers had to host the New England Patriots due to a bye. Even though the Charger’s offense gave it their best shot early in the game, they only managed to score a pair of rushing touchdowns in the second quarter. Tomlinson was able to pass for 5 yards in that game. The Chargers led by 14-13 in the fourth quarter. In the middle of the game through the quarter, the Chargers led by eight points, thanks to Tomlinson’s second touchdown of the day. However, Tom Brady was unstoppable no matter how much the Charger’s defense tried to tackle him. Brady’s back-to-back scoring manifested the three-point lead by New England. In the final seconds of the game, San Diego missed a game-tying field goal which caused them the win. Tomlinson put up an outstanding performance with two touchdowns and 187 scrimmage yards. Running into Brady and the Patriots was the only shambling block. This team had stopped a couple of most NFL MVPs from winning the Super Bowl.
Other MVPs That Fell Short of the Super Bowl
- Cam Newton (2015)
- Matt Ryan (2016)
Cam Newton and Matt Ryan saw their teams making it to the Super Bowl but never became NFL MVP winners. The dominant Denver Broncos defense gave Newton a run for his money. Ryan almost had it, but the Atlanta Falcons 28-3 lead happened. Kurt Warner is the last MVP to win Super Bowl in 1999. All NFL MVPs came close to winning, but they just came up short. Several teams had a perfect offense by a bogus defense. That goes to show that the team wasn’t worth betting on. Before betting, ensure that the defense is at least mid-pack. Check out our betting guide if you are looking for more information on betting in the NFL.
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