**Note** This blog was originally posted on December 21, 2013. Due to site upgrades, we had to repost this on December 23.
Of course it’s legit, to answer the question quickly and bluntly. When a guy barely knows his receivers, only has Gronk for a few weeks, and leads as many clutch drives as he has, Brady has to be “in the conversation,” to steal a phrase that I generally hate.
As for whether or not he should actually win… it should come down to that ever-annoying question of how to define “most valuable.” Put any other QB in Brady’s spot and they aren’t 10-4. That’s not to say that Brady has been the best QB in the league this season, but, over the years, he’s shown maybe the best ability to adapt to having supbar receivers on the fly. Manning has been a better QB this year, and so have Rivers and Brees. (Look at Football Outsiders’ rankings of QBs for a reference of how good each guy has been. FO’s stats are usually enlightening… and downright awesome.) But I really don’t know if any other QB would have done as well as Brady with the Patriots roster. I could be forgetting that the hooded one is running everything and that makes any transition easier, but all I’m saying is that, if the heaviest emphasis that voters have is on the aspect of who could least afford to be replaced on his team, Brady is probably the guy.
That being said, I usually think that the overall best guy is the first set of criteria, and the replacement factor is a close second. By those standards, I’m going with Manning. But there are still 2 games left, so this means nothing right now, and, even if I’d rather have the Broncos roster and (likely) better seeding heading into January, I’d rather have Brady leading the Patriots than Manning.