If you're someone who geeks out to MVP races -- I'll raise my hand on this count -- this is one of the best competitions in recent memory.
For most people, the race comes down to four players: Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Ezekiel Elliott. With all due respect to the latter two names listed -- Brady and Elliott had excellent seasons, obviously -- this feels like it should be a two-horse race.
Ryan has been the NFL's most consistently great quarterback this season, putting on a clinic from September through New Year's Day. That's why Around The NFL Podcast cohort Chris Wesseling gave the Falcons quarterback the nod in his write-up on the MVP race last week.
Rodgers' case is built almost entirely on his brilliance in the season's stretch run. Rodgers famously said the Packers could run the table when they sat at 4-6, and they did exactly that behind the brilliance of a future Hall of Famer playing at his apex.
Could Rodgers' amazing run sway MVP voters, a group that can be affected by a juicy narrative like this? Enter ESPN's Bill Barnwell, who looked past the narrative and broke down Rodgers vs. Ryan during the "Run The Table" stretch. You may be surprised by what you see.
By the way, Ryan's Falcons went 5-1 in their final six weeks, not table-running but good enough to lock up the No. 2 seed in the NFC. Rodgers might win the trophy because he's the more high-profile player with the better hook, but Ryan is the guy who actually deserves the damn thing.