It’s one of those inevitabilities that if a quarterback has a good game and is on the winning side, the likelihood is that they will get the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award at the Super Bowl.
Out of the 43 Super Bowl MVP awards given, 22 have been awarded to qbs. In many cases they have been deserved (Joe Montana, Tom Brady, Doug Williams).
Sometimes the QBs winning the MVP award have not been deserved, and won instead as the result of being ‘the most popular’ or ‘as a reward for their outstanding season’ (Eli Manning, Mark Rypien, Bart Starr’s 2nd Super Bowl).
The QB MVP monopoly has been broken up over the past six seasons by one other position only – wide receiver.
Deion Branch (Patriots), Hines Ward and Santonio Homes (both Steelers) have shown that another position outside QB can be a game breaker. Unsurprisingly the last defensive player to win the MVP award in the big game was Dexter Jackson the Buccaneers safety (2003).
So this lead me neatly to my MVP prediction. As a betting man I have hedged my bets (literally) and put a small amount of cash on the following four Super Bowl XLIV participants to scoop MVP award;
- Reggie Bush – Saints running back/returner (Odds I got at Bet Fred 16-1)
Why Reggie? Well he is without doubt the most exciting player to take the field in Miami on Sunday. He can run, catch and return punts. He has raised his game intensity level in the playoffs to an unprecedented level, and has the speed, hips and vision to score from anywhere. If he gets to touch the ball over 20 times he should score twice and the rest could be history.
- Darren Sharper – Saints safety (Odds I got from Bet Fred 40-1)
Why Darren? Sharper has had one of those once in a career seasons, kind of like Ed Reed has done in the past, by being in the right place at the right time pretty much every game. Sharper is the defensive leader of the Saints, along with Jonathan Vilma, and remarkably this will be his second Super Bowl, having been to the big dance with the Packers (as a rookie). Sharper gets two game changing interceptions before the 4th quarter and he could be da man in Florida.
- Pierre Garcon – Colts wide receiver (Odds I got from Bet Fred 22-1)
- Austin Collie – Colts wide receiver (odds I got from Bet Fred 28-1)
Why Pierre or Austin? With three out of the last five MVP awards going to wide receivers there seems to be a movement to rewarding the speed demons. The growing trend of teams using a ‘running back by committee’ approach has removed running backs from MVP consideration, with the last RB MVP being Terrell Davis (Broncos) in 1998. Under this philosophy Reggie Wayne looks to be the ideal MVP candidate, as he is the #1 WR. Thing is Wayne has had a relatively quiet post-season, and in his place both Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon have stepped up and Peyton Manning has the pair looking like All-Pro starters. Both or one out of Collie and Garcon could easily go over 100 yards and 2 touchdowns before the Super Bowl is over. 9 or 10 catches by either (depending on the coverage they get) could make them MVP winners. With NFL MVP Peyton Manning tossing the pigskin anything is possible.
If I had to go for just one player I’d pick Pierre Garcon. With his Haitian roots and worldwide support, this could be the biggest and best fairytale ending ever (better than Elway and Jerome Bettis’s fabled stories put together).
Cant wait for the game, likelihood is that I wont win a bean, but hey you have to be in it to win it!