Drew Brees gets consolation prize

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees has been named NFL Offensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press. Nice honor, but I view that as a sign of things to come and I’m not talking about something good.

I’m talking about the Most Valuable Player Award. That hasn’t been announced yet. But, unless my instincts and everything I’ve heard are wrong, Brees isn’t going to be the MVP. The conventional wisdom is that award will go to Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers.

No offense to Rodgers, who certainly had a great year. But I don’t think I’m the only one who finds it strange that Brees had one of the greatest seasons ever by a quarterback (or any player) and he’s not the MVP.

Brees set an NFL record for passing yards in a season (5,476) and his numbers were as good or better than Rodgers’ in just about every category.

I see two reasons why it’s seemed like a foregone conclusion that Rodgers will be the MVP. First, the Packers went 15-1. Second, the Packers are a national team.

You can’t really change that now and the difference between Green Bay’s 15-1 mark and New Orleans’ 13-3 record isn’t that much, especially when you consider that both teams came up short of the NFC Championship Game.

But there are two ways to remedy this going forward. The first one is simple. The Saints have to go out and win more games than the Packers, with Brees still putting up huge numbers. The second is for the Saints to become a bit more of a national team.

They’re close. They’ve got a dedicated local fan base and a pretty large national profile, which has grown tremendously since the arrival of Brees and coach Sean Payton in recent years. But there’s still room for growth.

The way to achieve that growth is for Brees to continue to play the way he has and the Saints to win a bunch of games.

If by some wild chance, Brees does win the MVP, I’ll jump back in. But I think the Offensive Player of the Year is his consolation prize.

Update: The announcement just came. Rodgers was named MVP.