NEW YORK -- Just like all those wins, the NFL awards keep
rolling in for Tom Brady.
The league's Most Valuable Player added The Associated Press
2007 Offensive Player of the Year honors to his collection Tuesday,
easily outdistancing his main weapon on the unbeaten New England
Patriots, Randy Moss.
Indeed, of the four players who received votes from a nationwide
panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the NFL, three were
Patriots. Brady, of course, led the way, just as he did through the
first 16-0 regular season in league history.
"We set out a bunch of goals early in the season," Brady said,
"and I think I said the best part about playing quarterback here
is I just have to do my job, show up every day and work hard just
like everybody else. I think my job description is just a bit
different than everybody else's, but there's a lot of satisfaction
knowing that I can just come out there and worry about myself and
expect that everybody else is going to do their job.
"It's been a fun season. There's no doubt about it."
And it's been a rewarding season for Brady, the first New
England player to be chosen MVP and now the first Patriot to win
Offensive Player of the Year. He collected 35½ votes to 12½ for
Moss. Wes Welker, the Patriots' other starting receiver, got one,
as did Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre.
Brady, an eight-year veteran who's already a winner of three
Super Bowls, threw for 50 touchdowns, beating Peyton Manning's
league mark by one. He also threw 23 of those TD passes to Moss,
lifting the receiver past Jerry Rice's record of 22.
New England scored 589 points and 75 TDs, both records. Brady's
precision -- a 68.9 completion percentage, 117.2 passer rating, just
eight interceptions -- and yards passing (4,806, 383 more than
runner-up Drew Brees of New Orleans) made him a natural choice for
his second award in less than a week.
"Individual awards haven't been as important to me as the team
goals, and I've said that for a long time," Brady said. "While
I'm very flattered to be honored in that way, I understand that my
greatest satisfaction comes from winning games and being the leader
of this football team. I take that job very seriously and I hope
that translates into a win this week."
That would be Saturday night against Jacksonville in the second
round of the playoffs. The Patriots are seeking the second perfect
season in league history; only Miami, 17-0 in 1972, has gone
through the regular schedule and the postseason unbeaten.
Since Favre won Offensive Player in 1995, only two quarterbacks
have taken the award: Manning with his record-setting 2004 season,
and now Brady in surpassing Manning's achievement.
Last year's winner was running back LaDainian Tomlinson of San
Brady is the fourth straight double winner, joining Manning,
running back Shaun Alexander of Seattle, and Tomlinson.
"If you go ask him he'd probably say the same thing: all the
individual awards don't matter," Patriots running back Kevin Faulk
said. "It's the team awards that matter, and with the team awards
you get all the individual accolades."