By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Barring a meteor strike, massive volcanic eruption, or the onset of The Big Rip, Tom Brady is your 2017 NFL MVP.
The 40-year-old quarterback of the New England Patriots capped off his 2017 campaign with a modest showing against the Jets, throwing for 190 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. It was not spectacular, but it did not have to be.
Entering Week 17, Brady was the prohibitive favorite to win the MVP award, and he did nothing on Sunday that would warrant him losing the vote.
His top competitor entering the final week was Rams running back Todd Gurley, but it generally takes superhuman statistics for a running back to ever win the award.
Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz was a worthy challenger to Brady, but an injury cut his season short. Russell Wilson drew some consideration too, but his play dropped off in recent weeks.
It’s looking likely, then, that Brady will win the award when it is announced the night before the Super Bowl. Though of course, Brady is hoping that he’ll be preparing for a game instead of attending an award ceremony.
Brady was asked after Sunday’s win — the 196th regular-season win of his career and 221st overall — to evaluate his own performance this season. He declined the opportunity.
“Football’s a team sport. We’re 13-3,” Brady said. “That’s the best in the AFC. That’s what we’re playing for. And that’s all that really matters.”
Brady finished the year with 4,577 yards, 32 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Brady led the league in passing yards, though it was only the fifth-highest single-season yardage total of Brady’s career. It was Brady’s seventh-highest touchdown total.
For Brady, it will be the third time of his Hall of Fame career that he’ll win the award. In doing so, he’ll join a short list of players to have done so. Jim Brown, Jonny Unitas and Brett Favre have won three MVPs each, and Peyton Manning has won five.
Brady last won the award in 2010, when he became the first player in history to win the award unanimously.
The award is voted on by 50 football writers, reporters and analysts from around the country.