Drew Brees has a fair shot at being this year’s league MVP. How good would the Chargers be without L.T.? Pretty good. How good would the Saints be without Drew Brees? Horrible.
Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.
Both teams would be bad. Very bad.
Note: Not a direct response to this article, but it definitely does pertain to it.The Chargers would not be “pretty good” without LaDainian Tomlinson. L.T. is the reason why the Chargers win.
A little side note..
If anyone remembers Randy Moss in his “prime,” defensive coordinators had to account for him on every single play. Coordinators had frequent nightmares consisting only of Randy Moss streaking down the field. Translation: You honestly had to double cover him every single time.
That’s one less safety to tackle your running back or cover the other side of the field. That made the Viking’s offense automatically better than it would have been, because you’re effectively taking out two players on the opposing defense.
What does it mean when one player completely changes the effectiveness of your team?
That he is your MVP – your TEAM’s MVP. Keep this in mind.
Now, how many teams stack the box against L.T.? I think it’s pretty obvious where I’m going from here, but just for the sake of being thorough, L.T. can also take safeties (as well as linebackers and linemen) out of the game.
So what’s the difference between them?
By double/triple covering Randy Moss (and subsequently, all wide recievers), you can remove him/them from the game. By swarming Moss with defenders, you can limit him to 0 receptions for 0 yards. That is, however, no fault of his own, but more on that later.
In contrast, stacking the box against L.T. does not remove him from the game. Lets pretend that L.T. can’t pick up the yards even when there’s 7 or 8 people in the box (because he’s proven time and time again that he can). He can eat the clock at the beginning, middle and end of the game, whereas Randy Moss (if removed via. quintuple coverage) cannot.
Why does clock management matter outside of at the end of the game?
This is where having a guy like L.T. truly shines. He gives your defense a break. He allows your defense to rest.
If L.T. were to run 3 times and picks up 0 yards (it’ll never happen, but lets just say that for the sake of argument it does), he still gave your defense upwards of 2 minutes of rest. He keeps your defense off the field, and just as importantly, keeps their defense ON it. That is why for L.T. (and subsequently, all running backs), there is no such thing as an unsuccessful drive.
Wide recievers clearly don’t have it as easy. Quarterbacks neither. You can get the ball into the running back’s hands pretty much 100% of the time. The percentage is much lower for wideouts, and is less than 70% for even the greatest quarterbacks.
Back to the MVP discussion..
If Drew Brees were to throw 3 times and pick up 0 yards (incompletions), he takes no time off the clock. Those 2 minutes that weren’t taken off the clock may turn into time where your defense is on the field and tiring itself out.
Now for that intro..
Take Peyton Manning away from the Colts. Would they be the same? Take Tom Brady away from the Patriots. You know they wouldn’t be the same. Take Larry Johnson away from the Chiefs. Take any team’s MVP away from that team (relative because I am making the assumption that Drew Brees is the MVP on the Saints). What’s my point? That it’s absurd to base your MVP decision on that saying at the top of the page. Each and every one of those teams lose a leader and a star player. That is not why Brees should be the league MVP.
So why L.T.?
The San Diego offense clicks because of LaDainian Tomlinson. The San Diego defense stays fresh because of LaDainian Tomlinson.
Taking L.T. away from the Chargers is like taking Michael Jordan away from the Bulls. Sure they still have Pippen (Antonio Gates), but do you think he would be as effective?
So which team would fall the furthest if their team MVP were removed?
All of them. It’s a question that shouldn’t be asked until a team actually loses said MVP – it would’ve been interesting to see how the Seahawks would’ve done this year had Shaun Alexander been traded.
So if you say..
Drew Brees, then I say Steve McNair. The Ravens stand tall at 11 and 3 and McNair has come back to lead his team in more 4th quarter victories. McNair turned a team with potential into a contender.
Let me let you in on a little secret: the only reason why Drew Brees has any shot at winning the MVP is because of his Marketability.
He is the heart-wrenching feel-good story that a nation in chaos so needs in a time of crisis.
But wait a second, don’t you forget that we have here L.T..
A running back that has brought his team to 12 and 2, shattered the touchdown record, and impresses absolutely everyone around the league with his mind-numbing abilities. Think about this: not every team needs a Drew Brees (Colts, Patriots come to mind), but I think that absolutely every single team in the league would love to have a LaDainian Tomlinson.
Brees, and every other player in the league simply pales in comparison to the respectful, modest, and most importantly unstoppable LaDainian Tomlinson.
For Those That Are Interested..
L.T.’s Streaks and Ranks
(Info Obtained from Pro-football-reference.com)
(+#) = Number of Ranks he went up this week.
* = Still adding to that number.
10 games straight with 100+ yards rushing.
10 games straight with a touchdown.
8 games straight with multiple touchdowns. (NFL Record)
28 touchdowns in the last 10 games.
1st all time in rush/receive touchdowns in a season. *
1st all time in consecutive multi-touchdown games (+1). *
1st all time in points in a season (+1). *
1st all time in rushing touchdowns in a season (+2). *
T-2nd all time in total 200 yard rushing games (2 shy). *
T-2nd all time in most touchdown passes by a non-quarterback (2 shy). *
T-6th all time in career rushing touchdowns (+2). *
T-11th all time in career rushing/recieving touchdowns (+1). *
24th all time in career rushing yards. *
26th all time in career rushing attempts. (+2) *
38th all time in career total yards from scrimmage (+2). *
1st in the league in points. *
1st in the league in total yards of offense. *
1st in the league in rushing yards (+1). *
Fastest player to reach 100 touchdowns in a career (89 games).
Holds the record for the most consecutive games with a rushing touchdown (18 games).
Holds the record for most touchdowns through the first 5 seasons of a career (80).
Holds the record for most touchdowns through the first 6 seasons of a career. (111). *
Holds spots 1 and 2 for the most touchdowns scored in a 5-game span (15 and 16).
Only player to ever rush for 1,000 yards and catch 100 balls in a season.
Shares the record for the most consecutive games with a rushing/recieving touchdown.
Second player in the history of the league to rush for 1,200+ yards in each of his first 6 seasons.
Second player in the history of the league to score 4 touchdowns in consecutive games.
Seventh player in the history of the league to run, catch, and throw a touchdown in a single game.
Holds the NCAA Division I-A record 406 rushing yards in a game.
4th in NCAA Division I-A in 2000 with 2,158 rushing yards in a single collegiate season.
6th in NCAA Division I-A all time with 5,263 rushing yards in his career.