Tom Brady is still looking for his fourth NFL MVP award. Bill Belichick is still working toward the elusive fourth NFL coach of the year award.
In an unpredictable 2021 regular season that expands to 17 games, the league’s longtime coaching and playing GOATs can predict all the others in their respective professions in race for individual prizes after Week 12.
Belichick (+450 at DraftKings Sportsbook) entered Sunday’s game against the Titans just behind the Cardinals’ Kliff Kingsbury (+500), the team with a 9-2 bye. With New England’s bold win over Tennessee to improve to 8-4 in first place in the AFC East, there’s no doubt Belichick will now be a strong contender going into Week 13.
Brady (+250 or in some places, +225) took the lead over Bills’ Josh Allen, with the rest of the younger QB crowd going into Sunday’s game at the Colts. Though he only added TD passes to bring his league top tally to 30 and now has nine interceptions, Brady ensures Tampa Bay will bounce back and overtake Indianapolis in the shootout. . With it, the Buccaneer barely surpassed the Patriots’ record of 8-3.
After parting ways with Belichick ahead of the 2020 season, Brady was the one to add his seventh Super Bowl ring as the Buccaneers pulled off an incredible championship in the form of an NFC 11-5 wildcard. The Patriots lost five games 7-9 without Brady and missed the knockout stages last season, the first time since 2008. The Patriots have one more win in 2021 compared to last season and the Buccaneers will face off against their first ever NFC South. title with Brady.
Belichick, also a mainstay for the Patriots, realized something was amiss but Brady and worked to restore his team’s defensive power and offensive versatility, capped by a worthy system successor. worthy of Brady in rookie QB Mac Jones in round one. After a slow start, which opened with a home loss to the Dolphins, the Patriots won six straight games ahead of Monday night’s Week 13 game against the second-placed Bills.
New England has exceeded expectations rather than just meet the greats, a change for Belichick’s consistent powerhouse teams with Brady at the helm. For an established six-round coach, it’s the only way to draw attention for the award compared to impressive upstarts like Kingsury and Brandon Staley of the Chargers.
For Brady, aside from the fussy numbers he came up with at 44, his MVP favorite status is more of a makeover story than a made up story. Despite throwing 40 TD passes for the Bucs last season, Brady didn’t win a single MVP vote behind winner Aaron Rodgers and runners-up Allen and Patrick Mahomes. Brady responded with a more prolific debut season with performance upgraded in his second year under Bruce Arians and Byron Leftwich.
Brady also got a fifth Super Bowl MVP last February against Mahomes ‘Chiefs after beating Rodgers’ Packers in the NFC championship game. Brady enters 2021 with such a high, making the regular-season MVP a loser, by a combination of him regressing with age and one of the young guns that are dominating the league. Not half of that equation happened because Brady was right even with some mistakes. You can bet he’ll also be motivated to overtake Allen, when the Buccaneers host the Bills in Week 14.
When Brady won his last MVP for the Patriots in 2017, his stats and record were similar for the 13-3 team. It was also the last time Belichick won the NFL coach of the year award. They also helped New England win the award in 2010. Belichick also won in 2003 and Brady in 2007, when he threw a record 50 TD passes.
Round 1 for Belichick without Brady and vice versa definitely belongs to QB. Round 2 has so far been a draw, though the Buccaneers (+550) with Brady are still far more favorite Super Bowl champions than the Patriots (+1100) with Jones.
There is never a real answer to who is more important to the Patriots dynasty, Brady or Belichick. The stars arranged to put together the best QB and and best coach ever, and it was an exceptional run. Now, it turns out that they may have had separate but equally successful successes in the long run in the NFL, still better than the rest of them separated after all their years together.