Should Patriots’ defense have been named Super Bowl MVP?

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Much has been said and written in the past week regarding the decision by 16 sportswriters to make Patriots receiver Julian Edelman the MVP of Super Bowl LIII. One of those 16 voters, Mike Reiss of, has an idea that perhaps should have been the right answer: The entire Patriots defense.

It’s a twist to the argument made by Chris Simms on PFT Live this week that Pats coach Bill Belichick should have been the MVP (notwithstanding the fact that the “P” stands for “player”), and it’s a way to collectively honor the effort that allowed the Patriots to hold the Greatest Show-offs on Turf Part Two to only three points.

An outside-the-box outcome like that would never happen under the current procedure, which harvests votes even before the game ends. But it wouldn’t take much to tweak things a bit to allow the 16 voters to confer and discuss the situation briefly before voting.

Given the protracted delay that now unfolds between the firing of the confetti cannons and the handing of the trophy from the Commission to the owner of the winning team, the 16 voters could get together somewhere in the Super Bowl stadium and discuss the worthy candidates before casting their ballot via text message to the appropriate NFL representative.

It would be an easy thing to do, but it won’t be easy to pierce through the antiquated realities of the Super Bowl press box, which features a farm of old-school copiers and an endless supply of Dunder Mifflin’s primary product being passed around in the form of first-quarter stats, halftime stats, third-quarter stats, full-game stats, and a never-ending array of quote sheets.

Nothing against Edelman, but his stats made him the most obvious candidate for MVP, given the manner in which the MVP votes currently are cast. If a more deliberate and collaborative process were utilized, the voters may have decided on someone else — or maybe on the entire New England defense.

58 responses to “Should Patriots’ defense have been named Super Bowl MVP?

  1. But it’s an individual award, the exception was SB XII…and that was a mistake.
    Pick a player, not players.

  2. Shawn Merriman Rule should have kept Edelman from receiving the award. He was suspended during the season for PED’s, therefore he was ineligible imo. But seriously, its an individual award so giving it to the entire defense seems like overkill to me.

  3. Since it’s an individual award, I think they chose correctly. The entire Patriots unit played very well, but I don’t remember one player stuffing the stat sheet on defense.

  4. Shoulda been Van Noy. That would have at least acknowledged the D by naming the player who had the biggest impact that day. Or possibly Gilmour.

  5. Sets a bad precedent because there’ll be an outcry every time this doesn’t happen in the future. Sort of like how when the Patriots came out as a “team” in the 2001 Super Bowl, now teams stopped doing player introductions so they don’t seem like jerks. I LIKED individual introductions and I like individual MVP’s. as long as they pick someone deserving i think it should stay the same…

  6. I agree with Chris Simms. It’s Belichick for my money. But understanding the it’s player/s and not coach. I’d have no problem in awarding the entire defense. A much better choice than Edelman.

    And before anyone says MVP must go to a single player. Cowboys defenders Harvey Martin and Randy White were co-MVPs in 1978.

  7. Tradition is that in every sport there’s a MVP award that goes to a player. Once you open that Pandora’s box up then it will get carried away.

    Besides, if there’s a team in the NFL that could care less about awards it’s that one. Belichick doesn’t roll that way and neither do the players that play for him.

  8. Simple enough, just drop the P (Player) from MVP then it can be given to 1 or MORE. Until then thou it’s for a player.

  9. “I don’t remember one player stuffing the stat sheet on defense.”

    Gilmore and Van Noy were both outstanding. Hightower as the guy making the constant adjustments after the comm was cut off.

  10. Take Edelman out of that game, and think about whether the Patriots win. Edelman earned MVP the way the award is established. It’s a team game though, and everyone knows that NE defense played their biggest game on the biggest stage. NFL Films will give that defense their tribute for years to come.

  11. Glorious, you’re close…. With all the open gaps the Rams LB’s and Secondary left Brady to throw into, I was thinking the LA defense should have won the Patriots MVP award.

  12. No disrespect to Edelman, but he Patriots defense gets the nod including Bill Belechick & defensive staff. I know it’s supposed to go to a single player, but this was an unusual situation.This is where the exception proves the rule.

  13. I’d give MVP to Van Noy.
    Coach of the Year should be Belichick but it won’t be. McVay or Lynn will win that.

  14. The way the MVP is set up, Edelman deserves it. However, I do think that Florio has a case for the entire defense. Of course, in both SB 42 and 46, you could make a case for the Giants defense, in particular, Justin Tuck.

  15. It should have been the Patriots defense but unfortunately that would have meant giving Belichick who the NFL doesn’t like credit for the win.

  16. tedmurph says:
    February 10, 2019 at 12:28 pm
    Shoulda been Van Noy. That would have at least acknowledged the D by naming the player who had the biggest impact that day. Or possibly Gilmore.

    Van Noy and Gilmore certainly deserved consideration, and so did Hightower.

    Hightower has shown up big in multiple Super Bowls, although he did drop a pick in this one, he had a helluva game overall.

  17. here’s a more important question: how did the patriots defense, which isn’t the most star studded field of 11 players, look like the 85 bears? this team continues to prove that coaching is the only way to a championship. want a big contract? get out. we’ll replace you with a cheap 25 year old who we can coach up to be just as good as you. then we will replace him when he wants his money. and around and around we go.

    the only thing this team can’t seem to get right is WR depth past their #1 guy. everything else is solid every year.

  18. If you watch closely, there’s a good case for Hightower. He is everywhere and is constantly disruptive. We’re about to enter our third decade of a Patriots No. 54 terrorizing opposing offenses, it’s beautiful.

  19. nfl4dummies says:
    February 10, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    Shawn Merriman Rule should have kept Edelman from receiving the award. He was suspended during the season for PED’s, therefore he was ineligible imo.

    The award is for the game, not the season.

  20. Don’t forget that the MVP award is another advertising opportunity as far as the NFL is concerned. One player, ten players – same difference if it gets General Motors enough airtime.

  21. Gilmore, Hightower and Van Noy were outstanding but so was Edelman…remember, his receptions set up 6 -10pts that the Patriots missed with Bradys redzone interception and the missed FG.

    As a group the Offensive Linemen were outstanding as well, running the ball and giving up only one sack. Donald, Suh, and Fowler were shut out. Allens punts held the Rams back all day long. He could have gotten consideration.

  22. Former Giant defender, Osi Omeniyora, was one of the voters and even he gave it to Edelman. You can make an argument for the defense as a whole, and I wouldn’t mind if it had gone to Van Noy or Gilmore, but almost all of Edelman’s catches were for first downs and without him the Pats wouldn’t have had any sustained drives let alone scoring ones – and the Rams offense would have been on the field more and worn the Pats D down like Brady was able to do the Rams D.

  23. Great comment on Jason Tuck, he could have been MVP in both SB wins for the Giants. Hightower, like McGinest before, delivered good pressure in multiple SBs…Players who lose in Super Bowls should be MVPs as well. Kony Ealys game in a losing effort for Carolina in 2016 and Jarretts game for ATL in 2017 were outstanding.

  24. Hightower had the MVP in his hands and he could not grab the interception.

    It was Edleman all the way with Gilmore and Hightower having very good games for a defense that played great.

    Now an award for kinda best player on the best unit in the game? That’s a different story.

  25. If there was ever a big game that cried out for MVP honors on defense, then Super Bowl LIII was it. Historically, Super Bowl MVP honors have overwhelmingly (over 80%) gone to players on offense. I get that. But this should have been the second time—Super Bowl XII was the first—where two defensive players should have shared the award. In my mind, Hightower (even despite a missed INT/fumble recovery) and Gilmore should have been co-MVPs. I think it’s fair to say that the Pats’ defense picked one helluva game to turn in its best performance of the season.

  26. Edelman was outstanding
    give the player the credit he deserves
    He was also open so many times, but the ball was thrown elsewhere
    He was the MVP – hands down
    best player on the field, bar none

  27. It was the dudes wearing black and white stripes two weeks before the game if you want to be honest.

    But if you want to give it to someone else it should not be someone on d. The kid was a deer in headlights for crying out loud.

    The worst qb performance in the big game had more to do with offensive ineptitude than anything bill or the pats did.

  28. I wasn’t sure that Edelman was the right choice at first because of the overall performance of the Pats defense but now that I see it bothers so many people I’m all in.

  29. Who cares? Both Manning brothers have one bogus Super Bowl MVP, and Nick Foles won a Super Bowl MVP last year despite having far lower production that Tom Brady…even though Foles was behind a brick wall OL all game and Brady had to deal with a steady pass rush. The SB MVP is a worthless award that is often given to an undeserving person…why should 2018 have been any different? At least Edelman was arguably the most notable individual in the SB this year.

  30. Give it up already…. Why shouldn’t Edelman get the MVP? He’s the motor that kept the Patriots going. Maybe give it to Goff. He’s a big help in making the Patriots win. Or to McVay for being outcoached and also made the Patriots win. The MVP choice will noy drive a wedge between the offense and defense. Nice try.

  31. Would have been totally cool. Unfortunately Roger Goddell doesnt have a creative bone in his body and would NEVER have approved anything like that.

    Would have been the most exciting part of the Superbowl, for them to announce giving it to an entire defense suprising everyone, even the Pats haters. Would have made the NFL or Goddell seem somewhat likeable (lol). But alas, we couldnt even get a statement on the Saints non-call first. Much less raise a finger to be creative in the Superbowl.

  32. Edelman was a great choice for MVP. Anyone who objectively watched that game would have no problem with the selection.

  33. rsoandb says:
    February 10, 2019 at 6:07 pm
    Belichick should have been MVP. Every time.

    It’s MVP not MV.


  34. Leman Russ says:
    February 10, 2019 at 4:03 pm
    PEDleman shouldnt have even been allowed to play. Thats just my two cents.

    Why not? The league refuses to tell us what he tested positive for. Which is as shady as it gets but this is Roger’s NFL for you.

  35. It’s a lot easier to play D when you’re fresh. Who was on the receiving end of EIGHT first downs? There is a direct correlation. Amazes me people don’t get this. Probably because they’ve never played.

    PS: If it were to go to a D player, it should have been Van Noy. He was totally disruptive. But they would have picked Gilmore or Hightower because stats rule the world (taking nothing away from those two because they also played great).

  36. Leman Russ says:
    February 10, 2019 at 4:03 pm
    PEDleman shouldnt have even been allowed to play. Thats just my two cents.
    Well thats worth a shiny penny.

  37. Moving from a deserving single player to a group award leaves the door open for arguing that all phases of this game were important to the Patriot’s win, so the whole team should get the award. Oh,Oh. That sounds like a “participation trophy”!

  38. The whole defense? as MVP? That might be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. 20 players took snaps on defense for the Patriots. Of course 20 players combined are more valuable than 1. The same holds true for every single SB. The simple fact is that 45 players play in these games. It’s entirely possible for one player to contribute 3 or 4 % towards overall victory yet still be the most valuable. In SB LIII the player that contributed the most was Edelman.

  39. Yes, but focusing on individual awards when the team is focused on team goals like winning is “loser think.” Leave that type of thinking for some diva on a team that missed the playoffs

  40. They should name Vic Fangio, former Bears DC, honorary MVP because it was his defense against the Rams during the season, using a 6-1-4, that the Patriots used.

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