By Danny Picard
FOXBORO -- Tom Brady has thrown for 27 touchdowns and has over 3,000 passing yards in 12 games. He was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week on Wednesday after his four-touchdown performance against the New York Jets Monday night. It was his second straight four-touchdown, zero-interception game.
With all of that comes the never-boring MVP chatter.
Up until a few weeks ago, it seemed that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick and his 21 touchdowns (15 passing) would run away with the award. But now Brady's name has emerged as the leading MVP candidate in many people's minds.
So what does Brady think?
"It's really the last thing on my mind," said the Pats' quarterback, who won the award in 2007, prior to Wednesday's walkthrough at Gillette Stadium. "Regardless of how I play, it's how our offense plays. That's what I'm concerned most about."
And the Patriots have the best offense in the NFL. New England averages 31.6 points per game, ahead of the Eagles (28.7) and Chargers (26.9). San Diego's number explain why Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers -- 24 touchdown passes -- has also been involved in the MVP debate.
But Brady seems to be grabbing more attention than Vick and Rivers at this point. Part of that has to do with Monday's nationally televised game. But, in truth, Brady is actually proving to be the league's most valuable player. The 10-2 Patriots -- coming off a 45-3 beatdown of the now 9-3 Jets -- are beginning to look like the dominant Patriots teams we've seen in the past.
Still, Brady won't compare it to the last Patriots team that went to the Super Bowl, in 2007-08.
"We're not even close to that," said Brady. "I think we were an entirely different team and style than what we're trying to accomplish here. We're just trying to get the ball in the end zone.
"That's what our job is. We don't go out there to punt. Coach Bill Belichick doesn't send us out and say, 'Run three plays and then send the punt team out.' We're going out there to score."
On Sunday in Chicago, the Patriots' offense will have to go out there and score against the third-best defense in the NFL, as the Bears have only allowed an average of 16 points per game this year.
After that, the Patriots will have to go up against the league's top defense in the Green Bay Packers -- who allow only 15.2 points -- at Gillette Stadium.
A dominating offensive performance by Brady in Chicago and then again at home against the Packers would most certainly eliminate Vick and Rivers from the MVP debate.
Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comdannypicard