Brady became the first player in history to become a unanimous selection for NFL MVP, which is even more remarkable because of the number of players who were in the running for the award, including Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.
Yet, the panel's 50 voters recognized Brady's brilliance. In his 11th NFL season, Brady passed for 3,900 yards, 36 touchdowns and four interceptions, and he set a league record by finishing the regular season with 335 consecutive passes without a pick.
His ball control made him great, but his focus and determination made everyone else better. Brady helped his young targets progress, such as wide receiver Brandon Tate and tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, but he also integrated Deion Branch into the offense. Brady did much of this while his safety blanket, slot wide receiver Wes Welker, was working to overcome a knee injury that limited his contributions until mid-November.
Brady's importance was also instrumental for New England's defense, which was clearly at its best when it forced teams into obvious passing situations. The Patriots held their opponents to single digits four times in 2010 — Week 13 against the Jets, Week 14 against the Bears, Week 16 against the Bills and Week 17 against the Dolphins — and Brady staked the Pats to halftime leads of 24-3, 33-0, 24-3 and 24-0, respectively. That proved to be extremely beneficial for New England's ball-hawking defense.
The Patriots' season ended earlier than expected, but Brady was the reason why those expectations were set so high. He's had better performances, but he was never more valuable in the regular season than in 2010.