Broadcaster and analyst Stephen A. Smith of ESPN declared that he’s gonna roll with Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) this season. “I’m gonna roll with Tom Brady for the moment. I’m gonna roll with Tom Brady. I just think that the way Tom Brady is flinging the football at 44 years of age and doing what he’s doing,” Smith declared during Tuesday’s episode of “First Take”, a portion of which was posted by Smith on his Twitter account.

Despite the absence of wide receiver Antonio Brown and tight end Rob Gronkowski, Smith said the Buccaneers’ offense continues to roll “Brown has been out a couple of week, Gronk has been out a couple of weeks.

It doesn’t matter. The bottom line is for the most part, the offense continues to flow, you continue to see them get better and better,” said Smith, adding “it’s because of a 44-year-old man leading the way.” Through Week 9, the Buccaneers are third when it comes to total yards per game with 423.1 per outing. Brady, for his part, currently leads the league in touchdown passes with 25 and the veteran quarterback is second in passing yards and completions with 2,650 and 231, respectively.

Brady MVP favorite

A three-time MVP in 2007, 2010, 2017, Brady is the current favorite to bring home the MVP trophy, based on an infographic displayed during the show from Caesars Sportsbooks. This marks the first time that Brady became the favorite to win the MVP award.

According to odds, Brady is a +350 favorite to win the MVP, ahead of other quarterbacks Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills (+400), Arizona Cardinals’ Kyler Murray (+550), Los Angeles Rams’ Matthew Stafford (+700), and Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson (+900). After having their much-needed bye week in Week 9, the Buccaneers will return to action when they take on the Washington Football Team in Week 10.

Ahead of their showdown with the Football Team, the Buccaneers signed veteran wide receiver Breshad Perriman to their practice squad.

Bucs move up in the NFC playoff seeding

Despite having their bye week, the Buccaneers moved up a spot in the NFC playoff seeding. The Buccaneers currently lead the NFC South with a 6-2 mark, but they trail the Cardinals (8-1) and Packers (7-2) in the NFC overall standings.

With the New Orleans Saints, Packers, Dallas Cowboys and the Los Angeles Rams loing in Week 9, the Buccaneers moved up a notch in the overall standings. The Cowboys follow the Buccaneers with a 6-2 mark, good for fourth as the NFC East Leader while the Rams will take the first wild card at 7-2. The Saints will take the No. 2 wild card with a 5-3 mark while the Atlanta Falcons taking the No. 4 wild card at 3-3.