MVP Race – Week 12

Russell Wilson1. Russell Wilson

82.1 %. That is how much of the Seahawks total yards from scrimmage the Russell Wilson has accounted for. With an injury depleted defense and a nonexistent running game, he has carried the Seahawks with a magical playmaking ability that we’ve yet to see an answer to. Although Seattle’s Wild Card bid took a hit after their loss to the Falcons on MNF, Russell Wilson played lights out and nearly achieved the comeback, which fell short due to . . . a missed Blair Walsh field goal. Sound familiar?

AB 2. Antonio Brown

In an underachieving Steelers offense, Antonio Brown has been consistently productive. On pace for over 1600 receiving yards for the third time in four seasons, his case as the game’s best receiver has only been solidified by Julio Jones’ struggles. His recent showing against the Titans was one of the best games by a wideout this year, as he gashed them to the tune of 144 yards and 3 TDs. While he is clearly on the road to being considered one of the greatest ever, here he is second in the MVP race.

Carson Wentz 3. Carson Wentz

What MVP list would be complete without Carson Wentz, who has played brilliantly for the Eagles? Carson Wentz has exceeded expectations, leading the league in touchdowns and displaying a playmaking ability similar to none other than Russell Wilson, the leading MVP candidate. Here’s an interesting stat: Every quarterback who has led the league in touchdowns while leading their team to the best regular season record has won the MVP award that year.

Tom Brady 4. Tom Brady

When making a list of the best players, it is impossible to leave Tom Brady off. The greatest quarterback of our era – and arguably of all time – has thus far enjoyed the greatest season ever by a 40 year old quarterback. After a slow start in which he seemed uneasy in the pocket, Brady rebounded strongly by leading the league in passing yardage and QBR. Did I mention he has thrown only two interceptions?

Zeke Elliott 5. Ezekiel Elliott

Clearly a long shot to win MVP, Ezekiel Elliott has proven his worth to his team the most when he hasn’t played. Similarly to the way the Giants fell apart after Odell Beckham Jr. was injured, the Cowboys have been absolutely dysfunctional on offense during Zeke’s suspension. Although Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith was believed to be the major reason for the recent failures of Dallas’ offense, he didn’t make much of a difference in his return to an offense that is clearly lacking its motor.

Eagles: Best in the NFL?

Dominant. That is how those in the football world would describe the Eagles 8-1 start, particularly on the heels of their 51-23 thrashing of the Broncos. With the NFL’s best record thus far, it begs the question: Are the Eagles the best team in the NFL?

The short answer is no. There are too many other talented teams for the Eagles claim to be undisputed. Granted, the Eagles have all the components of a great team and Super Bowl contender. Led by MVP candidate Carson Wentz, the team has played nearly flawless football in all three phases of the game. Additionally, I see the Eagles as perhaps the most complete roster in the league. However, they haven’t shown that they can beat any of the teams that they will undoubtedly be facing in the playoffs. While a few of the teams they have faced this season are solid football teams, the only playoff team they played was the Kansas City Chiefs, to whom they lost by a touchdown. I’m not saying that the Eagles lack the potential to be the best team in football, I’m only saying that they haven’t truly faced the adversity to gain that recognition.

To be a truly great football team it takes more than just wins and talent, it takes a certain mindset and culture. The Eagles have a chance to become one of those teams, but first they must show that they can beat perennial Super Bowl contenders. Luckily, they have a chance to garner that respect, with upcoming match-ups against the Cowboys, Seahawks, and similarly up-and-coming Rams.