With 13 Weeks in the books, the MVP race is winding down and the presumed finalists are separating themselves from the pack. For much of the season, Carson Wentz was the heavy favorite. Wentz and the Eagles roared out of the gate, starting the season 10-1. They looked like they would roll into the Super Bowl in the NFC. However, against a depleted Seahawks team, Wentz and the Eagles stumbled, ultimately surrendering the top seed to the Vikings.
For the last several weeks, the MVP race looked to be a two-man race. However, the quarterback on the opposite sideline of Wentz Sunday continues to make his claim to the honor. Russell Wilson has been otherworldly, accounting for over 80 percent of his team’s offense. The very definition of valuable.
With that said, with four weeks remaining in the season, who holds the edge in the race for MVP?
3. Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
One bad game and he is suddenly third on this list? Well, it didn’t help Wentz that he was going head-to-head against his closest competition and lost. Despite having a season-high 348 yards through the air, it wasn’t Wentz’ best performance. Wentz’ hold on the top spot was tenuous at best with Tom Brady and Russell Wilson breathing down his neck. One subpar performance was enough to remove him as the favorite.
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With that said, Wentz is still having a remarkable year. Through 12 games, he has 29 touchdowns to just six interceptions and a 102 quarterback rating. His completion percentage is slightly below his rookie season but his yards per attempt has jumped nearly a yard and a half.
Wentz’ 29 touchdowns still lead the league, however, the Eagles record was working heavily in his favor when it came to ranking him above Brady and Wilson. Now, the Eagles sit second in the NFC by virtue of losing a tiebreaker to the Vikings. They share the same record as the Patriots in the AFC. Obviously, things can change week-to-week, however, it may be too late for Wentz to regain that ground he lost.
2. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson has emerged as of late as a very serious MVP candidate. He validated it with his performance in the Seahawks win over the previously one-loss Eagles. All this with a defense that has been decimated by recent injuries to star players. Wilson’s 26 touchdowns are tied for second-most in the NFL and his 3,256 yards is sixth best in the league. In addition, he has 71 rushes for 434 yards and three touchdowns. He currently leads the Seahawks in rushing with those numbers. He has accounted for over 80 percent of his team’s offense, an absurd margin for any one player.
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At 8-4, the Seahawks are very much in the running for the NFC West crown. Although it will be a tall task for them to overtake the surprising Los Angeles Rams. Regardless, just getting into the playoffs is all that matters for the Seahawks who can certainly do some damage once they make the tournament. They are in this position because of Russell Wilson, making him a top candidate for MVP. However, he still isn’t the best candidate for the honor.
1. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
Sometimes Brady can be a victim of his own success. What he is accomplishing seems so commonplace now that it can be taken for granted. He currently leads the league in passing with 3,632 yards (over 300 yards more than the next closest) and has held the top spot every week of the year. He leads the league in completions, interception percentage (0.9), yards per attempt (8.3), adjusted yards per attempt (9.1), yards per game (302.7), and passer rating (109.7). His passer rating would rank as the fourth highest of his career. Two out of the three years higher than this, he won the MVP. All this at age 40.
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With all that said, the most impressive part of Brady’s 2017 resume is that despite all the lost games to skill players and offensive lineman, the team still is tied for the best record in the league. Before the opening snap of week one, the Patriots lost Julian Edelman, arguably their best receiver, for the year. Breakout receiver Malcolm Mitchell has yet to see the field in 2017. Chris Hogan has missed significant time, as has Rob Gronkowski. His impending one-game suspension notwithstanding. Brady has had to play without his best lineman in Marcus Cannon for several games and without center, David Andrews for a pair.
The point is, no matter the obstacle, nothing changes for the Patriots. Much of that credit, and rightfully so, is given to Brady as he is the one constant through it all. Not only is he defying age parameters, he is playing historically great for a quarterback at any age. Let alone 40.
Tom Brady is the 2017 NFL MVP.
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