The MVP discussion around the NFL for the first half of the year wasn’t much of a conversation. It had been well established that Tom Brady was running away with the award with Cam Newton nipping at his heels. A few weeks ago, following the Patriots first loss of the season, Brady was no longer the consensus choice and Newton began to gain significant ground. As we enter Week 14, it’s safe to say that the award is Newton’s to lose. However, there’s a dark horse candidate that not many are talking about but someone who I believe deserves some MVP consideration.
Very quietly, Russell Wilson has become my dark horse MVP candidate. Wilson’s overall statistical numbers might not jump off the page [68.8 completion percentage, 3,289 yards, 26 TD’s, 7 INT’s]; however, his numbers over the last four games are pretty damn impressive. He’s thrown for 16 touchdowns and 0 interceptions while averaging a little over 300 yards passing per game. In two of those four games he threw for 5 touchdowns while completing over 70% of his passes.
It’s understood that the MVP award is given for a player’s season long statistics, not just what he’s done over the course of a few games. Again while Wilson’s statstics might not blow anyone away, it’s important to keep in mind that he’s been playing with a back-up running back and a mediocre receiving core. Not to mention, he’s had to overcome some deficiencies that have plagued the vaunted Seattle defense which has blown four 4th quarter leads so far this season. Part of the knock on Wilson (which I have taken part of) was that he’s been a decent quarterback who’s been carried by his elite defense and excellent running game. If nothing else, Wilson is proving to be a rising star and has all the skills to be considered a top tier quarterback in the years to come.
If the Carolina Panthers are undefeated at the end of the regular season then there’s really nothing to discuss; Newton deserves the MVP award. However, if the Panthers lose a couple games down the stretch and Wilson continues to play at this level, I believe that he deserves some strong consideration and love from the voters.