Making the Case for Carson Wentz to Win NFL MVP
Despite his season-ending torn ACL injury, Bismarck's favorite quarterback, Carson Wentz, still has a shot at winning the NFL MVP.
Yes, there's still a week to go in the regular season, which will also be the third regular season game that Wentz will miss due to injury. However, the resume is there. Wentz threw for 33 touchdowns and just 7 interceptions with a passer rating of 101.9 while leading the Philadelphia Eagles to an 11-2 record in just his second season in the NFL.
The candidates are obvious at this point. In a recent ESPN poll, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was listed as the frontrunner to win it, with Los Angeles running back Todd Gurley in second, and then Wentz third. If you've seen anything on NFL Network or ESPN this week about the discussion, it's been 'Brady vs. Gurley' for MVP.
There's nothing that says that just because you're injured, you can't win the award. In 1989, legendary San Francisco 49ers quarterback and Hall of Famer Joe Montana won the award despite missing three games. Montana threw for 26 touchdowns and 8 interceptions with a quarterback rating of 112.4. Just as Wentz did this year, Montana was 11-2 as a starter that season.
Did we mention that Carson Wentz STILL leads the NFL in touchdown passes? The guy hasn't played for the last two weeks and his 33 touchdowns are still tops in the league. That may get surpassed in Week 17, but the numbers through 13 games speak for themselves. He also still leads the league in touchdowns thrown on 3rd down (14). It's an impressive body of work that Wentz put up statistically in 2017.
On Christmas night during Monday Night Football, there's a reason why Wentz received more up close camera shots than Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson and quarterback Nick Foles combined. When referring to Wentz, analyst Jon Gruden said:
...but what he did as a second-year player, I would vote for Carson Wentz. He did it as a runner, he did it as a passer, his audibles, his command at the line of scrimmage, his leadership. It is killing him to not be playing. I hate to see him sitting up there.
Pretty strong words coming from a former NFL head coach with a Super Bowl Championship on his resume.
It's not even just analysts talking about Wentz, his teammates know what he did for their team. Tight end Zach Ertz may have said it best:
There hasn't been a better player on the field when he stepped onto the field this year -- whenever we play someone, he is the best player the moment he steps on...He gives us a chance to win every single game. That's what a franchise quarterback does, that's what an MVP does.
Tom Brady and Todd Gurley have put up impressive seasons. Both will most likely see limited action in the final week of the season or sit depending on their team's need for a particular playoff seeding, so it's unlikely either can pad their stats too much in Week 17. It's Brady vs. Gurley vs. Wentz. Who's got your vote?