Various debates have emerged in recent weeks regarding the looming MVP vote. You know, the one that will be taken after the season and not announced until the night before the Super Bowl, when we no longer care very much about the MVP award.
From J.J. Watt to Aaron Rodgers to Tom Brady to DeMarco Murray to Tony Romo to Le’Veon Bell, different points and performances in the season have justifiably sparked discussion and/or fascination about the biggest individual prize in the NFL — even though the process for determining it remains flawed and far from perfect.
When it’s time for the clique of 50 Associated Press voters to cast one vote in a rules-are-there-ain’t-no-rules process that permits them to split votes if the spirit so moves them and that cries out for a Heisman-style system with more voters and a first-, second-, third-place ballot, Russell Wilson deserves consideration.
Wilson deserves consideration not just for what he has done all year long, but for what he did on Sunday night, in a game with enormous stakes. The Cardinals, with a win, would have nailed down home field advantage throughout the entire postseason, given the site of the Super Bowl. The Seahawks, with a win, would become a Week 17 home victory against the Rams away from winning the division and possibly seizing home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
In a rousing Seahawks victory, Wilson led the Seattle offense to a franchise record 596 total yards, accounting for 427 of them himself (339 passing, 88 rushing). Wilson had a 55-yard run and an 80-yard touchdown pass in the same game. He engineered an offense that put 35 points on one of the best defenses in the NFL.
For the year, Wilson now has 26 total touchdowns and only six turnovers. He has thrown for 3,236 yards and added 842 on the ground.
It’s easy to dismiss Wilson as a glorified game manager, benefiting from a great defense and the presence of Marshawn Lynch, who perhaps deserves a little MVP consideration of his own. It’s easy to do that, if you don’t watch the Seahawks play.
At a time when the league has caught up with mobile quarterbacks, no one can catch Wilson. He buys time being the line of scrimmage, darting and spinning and accelerating away from defenders. He finds the open man from the pocket and outside it. And when he decides to run, run he does — at all times protecting himself from the kind of hits that have put other mobile quarterbacks on the sidelines.
There’s still a game to go, and the final playoff tree and season statistics should have a lot to do with the final vote. For now, Wilson at least deserves a spot in the conversation. A week from now, it’s possible he’ll deserve the prize itself.