When the cover32 staff made our midseason award predictions, I made the surprising call to predict Russell Wilson as the MVP at the end of the season. For those that have not watched the Seahawks very often, it would come off as a surprising pick. But for those that watch the Seahawks regularly, Wilson being an MVP candidate is completely reasonable, and he should be an MVP candidate for the rest of America.
Although Wilson is not at the top of any passing categories, he is near the top in almost every category. Wilson has completed 63.6 percent of his passes for 2,008 yards, 15 touchdowns, and four interceptions. He also has a passer rating of 100.4. He ranks sixth in passing yards, 14th in completion percentage, fifth in passing touchdowns, eighth in passer rating, and second in passing yards per game. He also has led two game winning drives and two comebacks, which rank tied for third and tied for first in the league.
Wilson may not be putting up the numbers and the getting the national attention like Tom Brady, Alex Smith, or Carson Wentz, but he has done much more with less. Seattle has been playing in a virtually one-dimensional offense due to their inefficiencies in the run game. He has also had to deal with one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL allowing pressure to get to Wilson regularly.
In fact, Wilson has been the second-best runner for the Seahawks this season. Wilson has run the ball 36 times for 194 yards and a touchdown. He is responsible for 28.4 percent of Seattle’s rushing yards this season. Most of the carries come because Wilson had to scramble out of the pocket and run because of the offensive line breaking down.
But Wilson has been very successful this season, even with the problems the Seattle offense has faced. Even with defenses not respecting the Seattle rushing attack, Wilson has dominated throwing the ball. He has thrown for over 300 yards in three out of seven Seattle’s games, including 452 yards in the shootout against the Texans. He has thrown four touchdowns in two games, and has not thrown more than 2 interceptions in any game.
Wilson has been more valuable to his team than any other player in the NFL this season. Even though the MVP award has typically gone to the best player in the NFL and not the most valuable to their team, Wilson has an argument for both cases. Wilson has been a top five quarterback in 2017, and the case could be made that he has been one of the top three quarterbacks this season. Without Wilson, it is very unlikely the Seahawks would be 5-2 at this point in the season.
There is the previously noted problems in the Seattle offense with the run game and offensive line issues, which could have been fixed with the Duane Brown addition. But the once dominant Seahawks defense also has had problems this season. In the games that the defense struggles, it is solely on Wilson’s shoulders to win the game for the Hawks, and he has done it almost every time.
So even though he may not have the best passing numbers in the NFL, he’s just below that guy that does. But if the people voting for the MVP want to vote for the guy that truly is the most valuable to his team, then Russell Wilson could be that guy. And it’s time that Wilson’s season starts to get the attention that it deserves to get.