The Case for Russell Wilson


Carolina’s Cam Newton is widely considered the front-runner for NFL MVP, but Seattle’s Russell Wilson is gaining steam. Or at least he should be.

Please accept my apology right up front if I’m distracting any of you from the Russell Wilson Butt story – but there’s another, albeit much more insignificant story developing around him that deserves attention. And so on we go…..

If Cam Newton is the front-runner for NFL MVP, then Russell Wilson should be right there with him.

The numbers simply don’t lie, and neither does the eye test.

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First, let’s just take a look at their key stats side by side, or in this case above and below:

PlayerPass YardsComp PctTDINTRush YardsTDRating

At first glance it looks clear but, how in the hell could a sub 60% passer ever be considered for MVP, particularly in the modern era of high-powered passing offenses? In Newton’s case the rushing TD’s might help, but it’s all about his team’s record.

Cam Newton is the favorite for MVP because his team is undefeated. That’s his case. And if so, then it’s a shaky one.

13-0 looks great on paper. It’s flashy, it’s rare, hell…. ANY OF US would love our teams to have THAT record. But in this case perfect does not mean perfect.

Carolina’s opponents are 75-94 on the season for a winning percentage of 44.3. Seattle’s opponents? 89-80 with a 52.6 winning percentage. That’s a significant difference. Seattle’s struggles early in the season were well documented, but their key losses came at the expense of teams ranked 1st (Carolina), 2nd (Arizona), 6th (Cincinnati) and 8th (Green Bay) in our consensus power rankings. In the last three weeks they’ve notched their two best wins against #5 Pittsburgh in a shootout, and a 35-6 blowout of #11 Minnesota on the road.

Carolina’s signature win? They escaped with a 37-29 win at home against a struggling Green Bay team, with a banged up Aaron Rodgers moving his team down the field for a potential tying score before throwing a late INT.

I’m not knocking what Cam has done, he’s clearly the leader of that team, and how many of us thought the Panthers were finished at the starting line when leading receiver Kelvin Benjamin went down with a torn ACL in the preseason?

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All of this may actually be a moot point, with New England decimated by injuries, Tom Brady leading the Patriots to the #1 seed in the AFC will get a lot of votes, maybe even the win.

My point is simply that if Cam Newton is an “MVP front runner” then Russell Wilson belongs right there in the conversation and is playing the quarterback position better than anyone else in the league over the last month, so he’s not done yet. Stay Tuned.