Seahawks’ Bobby Wagner should be defensive MVP
By Lee Vowell
The Seahawks Bobby Wagner is having a great season. This isn’t anything new. The linebacker has been great for six seasons perviously. This year may be his best yet. And he deserves the award for defensive MVP for it.
The Seahawks have a lot of great players. Several of whom are injured. But perhaps Seattle’s third best player is Bobby Wagner. Heck, maybe Wagner is Seattle’s best. This is a player who got an MVP award vote for his 2014 season. Wagner was first-team All-Pro in 2014 and 2016 and second team in 2015.
Wagner broke the Seahawks record for tackles in a season last year with 167, which also led the NFL. In 2017, Wagner is third in the league in tackles. But he also has eight passes defended, two interceptions, two sacks, a safety and has returned a fumble for a touchdown. One of his interceptions happened on this incredible play against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
Pro Football Focus has Wagner graded as the best linebacker in the NFL this season. And it’s not that close. Wagner’s grade is 98.5. Second-best is Lavonte David at 95.1. Third is Luke Kuechly at 93.2. This means the difference between the second and third best is closer than the difference between best and second.
As Pro Football Focus tweeted…
Wagner has been used a bit more in 2017 in pass rush and he has not disappointed. He has two sacks and 14 quarterback pressures in 40 blitz attempts.
In coverage, Wagner has an 84 passer rating against. The average for an NFL linebacker is 106.1.
Seahawks fans have known for years that Wagner is indispensable. The linebacker has helped Seattle maintain a very good defense in 2017 even with injuries to Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor. Wagner and K.J. Wright form one the best linebacker duos in the NFL.
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One thing that cannot be argued, though, is Wagner’s greatness. And this year he has been great enough to be the defensive Most Valuable Player.