Once again, Russell Wilson and Tom Brady are involved in a last-minute nail-biter against each other. If the NFL season ended on Dec. 5, CBS Sports' 2017 NFL MVP would be ... well, we wouldn't have just one MVP because we'd have a tie between two equally deserving players: Wilson and Brady. 

Welcome to CBS Sports' first edition of the 2017 NFL MVP Watch, where the five NFL writers here at CBS Sports submitted their MVP ballots by ranking their top five candidates. Last year, our process concluded with us giving Matt Ryan the award -- a choice that the actual MVP voters ended up agreeing with, for whatever that's worth. This year, we'll follow the same process. Every week, we'll update our individual ballots and crown a new MVP until we finally settle on our MVP at the conclusion of the regular season. 

You'll find all of our individual ballots heading into Week 14 below. But for now, let's take a look at our composite ballot. Atop our leaderboard are two quarterbacks with 22 points each: Wilson of the Seahawks and Brady of the Patriots. Behind them, and trailing by a significant margin, is Eagles second-year quarterback Carson Wentz, who was considered a frontrunner not too long ago, but is now firmly entrenched in third place with 15 points. In all, there were nine players named on our ballots. But really, this is a three-horse race between Wilson, Brady, and Wentz. No other player scored in double digits. 

Remember: Every week -- from now until the end of the regular season -- we'll be updating our rankings. Consider this edition No. 1 of a tight race. OK, on to the ballots ... 

2017 MVP vote heading into Week 14

T-1. Russell Wilson -- 22 points
T-1. Tom Brady -- 22 points
3. Carson Wentz -- 15 points
4. Case Keenum -- 5 points
T-5. Antonio Brown -- 3 points
T-5. Alvin Kamara  -- 3 points
T-7. Philip Rivers -- 2 points
T-7. Calais Campbell -- 2 points
9. Jared Goff -- 1 point

Sean Wagner-McGough's top 5

  1. Russell Wilson
  2. Tom Brady
  3. Carson Wentz 
  4. Antonio Brown
  5. Calais Campbell 

Wilson isn't my MVP because I think he's the best player in the NFL. Heck, I don't even think he's the best quarterback in football. Wilson is my MVP because I don't think there's a player who is more valuable to his team than Wilson is to the Seahawks. This year, Wilson has accounted for 3,688 (or 85.7 percent) of the Seahawks' 4,304 yards. He's tied with Brady for the second-most passing touchdowns. He's doing all of this behind a shaky offensive line. I'm not sure there's another quarterback who could thrive in the Seahawks' offense like Wilson always does. That's why the Seahawks -- despite being down Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, and Cliff Avril -- are in a playoff position.

Brady is the only other player who can likely unseat Wilson as my MVP. Brady's been brilliant and if the Patriots end up going 14-2 while Wilson's Seahawks flounder a bit down the stretch, I'll have no qualms with placing Brady above Wilson. My ballot will likely change down the stretch. I don't think this race is over. But to me, it's a two-horse race. Maybe Wentz can sneak into the picture with a dominant final stretch, but he'll also need Wilson and Brady to slump. I just don't see it happening. 

Two guys I left off my list that I desperately wanted to include: Alvin Kamara and Philip Rivers. They might find a way onto the back end of the ballot in the final weeks.

Will Brinson's top 5

  1. Tom Brady
  2. Carson Wentz
  3. Russell Wilson
  4. Philip Rivers
  5. Alvin Kamara

Finding five guys in this very top-heavy field is not easy task, and I have a feeling we'll see a consensus top three -- without question Brady and Wentz are going to be in the conversation and after Sunday night's win over the Eagles, it's hard to imagine anyone leaving Wilson off. Seattle is the No. 5 seed in the NFC and they have NOTHING, having been ravaged on the offensive line as well as in the defensive secondary. If not for Russ creating magic on offense, this team would crater. Drop, spin, make something happen. Brady is still my top choice because he's been the best player in the NFL through his 40-year-old season. Rivers is someone I think deserves more credit than he's gotten for helping drag the Chargers back into the playoff conversation. And while there might be another candidate for the No. 5 spot, Kamara is the motor for this Saints offense -- he has 720 scrimmage yards and eight touchdowns over the last five games. 

Jared Dubin's top 5

  1. Russell Wilson
  2. Tom Brady
  3. Carson Wentz
  4. Alvin Kamara
  5. Calais Campbell

When we last did this exercise at mid-season, I voted for Deshaun Watson because he was the player who made the greatest positive contribution to his team's ability to win. I'm voting for Wilson now for the same reason. He not only leads the NFL in pass attempts, he also leads the Seahawks in rush attempts (by two) and rushing yards (more than double the next closest player, Chris Carson, who has been out since Week 4). He has accounted for 85.7 percent of the Seahawks' total yards, putting him on pace to break the all-time record. It's almost impossible imagine someone being more responsible for their team's ability to win. That said, Brady and Wentz are nipping at his heels due to their sparkling play this season. Brady is Brady. You don't need me to tell you how good he is. Wentz has been excellent, and I don't think his performance in Philly's Week 13 loss to Seattle knocks him down at all. 

My last two picks are sure to be controversial, but consider: Kamara has 1,220 total yards and 11 touchdowns on only 146 touches. He's averaging 7.0 yards per carry and he's the Saints' second-leading receiver behind Michael Thomas. He has raised the ceiling of the Saints' offense higher than it has been in years ... and he's done in while playing 25 fewer snaps than Michael Hoomanawanui. Campbell, meanwhile, has been the best defensive player in football, leading the best defense in the league — one that is so good that Blake Bortles is now the quarterback of an 8-4 team. Campbell has 12.5 sacks, 55 quarterback pressures, 31 run stops, three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and a touchdown. He could not be playing any better. 

John Breech's top 5

  1. Tom Brady
  2. Russell Wilson
  3. Carson Wentz
  4. Case Keenum
  5. Jared Goff

I have no idea how Brady is doing it, but he's absolutely dominating the NFL at age 40 and he's doing it even though he lost his favorite target (Julian Edelman) before the season started. Not only is Brady top-two in the NFL in QB rating, passing yards and touchdown passes, but he's second in the league in my favorite stat: yards per attempt. With an average of 8.29 yards per attempt, Brady is nearly getting his team a first down every time he throws the ball. 

If the Seahawks ending up making the playoffs, there's a good chance I'll move Wilson to the top spot. Not only is he having a statistically strong season through the air, but he's also the Seahawks' leading rusher by more than 200 yards. Basically, when people say that Wilson is the Seahawks' entire offense, they're really not exaggerating. To put Wilson's rushing total in perspective, he has only 16 fewer yards than Adrian Peterson (448-432). 

Although I love what Wentz has done this season, it really feels like Brady and Wilson are doing more with less. You could put the top three guys in any order and I wouldn't really argue. I have Wentz in third, though, because he has a higher margin for error. Basically, if he struggles, the Eagles can still win because they have a strong ground game and the No. 3 defense in the NFL. Wilson has zero ground support and Brady is playing with a defense that's ranked 28th overall in yards surrendered per game. 

To be honest, I don't think anyone outside of the top three really has a chance to win the MVP at this point, so I'm going with the anti-Jeff Fisher vote in my final slots. Both these guys looked horrible playing for Fisher last season, and now, without Fisher, both are playing well enough to be in the MVP conversation. That's probably not a coincidence. 

Ryan Wilson's top 5

  1. Russell Wilson 
  2. Tom Brady
  3. Case Keenum
  4. Carson Wentz
  5. Antonio Brown

The Seahawks are a one-man team and that one man is Wilson, who ranks fifth in passing yards (3,256) and is tied with Brady for second in touchdown passes (26). But those numbers don't even tell half the story, which includes Wilson's elusiveness everywhere on the field -- in the pocket, behind the line of scrimmage, close the sideline, near the sticks, and on the goal line. He also has 432 rushing yard (6.1 YPC) and three rushing touchdowns. Without him, forget the 8-4 record and the fifth spot in the playoff race, we'd be calling the Seahawks The Pacific Northwest Browns.

Brady is on this list because he's Tom Brady. And on his home planet, 40 years old is somewhere between 18 and 22. So basically, Brady's like a college sophomore physically, but with 18 Earth years sharing a brain with Bill Belichick The real mystery is how the Patriots haven't won more Super Bowls.

Keenum is a fantastic story in Minnesota and as long as he plays well, the Vikings remain one of the NFC's scariest teams to face in January. Wentz is so clearly a franchise quarterback that not only did the Browns pass on him, their front office didn't consider him one of the league's top 20 passers. Brown is the only receiver on this list because he's the most important player on a Steelers' offense loaded with playmakers.