Russell Wilson's strong start to the 2019 season has put him at the top of the NFL MVP race. Wilson, according to the latest odds at Westgate Las Vegas, has 2/1 odds to capture his first NFL MVP award. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, last year's winner, and Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson are next with 4/1 odds.
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, who is currently leading the NFL in both rushing (618) and all-purpose yards (923), has 12/1 odds to become the first running back to win the award since Adrian Peterson in 2012. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who have won a combined five league MVP awards, both have 20/1 odds. Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz both have 25/1 odds.
Wilson, who entered the season with 14/1 MVP odds, has completed 72.5 percent of his passes with a 14/0 touchdown/interception ratio while helping lead the Seattle Seahawks to a 5-1 start to the season. He's thrown at least two touchdown passes in five of Seattle's first six games that includes his season-high four touchdown effort in the Seahawks' road victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 5.
In a Week 3 loss to New Orleans -- Seattle's only loss of the season -- Wilson threw for two touchdowns and ran for two others while throwing a season-high 406 yards. His 124.7 passer rating is the NFL's best through six weeks.
Wilson, who will turn 31 years old in November, has a pretty lengthy list of accomplishments during his time as Seattle's starting quarterback. A former third-round pick who led Wisconsin to the Rose Bowl during his only season as the Badgers' starting quarterback, Wilson earned Pro Bowl honors as a rookie while helping guide the Seahawks to the second round of the playoffs. The following season, Wilson earned Pro Bowl honors again while helping lead Seattle to a dominant victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. Wilson and the Seahawks would fall just short of successfully defending their title in 2014, as Wilson's game-winning pass was intercepted during the final seconds of Seattle's 28-24 loss to New England in Super Bowl XLIX.
While the Seahawks have gone through a transition in the years following their most recent Super Bowl appearance, the one constant on the field has been Wilson, who led the NFL with 34 touchdown passes in 2017 while earning his fourth of five Pro Bowl selections. And while the Seahawks failed to make the playoffs that season, Wilson has never had a losing record as Seattle's staring quarterback, boasting an 80-37 regular season record entering this Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Wilson's signature play so far this season may be his Week 5 touchdown pass to receiver Tyler Lockett that helped Seattle defeat the defending NFC champs on "Thursday Night Football".
Lockett, who leads Seattle in receptions and receiving yards, recently explained how his rapport has grown with Wilson over the past several years.
"When you're playing football in general, you just gotta understand every aspect that he possesses and everything that he is great at," Lockett said on "The Rich Eisen Show." "So for me, even when I'm working out in the offseason or getting ready for camp, I'm putting myself in a situation to do the things that I know that Russell can do. And so, I might not do the same stuff that receivers do in the offseason, and that's OK, because I know my quarterback.
"So when we get into routines and when we get into camp practices, I already have that connection with him because I know what he's doing. I know what he's looking for on certain types of plays, and it just helps that I can put myself in position to stay alive whenever he needs me."
Lockett's understanding of Wilson's unique talents has helped them become one of the most productive quarterback/receiver duos in football. It's also helped the Seahawks win games while catapulting Wilson to the top of the MVP discussion near the midway point of the 2019 season.