NFL Power Rankings: Russell Wilson carrying surging Seahawks on his back
Wilson deserves MVP consideration for doing more with less
The MVP race is on, and, yes, Russell Wilson is in the middle of it.
Wilson has been special this season, carrying a team with a bad offensive line, no running game and major injuries on defense to an 8-4 record and second place in the NFC West.
At times this season, Wilson has looked like a one-man team, throwing, running, and making highlight play after highlight play. It's not the ideal way to play quarterback, and if asked to be honest Wilson would probably admit it, but he has taken what he's been given and made more of it than most quarterbacks could do.
That doesn't mean there aren't flaws, such as leaving clean pockets too often or not allowing the reads to develop, but taking shot after shot the way he does it's hard to blame him.
Brady and the Patriots have won two more games than the Seahawks, and Brady's stats are better, which is why he tops the MVP list in my mind. Brady leads Wilson in every major statistical category – by a lot in some. So Brady is first. Wilson is second and Philadelphia's Carson Wentz third.
There are still four weeks to go before the votes are cast, and I am one of the 50 voters enlisted by the Associated Press to choose the winner, so a lot can happen.
I have been one of the harshest Wilson critics, always believing he was very good and not among the best. This season, he is proving to be among the best.
He has the Seahawks up to No. 8 in my Power Rankings heading into a big road game this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars and their top-ranked defense. I can't wait to see Wilson against those corners and that front.
If he wins that one, puts up eye-opening numbers, he might move even closer to Brady in the race for the MVP.
He might not be elite, but Wilson is sure playing like it right now.
|1||Patriots||They just keep on rolling. Is there any team in the AFC that can beat them? I don't think so.||1||4-2-0|
|2||Steelers||It wasn't easy against the Bengals, but nothing has been this season. It's all about beating the Patriots in Week 16.||1||3-2-1|
|3||Vikings||Case Keenum is playing outstanding football to go with that impressive defense. They face a tough road trip to Carolina this week.||1||3-2-1|
|4||Eagles||They would be the second seed now in the conference after losing to Seattle and they face a tough road game against the Rams. That's a tough turnaround.||3||3-3-0|
|5||Rams||They face an enormous game this week at home against the Eagles. The good news is the defense is getting better by the week.||--||6-0-0|
|6||Saints||If they can beat the Falcons on the road at Atlanta, they will essentially have a two-game lead in the division with three to go. Alvin Kamara has been sensational.||1||4-1-0|
|7||Panthers||What has happened to the defense the past two weeks? That unit was supposed to be better than they've been.||1||3-2-0|
|8||Seahawks||Aside from Russell Wilson's outstanding play, the defense is coming off a good showing against the Eagles. That's a good sign with all the injuries.||1||3-3-0|
|9||Jaguars||Their defense is carrying this team, but Blake Bortles had his best game throwing it last week. They will need him this week against Seattle.||4||3-3-0|
|10||Falcons||They face a must-win game this week at home against the Saints. Lose, and they are in big trouble.||2||2-4-0|
|11||Chargers||They are now tied for first in the division. Who saw that coming? They weren't great against the Browns, but they found a way.||1||4-2-0|
|12||Titans||They are winning, but it sure isn't pretty. Is that a sign of a good team, or one just finding a way?||1||3-3-0|
|13||Ravens||They face a big one this week against the Steelers. The good news is Joe Flacco came alive throwing it last week.||1||4-2-0|
|14||Cowboys||They saved their season - for now - by beating the Redskins last week. They can make a real push down the stretch with a soft schedule.||1||3-3-0|
|15||Packers||They are 6-6 and alive in the wild-card chase. They need to keep it afloat until Aaron Rodgers gets back in a few weeks.||4||3-2-1|
|16||Raiders||They still don't score enough on offense. They will need to score more at Kansas City this week.||4||1-5-0|
|17||Lions||Two consecutive losses has this team at .500 and trying to stay alive in the playoff chase. Matt Stafford's injured hand bears watching.||3||2-3-0|
|18||Bills||They just can't beat the Patriots. Until they can, they can't be a real threat in the division.||2||2-4-0|
|19||Chiefs||Their 5-0 start seems like years ago. At 6-6, they have to find a way to win this week at home against the Raiders.||2||5-1-0|
|20||Redskins||At 5-7, they are basically done. The injuries have just taken a toll on this team.||2||3-2-0|
|21||Bengals||At 5-7, that loss to the Steelers just about finishes their season. Now the question becomes whether changes are coming.||--||4-2-0|
|22||Jets||They have done a great job this year and a lot of credit goes to Josh McCown. He has been outstanding the last two weeks.||4||3-3-0|
|23||Cardinals||They can start worrying about next year now after losing at home to the Rams. Will Bruce Arians be back?||1||1-6-0|
|24||Dolphins||They showed some fight against the Broncos. Now here come the Patriots.||--||4-2-0|
|25||Buccaneers||Did doing the Hard Knocks series hurt this team? They say no, but you never know.||2||2-3-0|
|26||Texans||The injuries have ended their chances, but there were some good things from last week's game. DeAndre Hopkins is a flat out star.||1||3-3-0|
|27||Broncos||It's hard to believe this team has lost eight straight games. The bad quarterback play has killed the Broncos.||--||3-4-0|
|28||49ers||They have to be thrilled with what they got from Jimmy Garoppolo in his first start last week. They have their guy.||2||1-5-0|
|29||Colts||It's coming to the end for Chuck Pagano. This season probably can't end soon enough for this group.||1||1-5-0|
|30||Bears||It's looking more and more like a new coach is coming next season. There are some good things to build upon for next year.||1||3-2-0|
|31||Giants||Firing coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese was the right thing to do. So was putting Eli Manning back in as the starter.||--||1-5-0|
|32||Browns||At least they know they have a weapon for the future with Josh Gordon back. But who will be throwing to him?||--||2-3-1|
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