NFL Power Rankings: Russell Wilson carrying surging Seahawks on his back

The MVP race is on, and, yes, Russell Wilson is in the middle of it.

For those out there who consistently say I can't give the Seattle Seahawks quarterback his due, I offer this: Wilson should be second right now to New England's Tom Brady in the race for MVP.

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.

Biggest Movers
4 Jaguars
3 Eagles
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Patriots They just keep on rolling. Is there any team in the AFC that can beat them? I don't think so. 14-2-0
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. 13-2-1
3 Vikings Case Keenum is playing outstanding football to go with that impressive defense. They face a tough road trip to Carolina this week. 13-2-1
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. 33-3-0
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. 14-1-0
7 Panthers What has happened to the defense the past two weeks? That unit was supposed to be better than they've been. 13-2-0
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. 13-3-0
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. 43-3-0
10 Falcons They face a must-win game this week at home against the Saints. Lose, and they are in big trouble. 22-4-0
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. 14-2-0
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? 13-3-0
13 Ravens They face a big one this week against the Steelers. The good news is Joe Flacco came alive throwing it last week. 14-2-0
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. 13-3-0
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. 43-2-1
16 Raiders They still don't score enough on offense. They will need to score more at Kansas City this week. 41-5-0
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. 32-3-0
18 Bills They just can't beat the Patriots. Until they can, they can't be a real threat in the division. 22-4-0
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. 25-1-0
20 Redskins At 5-7, they are basically done. The injuries have just taken a toll on this team. 23-2-0
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. 43-3-0
23 Cardinals They can start worrying about next year now after losing at home to the Rams. Will Bruce Arians be back? 11-6-0
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. 22-3-0
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. 13-3-0
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. 21-5-0
29 Colts It's coming to the end for Chuck Pagano. This season probably can't end soon enough for this group. 11-5-0
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. 13-2-0
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
CBS Sports Senior Writer

Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories