NFL Week 13 QB Power Rankings: Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck deserve some MVP buzz as well

This column mercifully took the week off during Thanksgiving and now it returns, fatter and more stuffed full of quarterbacks than ever. Actually I take that back: the quarterback ranks are the opposite of my body post Turkey Day, as they've slimmed out considerably. 

There are now multiple backups making starts, including some because of injury -- Chase Daniel, Jeff Driskel, Colt McCoy -- and some because of performance -- Cody Kessler -- and it is going to make for some uglier football than usual down the stretch. That's just part of life in the NFL, though. 

And it's totally worth it to get a pair of MVP candidates back in our lives playing at a high level. Worth noting here that any discussion of the MVP award starts and ends with Drew Brees and Patrick Mahomes, but the final five weeks of the regular season are about finding candidates to fill the void in a boring race (see: Philip Rivers and Todd Gurley last year). 

Typically quarterbacks on teams that are 6-5 won't get massive MVP buzz and there's a crowded quarterback field already. The Seahawks have sort of opened up their passing offense over the last four weeks though, as Wilson's averaged 31.8 passing attempts per game after averaging just 26 through the first seven games of the year. In that four game stretch, Wilson has completed 67.7 percent of his passes, is averaging 243 yards per game and has thrown nine touchdowns to just one interception. Maybe more than anything else that gives him VALUE: he's doing it with a bunch of no-name guys. Tyler Lockett and David Moore are his best weapons with Doug Baldwin fighting through an injury to soldier on out there. There's no Legion of Boom taking the credit here, although the defense is much better than people think and the run game has been impressive. The Seahawks have the inside track at a wild-card berth and could very well reel off five wins to finish 11-5; it's not out of the question. If that happens, Russell deserves some buzz for how well he's played in a new system under extenuating circumstances.

Luck is playing his tail off right now, thanks in part to a great offensive line and a great offensive scheme from Frank Reich. Over his last five games, Luck has completed more than 75 percent of his passes, is averaging 264 yards per game, has 16 touchdowns to just three interceptions and is averaging 8.9 yards per attempt. He was just named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for November and he's not getting enough buzz in MVP circles. Luck's been sacked a single time over that span -- back in 2013 he would get sacked three times getting out of bed. The Colts entering the playoff fray with Luck playing this well merits him getting consideration. 

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To the rankings:

QB Rankings Week 13
Drew Brees New Orleans Saints QB
Drew Brees is shredding the league on a regular basis and looks incredible. He doesn't have the most weapons but he does look hellbent on winning the MVP award and taking the Saints to another Super Bowl. They have their first 10-game winning streak since 2009.
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
Our memory of the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes is a close loss followed by them not playing last week. So it's easy to forget what he was doing up until the break. He should be back at it against Oakland.
Philip Rivers Los Angeles Chargers QB
Philip Rivers will have to carry the Chargers even more now that Melvin Gordon is out for a few weeks.
Andrew Luck Indianapolis Colts QB
Andrew Luck deserves some MVP chatter for the way he's played while getting the Colts back in the AFC playoff hunt.
Jared Goff Los Angeles Rams QB
Even if Todd Gurley is an MVP candidate (he's not, in my opinion), it's Jared Goff who makes the thing go for the Rams.
Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks QB
Russell Wilson is secretly coming on strong right now and the Seahawks are poised to make some playoff noise. He should be a fringe MVP guy as well.
Cam Newton Carolina Panthers QB
Can't blame Cam Newton for the last two losses -- he's played well. The red zone execution and the defense have to improve.
Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers QB
Expect a bounceback for Ben Roethlisberger with the Steelers playing at home this week.
Tom Brady New England Patriots QB
Tom Brady's numbers have been "meh" the last few weeks, but I have a feeling the Patriots might just be saving him for the stretch run.
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers QB
The Packers are on the verge of playoff elimination and Aaron Rodgers is not playing his best football.
Matt Ryan Atlanta Falcons QB
Matt Ryan is still putting up HUGE numbers, but the Falcons aren't winning games.
Deshaun Watson Houston Texans QB
The Texans have won eight straight and have managed to minimize the number of times Deshaun Watson is throwing. He's still looked great in a return from an ACL injury.
Marcus Mariota Tennessee Titans QB
Is Marcus Mariota finally breaking out??? Three of the last four games have been exceptional for the young quarterback, although the Titans aren't winning every single one.
Baker Mayfield Cleveland Browns QB
Welcome to the Bake Show -- Baker Mayfield was locked in against the Bengals and now gets his toughest test yet as a starter against the Texans.
Carson Wentz Philadelphia Eagles QB
Carson Wentz hasn't been bad at all, it's just a really deep crop of quarterbacks this year. He also isn't the same guy (yet) that he was pre-ACL.
Kirk Cousins Minnesota Vikings QB
Kirk Cousins has been up and down like crazy, but his most recent game, in prime time against the hated Packers, was up arguably better than Aaron Rodgers.
Dak Prescott Dallas Cowboys QB
The addition of Amari Cooper and changes to the offense have made Dak Prescott a much better quarterback. Credit, gulp, Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett.
Jameis Winston Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
The Buccaneers stuck with one quarterback and won a football game. Wild, novel concept.
Case Keenum Denver Broncos QB
Is Case Keenum GOOD? He just finds ways to win. It's really hard to explain.
Matthew Stafford Detroit Lions QB
The last few weeks have been wildly disappointing for people hoping Matthew Stafford could break out down the stretch and lead the Lions to some wins. Don't blame him for the losses, I guess, but still disappointing.
Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
The Ravens made the switch, and it was smart and while Lamar Jackson isn't entirely accurate all the time, he's still explosive and fun as hell to watch.
Eli Manning New York Giants QB
There's talk about Eli Manning being the Giants quarterback in 2019. The world is an amazing place to live, kids.
Derek Carr Oakland Raiders QB
The Raiders are just short on talent on the offensive side at this point, but credit Derek Carr for fighting hard.
Ryan Tannehill Miami Dolphins QB
This is sort of where the drop off starts to happen, although obviously the Dolphins already looked better with Ryan Tannehill under center versus Brock Osweiler.
Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
The kid's got legs! Josh Allen makes the Bills a much better offense somehow.
Josh Rosen Arizona Cardinals QB
Josh Rosen keeps impressing me every week with some really good throws but there's not enough protection around him to make him look good over the long course of a game.
Chase Daniel Chicago Bears QB
Chase Daniel is going to get his second start in as many weeks with Mitchell Trubisky shelved. Welcome to backup land.
Jeff Driskel Cincinnati Bengals QB
Did Jeff Driskel look better than Andy Dalton in his relief appearance? It's a question that's worth asking.
Colt McCoy Washington Redskins QB
The Redskins asked Colt McCoy to do way too much on Thanksgiving and made that game too much of a shootout.
Josh McCown New York Jets QB
The Jets don't look like a team entirely ready to compete right now, which may cost Todd Bowles his job.
Nick Mullens San Francisco 49ers QB
The Nick Mullens hype train has derailed.
Cody Kessler Jacksonville Jaguars QB
The Jaguars are floating through space, completely lost.
CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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