Seahawks’ Wilson is NFL MVP candidate

The conversation regarding this season’s NFL MVP candidates now includes Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

For a number of reasons, odds are stacked against Wilson.

Gee, wonder if he’s ever heard such a thing before? Or is this the first time anybody’s suggested he’s a bit of a long shot?

Wilson’s best chance is if he can cause voters to consider some unconventional criteria, to view the term “valuable” in a broad context.

As it turns out, he’s pretty good at that sort of thing.

Most consider Denver’s Peyton Manning the heavy favorite to collect his fifth league MVP trophy. New Orleans’ Drew Brees is rated second among most current predictions.

Some, though, have Wilson trailing only those two.

Wilson is ranked fifth in the league in passer rating (105.1), which is functionally fourth since the leader, Eagle Nick Foles (128), has only started five games.

Wilson has passed for 2,362 yards with 19 touchdowns against six interceptions. Nice numbers.

Manning, though, has reached MVP statistics in 10 games (34 TDs, 6 INTs, 3,572 yards, 118.3 rating). Brees is in the ball park, with 26 TDs, 3,369 yards and a 106.7 rating.

Voters love stats, especially big numbers in passing yards.

In the past 12 seasons, three running backs (Adrian Peterson last season, LaDainian Tomlinson ‘06 and Shaun Alexander ‘05) have won the award, but the other nine were quarterbacks.

Only once, when Tennessee’s Steve McNair shared the award with Manning in ‘03, did the winner have significantly less than 4,000 passing yards.

Wilson is on pace for roughly 3,400 yards. The Seahawks offense is geared to run the ball, with their 358 rushing attempts the second-most in the NFL.

And with their defense allowing just 16 points a game, they don’t get in many shoot-out games that require pinball passing numbers.

Manning, with 409 attempts, has thrown nearly 50 percent more passes than Wilson’s 275.

Voters also seem to be skeptical of youth, particularly when it comes to quarterbacks.

In that group from the last 12 seasons, Manning at 28 in ‘03, was the youngest to win the award.

Wilson doesn’t turn 25 until Nov. 29. And this is only his second season in the league.

In the history of the award, only one quarterback has won it as early as his second season in the league, and that was St. Louis’ Kurt Warner in 1999, and he was 28 years old at the time after spending a number of seasons playing in the Arena League.

That Wilson has closed in on the likes of Manning and Brees is a compliment to him as well as to the success of the 10-1 Seahawks, who are no longer an afterthought to national media.

In his weekly MVP Watch for ESPN, for instance, Dan Graziano said that if Manning and Brees slip for any reason, “… Wilson is in the best position of anyone to sneak in and steal the award.”

He added this week: “Wilson’s got it all and is only getting better.”

Getting some injured offensive linemen back will surely help matters. Manning has been sacked 13 times, less than half Wilson’s 29.

Aside from being undefeated in 13 career home games, Wilson also has led four game-winning drives this season, two of them on the road at Carolina and Houston.

There could be valid debates that the MVP of the Seahawks might be someone other than Wilson — perhaps running back Marshawn Lynch (second in the league in rushing and tied for first in non-kick scoring), or even free safety Earl Thomas (team’s leading tackler).

But it’s Wilson who will get prime consideration if the Seahawks continue the streak they’re on.

He won’t have the gaudy yardage and touchdown numbers, but he’s an enormous part of what has made this a dominating football team.

More in Sports

U.S. women stun Canada in shootout to win hockey gold medal

Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson scores the game-winner as the Americans win their first gold since 1998.

It’s expensive, but hockey in Seattle will be worth your while

Pace of play has become an issue in most sports, but NHL hockey is full-steam, all-out action.

Art Thiel: UW is a nice story, but Pac-12 is embarrassing

The fact that the conference may have just two NCAA Tournament teams is a really bad look.

U.S. men’s hockey team eliminated in Olympic quarterfinals

The Americans lose to the Czech Republic 3-2 in a shootout

Blackmouth opener lives up to expectations

State creel checkers tallied roughly one chinook for every 2.5 Area 9 anglers on opening day.

Surprised by trade, Souza ready to help D-backs win

The former Cascade star will fill a key role in the outfield for an Arizona team that expects to contend.

BLOG: Canadiens call up former Silvertips captain Noah Juulsen

Noah Juulsen, who served as the captain of the Everett Silvertips last… Continue reading

Window opens for Seahawks to franchise tag DT Richardson

Seattle must decide whether to use the expensive tag or let the defensive tackle test free agency.

Cascade alum Souza traded from Rays to Diamondbacks

Arizona sends Brandon Drury to the Yankees in the three-team deal involving the former local prep star.

Most Read