It’s again! It’s again! The NFL MVP ballot is again!
Carson Wentz’s Eagles have the league’s greatest document, however is the quarterback the NFL’s greatest participant? Bill Barnwell chooses the most important award winners and some others, together with signing of the yr and play of the yr.
NFL Nation reporters go in-depth on each workforce on the midway level, selecting out greatest and worst moments and MVPs, and looking forward to the remainder of the season.
We’ve reached the halfway level of the season, which implies it is time to begin speaking about issues just like the MVP award. We know you’re keen on these items, and even in the event you do not, we do. So in honor of the midseason mark, we polled a panel of 10 ESPN NFL consultants on who they badume is the league’s Most Valuable Player to date. This record ought to fluctuate tremendously till the tip of the season — or else the place’s the enjoyable? — and we hope you may get pleasure from following together with us because it does.
So, with out additional ado, this is the debut in-season version of the 2017 ESPN NFL MVP ballot.
Methodology: We tabbed our 10 consultants to appoint their prime 5 candidates. First-place votes are price 5 factors, second-place votes price 4, third-place votes price three, fourth-place votes price two and fifth-place votes price one. The prime 5 finishers are highlighted within the following graphic. Full outcomes will be discovered on the backside.
Regular-season pbading: 176-for-291 (60.5 p.c); 2,262 yards; 23 TDs; 5 INTs; 73.four Total QBR
The case for Wentz: The quarterback of the workforce with the very best document is nearly at all times a prime candidate, and in the mean time, that is Wentz of the Eight-1 Eagles. He leads the NFL with 23 landing pbades in opposition to simply 5 interceptions, and he ranks within the prime 5 in pbading yards, pbader ranking and Total QBR. Heading into the bye, Wentz dropped 4 landing pbades on the Broncos’ secondary in final week’s win to stamp his and Philadelphia’s case as legit.
The case in opposition to Wentz: There’s not a robust case in opposition to Wentz at this level, however in the event you’re in search of causes he won’t keep atop this record, 4 of the Eagles’ subsequent 5 video games are on the street at Dallas, Seattle, the Rams and the Giants. So issues would possibly toughen up round him, and it is potential in some unspecified time in the future that the absence of left sort out Jason Peters will have an effect on the brilliance with which Wentz is working this offense. Let’s see … what else? He’s solely 28th within the league in completion proportion — that is not nice. But actually, this was a straightforward name. Wentz bought eight of the 10 first-place votes.
Regular-season pbading: 206-for-309 (66.7 p.c); 2,541 yards; 16 TDs; 2 INTs; 71.7 Total QBR
The case for Brady: Oh, yeah. This man. Stop me in the event you’ve heard this earlier than, however the Patriots are 6-2 and Brady is having a monster season. Apparently, 40 is a frame of mind, and Brady’s thoughts is caught on 27. Fifth in completion proportion, first in yards per sport (by 30!), second in pbader ranking, fourth in Total QBR, fourth in yards per try, with 16 touchdowns and two interceptions — you title it. If it is about quarterback play, Brady is doing it in addition to he ever has, and he is doing it with out Julian Edelman. It would not be an MVP ballot with out Brady, who bought one of many different two first-place votes that did not go to Wentz.
The case in opposition to Brady: You have to actually nitpick right here, however he is on tempo for 32 landing pbades, which is nice, however effectively wanting Wentz, who’s on tempo for 41. There’s not an amazing case in opposition to Brady proper now. The cause he is No. 2 and Wentz is No. 1 is principally simply that Wentz and the Eagles have been somewhat bit higher to date than the Patriots have been. Long strategy to go right here.
Regular-season pbading: 204-for-293 (69.6 p.c); 2,444 yards; 18 TDs; 1 INT; 64.1 Total QBR
The case for Smith: The Chiefs’ red-hot begin has fizzled as they’ve misplaced three out of 4 after opening the season 5-Zero, however Smith continues to be buzzing alongside. He’s third in completion proportion behind Drew Brees and Josh McCown. (Let that sentence sink in for a second.) He’s second in pbading yards, first in pbader ranking and first in yards per try whereas nonetheless throwing just one interception to go together with his 18 landing pbades. Smith has brilliantly transitioned together with Kansas City’s speedy new weapons to a brand new type of offense, and the Chiefs are main the AFC West due to it.
The case in opposition to Smith: Had we achieved this three or 4 weeks in the past, it is potential Smith would’ve held the No. 1 spot. Instead, he obtained no first-place votes and no second-place votes (Wentz bought two second-place votes and Brady bought eight). Smith’s numbers within the Week Eight victory over the Broncos weren’t spectacular, and his QBR performances in losses to Pittsburgh and Dallas had been amongst his worst of the season. The Chiefs began the season with wins in opposition to Brady and Wentz, however they’ve misplaced some robust ones currently to contenders.
Regular-season dashing: 161 carries; 686 yards; 7 TDs
Regular-season receiving: 29 receptions; 338 yards; Three TDs
The case for Gurley: Now, that is what I am speaking about! Enough with the quarterbacks, am I proper? Gurley scored a third-place vote, two fourths and a fifth to barely edge out the 2 quarterbacks tied for fifth. Why? Well, he ranks fourth within the league in dashing yards with 686 and has added 29 catches for 338 yards. With seven dashing touchdowns and three receiving touchdowns for a league-leading 10 complete, he is been the centerpiece of the league’s highest-scoring offense and an enormous a part of the rationale for quarterback Jared Goff’s mbadive second-year leap.
The case in opposition to Gurley: Quarterbacks do are inclined to win this award, and the three in entrance of Gurley on this record all have sturdy instances. And Gurley does rank second within the league in complete yards from scrimmage behind Kansas City’s Kareem Hunt (who, by the best way, bought the opposite first-place vote in our ballot).
Regular-season pbading: 197-for-275 (71.6 p.c); 2,214 yards; 13 TDs; four INTs; 60.6 Total QBR
The case for Brees: This is a little bit of a tricky one. Brees is fifth within the league in yards, and the Saints are a shocking first-place workforce of which he is the quarterback. He appears to be steering the ship with anticipated competence.
The case in opposition to Brees: Is he the MVP of his personal workforce? I imply, clearly, the QB virtually at all times is. But this yr’s Saints are leaning arduous on the run sport and a surprisingly sturdy protection. Brees’ numbers are effective, however they’re hardly the spectacular ones we have come to anticipate, and the workforce is already one win wanting its complete from every of the previous three seasons.
Regular-season pbading: 188-for-303 (62.Zero p.c); 2,305 yards; 17 TDs; 6 INTs; 62.four Total QBR
Regular-season dashing: 46 carries; 271 yards; 1 TD
The case for Wilson: This one’s simpler to make, as a result of nobody has achieved extra to hold his workforce to date than Wilson has. Until final week, when the Seahawks lastly acquired Duane Brown to play left sort out, Wilson had been taking part in behind Seattle’s common makeshift offensive line and making magic anyway. He’s second within the league in pbading yards per sport, has 33 p.c of his workforce’s dashing yards and has saved the workforce with fourth-quarter comebacks in opposition to San Francisco and Houston.
The case in opposition to Wilson: Other than the yards (dashing and pbading), his numbers do not price with the quarterbacks larger on this record. And Seattle’s 5-Three document is not Philly’s Eight-1 and even New England’s 6-2. That does matter in MVP voting, traditionally.