It’s a big week for the MVP poll. Two of the top three candidates played each other on Sunday night, when one outplayed the other. And while there’s a change at the top as a result, neither is our new No. 1.
It has been Carson Wentz at the top of our poll since we started it at midseason, but Tom Brady has been right behind him the whole time. And while it was Russell Wilson who helped end Wentz’s win streak, he wasn’t the one who zoomed past the Eagles quarterback for the top spot in our poll.
With four weeks to play, the MVP leader is a dude who has won it twice before. Can Brady hold on? Is it fair to knock it away from Wentz after one down week? And how much gap-closing do the Seahawks need to do in the standings to put Wilson in the lead with all he’s doing for them?
These and other questions are discussed at some length in this week’s edition of our MVP poll.
Methodology: Our panel of 12 experts nominated their top five candidates. First-place votes are worth five points, second-place votes worth four, third-place votes worth three, fourth-place votes worth two and fifth-place votes worth one. The top five finishers are highlighted in the following graphic. Full results can be found at the bottom.
Regular-season passing: 300-for-438 (68.5 percent); 3,632 yards; 26 TDs; 4 INT; 74.1 Total QBR
The case for Brady: The Patriots’ 10-2 record is tied with Philadelphia and Minnesota for the league’s best, and as we keep saying here, the quarterback on the team with the best record is always a candidate for MVP. Brady leads the league in passing yards by 330 and ranks second in yards per attempt, fourth in QBR, second in completion percentage and second in touchdown passes with 26 to just four interceptions. We may never know what he was yelling at offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels about on the sideline last week, but we do know Brady is unstoppable even at age 40.
The case against Brady: Well, Wentz has Brady in touchdown passes and QBR, but not by much. And as we’ll discuss below, Wilson is shouldering more of his team’s offensive load than any player in the league. But those are the cases for those guys. There’s no real case against Brady right now.
Regular-season passing: 242-for-399 (60.7 percent); 3,005 yards; 29 TDs; 6 INT; 73.6 Total QBR
The case for Wentz: TheEagles are also 10-2, and Wentz has more touchdown passes (by three) and a bit higher QBR than…