Find the best player on the best team in the NFL and you’ll have your mid-season MVP.
That was an easy task for the listeners and readers of the Talk of Fame Network, who voted Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz as the mid-season MVP in our weekly poll. And it was a landslide.
Wentz received a whopping 85 percent of the vote to lap the field of eight candidates. New England quarterback Tom Brady finished second with a mere five percent of the vote. Running backs Le’Veon Bell of the Steelers, Leonard Fournette of the Jaguars, Todd Gurley of the Rams and Kareem Hunt also received support, as did Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith and Minnesota pass rusher Everson Griffen.
Wentz leads the NFL with 23 touchdown passes for the 8-1 Eagles. He also ranks fourth in both passing efficiency (104.1) and passing yardage (2,262).
The three Talk of Fame Network hosts were split in their voting with both Ron Borges and Rick Gosselin casting a ballot for Wentz and Clark Judge for Brady.
“There may be a more valuable player somewhere in the NFL than Carson Wentz but don’t try to tell that to the Philadelphia Eagles,” Borges said. “The only time they have faltered this season was the one time he did. It hasn’t happened twice, which is why they are 8-1. That’s valuable.
Wentz endured his struggles as a rookie in 2016, throwing for 3,782 yards but offsetting his 16 touchdowns with 14 interceptions for the 7-9 Eagles. But the front office gave him some weapons this season, signing one running back (LaGarrette Blount) in free agency and trading for another (Jay Ajayi). The Eagles also added veteran wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith in free agency.
The transformation of Wentz into a franchise quarterback has been remarkable. He has had four touchdown games against Arizona, Denver and Washington and a three-TD game against Arizona. He shredded the Chiefs for 333 yards, Washington for 307 and Arizona for 304. He also had a 63-yard rushing game against the Redskins.
Brady could be the MVP every season. At 40 this season, he leads the NFL with 2,541 passing yards for the 6-2 Patriots. Brady has thrown 16 touchdown passes against only two interceptions.
“Brady does more with less year after year than almost anyone out there,” Judge said. “But he’s a victim of his own success. We’re so used to he and the Patriots lapping the field that when, at the age of 40, he does the improbable, we shrug and say, ‘Yeah, so? It’s Tom Brady.’ And that’s the point. It’s Tom Brady. Nobody does it better.”