In the Trib this morning I looked at Russell Wilson’s MVP chances. On some early projections, he’s listed as high as No. 3 behind Peyton Manning and Drew Brees (Dan Graziano’s MVP Watch for ESPN). Amazing for a second-year, third-round draft pick to rise into that discussion this quickly.
Where would the Seahawks be without Wilson’s improvisational abilities during that seven weeks when the starting tackles were both out? To lead four game-winning drives this season and to lead them to the best record in the NFL warrants the attention.
It looks as if Manning will be hard to overtake. He’s got pretty close to MVP numbers (69.9 percent, 34 TDs-6 INTS, 3,572 yards) through just 10 games. Wilson would have to throw 3 TDs a game the rest of the way to catch up to where Manning’s TD total stands now.
Also, voters in these things are swayed by big numbers, particularly in total passing yards. Playing in a run-oriented scheme makes that unlikely for Wilson (Manning has nearly 50 percent more passing attempts than Wilson at this point).
And the only time in the history of the award that a quarterback has been an MVP as early as his second season in the NFL was in ’99 when Kurt Warner of St. Louis won it, and he was 28 years old after having played in Arena League for several years.
My thought is that the best shot for Wilson is continued team domination, which might cause voters to re-evaluate the importance of the non-statistical factors of leadership, versatility, etc. But, as we’ve seen for nearly two seasons, Wilson has a history of causing people to alter their perspectives and false assumptions.
--No big surprises to see that Walter Jones was included as a Hall of Fame semifinalist. His reputation in among the coaches and players in the league was actually much stronger than it was among fans across the country who might not have paid close attention to offensive linemen of the Seahawks for so many years.
The best description of Big Walt’s dominance I ever heard came from Ray Rhodes, when he was DC for Holmgren. When Rhodes got here, he was asked what it was like to coach defensive players who were tasked with facing Jones. Rhodes put it something like this: Here’s how good Walter Jones is … he brings you to work in a little paper bag … he sets down the bag and pulls you … he kicks your ass for about 3 hours … he puts you back in the bag and takes you home.
It was such a comical image of physical domination that I hope somebody tells the story when the HOF committee meets to discuss the candidates.
--ESPN.com’s Terry Blount takes a look at the Seahawks remaining path to the playoffs. He sees a 14-2 finish with the lone loss coming on the road in San Francisco. I think every game the rest of the way has some dangers, even the last two that might be overlooked, but Arizona is improving and the Rams are often a problem for the Hawks even if they’re struggling otherwise.