I’m not an awards guy. Never have been. Maybe it’s because I’ve never won a cool award. But generally speaking, I’ve never looked to an award to validate my feelings on a subject. However, I do love a good debate, and this season we have one brewing for NFL MVP.
I’ll admit I was in the camp that believed Wilson was just OK and carried by the parts around him to his first Super Bowl and the next one. While it’s true he had an excellent defense and outstanding rushing attack, I don’t think we appreciated his arm and playmaking abilities. Now that he’s without his rushing attack and some of that stout defense, we get to fully appreciate Wilson’s unique talents.
When Aaron Rodgers went down with an injury earlier in the season, we all discussed how Rodgers was the most important player to his team in the NFL. In his absence, the Packers have gone 2-4, losing some close ones. They can function without Rodgers just enough to win games.
Can you say the same for the Seahawks with Wilson? No chance. Wilson is accounting for 82.2 percent of his total offensive production, the highest amount for a single player in the Super Bowl era.
Wilson has accounted for 29 of 30 offensive touchdowns with 26 of those 29 through the air. Wilson is completing 62 percent of his passes while having 25 of those balls get dropped, good for third most for a QB.
Wilson does most of his work under pressure. I tweeted this Sunday night and I firmly believe it. If Seattle didn’t have Wilson, they’d set the record for most sacks allowed in a season. The pass protection has been awful, and has at least gotten slightly better with new left tackle Duane Brown.
Not all pressures Wilson deals with are because of his offensive line. There are times where teams bring extra unblockable guys, and there’s also when Wilson is on the move. Either way, he makes all the throws.
According to Pro Football Focus, Wilson is under pressure on 39.8 percent of his passes, and is second in passing yards while being pressured with 1,036 yards.
Here is Wilson from Sunday night against the Eagles. It’s zero pressure. The defense is bringing everyone not covering an eligible receiver.
Wilson is the best in the NFL at defeating zero pressure because he’s able to buy time with his legs. Here, he backs up, way back, almost 15 yards, and floats the ball to the wide receiver for a huge gain.
The goal of a zero pressure is forcing a quick throw by the quarterback and the defenders squat on those routes. When your quarterback can move like this, it allows the receivers to get open.
This is another ridiculous throw, one only rivaled by Rodgers. Wilson is on a bootleg. Notice his depth on the rollout? It’s super deep to avoid the defensive end, and it’s unique to Wilson. Most quarterbacks don’t roll out that deep.
That isn’t even the best part of the throw. Watch how easily Wilson squares his shoulders and throws a perfect pass while on a full sprint going to his non-throwing shoulder. It’s a great throw.
Next up on the amazing throw reel is Wilson against Houston. He gets a bit of pressure, but not much. He rolls to his left, resets his body and hips to fire a rocket for a touchdown.
Wilson makes so many plays outside the pocket so often that I don’t believe people view him as a traditional pocket passer, which part of why he doesn’t get the respect he deserves. While he excels at those throws, he’s still an accurate and dynamic passer from the pocket.
Besides the skills that Wilson possesses throwing the ball, we all know how he can use his legs. He leads his team in rushing! Seattle has the least amount of production from their running backs in the NFL.
The MVP award is often given to the best player on the best team. Until last Sunday night, that was second-year pro Wentz. He’s been fantastic this season, but he also benefits from an outstanding run game and good to above average pass protection. On Sunday, that wasn’t the case, and he struggled.
Wilson will have to finish strong down the stretch to hold off Wentz and Brady for the MVP. Award or not, we can’t keep overlooking just how good Wilson is.