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October 13, 2017

Carson Wentz is an MVP candidate

Eagles NFL

When the Philadelphia Eagles traded a whole lot of assets to move up and select Carson Wentz in the 2016 NFL Draft, it was immediately obvious that his level of performance would determine the fate of a whole lot of jobs in the Eagles' front office, as well as the general happiness of the sixth-most populous city in America.

No pressure, kid.

Six games into year two of the Wentz era in Philly, he is already a legitimate MVP candidate. Big picture, the team is 5-1, and full steam ahead toward a playoff berth with a comfortable lead in the NFC East. Since he was drafted, the Eagles have been transformed from a debacle at the end of the Chip Kelly regime to one of the developing success stories in the NFL. While Wentz may not be the only reason for that, he is certainly by far the biggest reason.

So there's that.

Statistically, Wentz is 126 of 207 (60.9%) for 1584 yards, with 13 TDs and 3 INTs, for a passer rating of 99.6. That puts him on pace for 4224 passing yards, 35 TDs, and just 8 INTs.

Last year's MVP was the Falcons' Matt Ryan. Here's how Wentz's "on pace" numbers compare with Ryan's numbers a year ago.

Quarterback Comp-Att (Comp%) Yards (YPA) TD-INT Rating 
 Carson Wentz336-552 (60.9%) 4224 (7.7)35-8 99.6 
 Matt Ryan373-534 (69.9%) 4944 (9.3) 38-7 117.1 

Unquestionably, Ryan's numbers are better. However, Ryan also had the advantage of working with an outstanding running back duo in Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, not to mention, you know, the best wide receiver on the planet in Julio Jones. Wentz is doing his work this season without any complementary star players.

Back in May, we took a look at where the Eagles stood in the power rankings, which are admittedly useless, other than to serve as something of a national perception of where a team is at. At that time, here is where the Eagles ranked:

  1. Sports Illustrated: 23rd
  2. 18th
  3. CBS: 25th
  4. FOX: 24th
  5. ESPN: 22nd

In 2017, there are a handful of quarterbacks who have better numbers than Wentz. Namely, they are the Chiefs' Alex Smith, the Patriots' Tom Brady, the Saints' Drew Brees, the Redskins' Kirk Cousins, the Packers' Aaron Rodgers, and even the Texans' Deshaun Watson.

However, none of the above players have skyrocketed their team from, in some national writers' perspectives, a bottom ten type of team, to what should currently be considered unanimously to be one of the five best teams in the NFL. 

He still has a lot of work to do, but six games into the 2017 season, Carson Wentz is an MVP candidate.

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