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November 02, 2017

NFL midseason awards roundup: Wentz getting MVP love; which Eagles could land on All-Pro team?

Eagles NFL

On Thursday, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Month for October. And for good reason – he finished with 1,247 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions (110.4 passer rating) in five games.

Should Wentz be able to keep up his play and post a few more months like that, the Eagles should be able to continue their winning ways. And it's those two things – great personal numbers and an NFL-best record for your team – go a long way in determining who takes home the NFL's most prestigious individual award: MVP.

Of course, Eagles fans would rather see their quarterback raising the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season. Still, it would still be nice to see Wentz honored for his breakout sophomore season. And it's not like the two are totally unrelated. If Wentz is in the MVP conversation come late December, that likely means the Eagles are still playing well heading into the postseason. 

Currently, Wentz is second in MVP odds to Patriots QB Tom Brady (barely), but there's still half a season to go. And several NFL experts think Wentz is going to take home the MVP trophy, a piece of hardware that no second-year quarterback has won since Dan Marino in 1984.

Here's a look at how some see the MVP, Coach of the Year, All-Pro, and other award races playing out in the season's second half.

CBSSports.com

Ten of the 19 panelists here picked Wentz to win MVP. Here’s what a few of them had to say:

JASON LA CANFORA

I'm still not sold on the talent around him. He is elevating that offense and that entire team.‎

RYAN WILSON

He's playing like a top-5 quarterback on the league's best team. We'll see what happens over the final two months of the season with a makeshift offensive line but it's hard not to like what he's done (well, unless you're the Cleveland Browns).  [cbssports.com]

And even when he wasn’t picked for MVP, he got some love for Offensive Player of the Year.

JOHN BREECH

I'd love to give Wentz my MVP vote, but I feel like Brady's done more with less. If Brady fades down the stretch -- because that sometimes happens to old people -- then I wouldn't be shocked at all to see Wentz take home the MVP.  [cbssports.com]

NFL.com

Not a ton of love for Wentz in their midseason awards. Among their 12 panelists, only one (Adam Schein) had the Eagles QB as MVP – six had Brady and four had Alex Smith – and three picked him to win Offensive Player of the Year. For what it’s worth, none had Wentz winning either award when they made their preseason predictions.

When it came to COY, only one of the 12 picked Doug Pederson, with Rams coach Sean McVay getting the majority of votes.

While they may not be high on Wentz and Pederson, they do see tight end Zach Ertz making his first All-Pro team. Here’s NFL.com’s Matt Harmon:

Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles: Ertz has decided to make it December all year here in 2017. Typically saving his best work for the conclusion of the regular season, Ertz has emerged as the steadiest weapon in Carson Wentz's high-flying passing offense. Don't ignore his flair for the spectacular, however. Wentz has a 140.4 passer rating when targeting Ertz in tight windows, which leads all tight ends this season (with a minimum of three tight-window targets).  [nfl.com]

And he’s not the only Eagles player making it on the offense. Chris Wesseling has Jason Peters as one of his tackles:

Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns and Jason Peters, Philadelphia Eagles: Unfortunately lost for the season due to devastating injuries sustained within the same 36-hour window in Week 7, both tackles will be conspicuous by their absence when we run the final All-Pro list in early January. It's fitting, however, that the seemingly termless tandem likely to be honored on the Pro Football Hall of Fame's All-Decade Team were still outplaying ballyhooed blockers 10 years their junior before they went down. Another ageless tackle, Andrew Whitworth, deserves special mention for turning the Rams' offensive line around as Jared Goff's blindside protector.  [nfl.com]

And on defense, Harmon has Eagles’ defensive tackle Fletcher Cox as an All-Pro; unfortunately, no love for Brandon Graham on the edge.

SB Nation

They really like the Eagles. Again, Pederson lost out on COY to Sean McVay, but they’ve got Wentz as MVP. 

Wentz, the quarterback of the team with NFL’s best record, is the MVP. He’s really doing it all. He can unleash the deep ball. He can avoid pressure and place the ball with laser accuracy into tight windows. He can use his legs to extend plays and/or run down the field — the way he escaped a pile of defenders against Washington in Week 7 was incredible. But Wentz's game isn't based on flash alone. He's shown the ability to be consistent and sustain drives down the field. He's been absolutely awesome on third down all year long. It's unreal how quickly he's progressed from Year 1 to Year 2.  [sbnation.com]

They also have the Eagles listed as the best team in the NFL. 

The vote was a little closer on this one, with the Chiefs finishing a close second, the only team to beat the Eagles this year. But you can’t argue with what the Eagles have done this season so far. Philadelphia has played its way to the top of the NFC. And if that weren’t enough, they went and got running back Jay Ajayi at the trade deadline to give that offense even more firepower.  [sbnation.com]

TheRinger.com

While one of their writers, Danny Kelly, picked the Eagles to beat the Steelers in the Super Bowl, it was a different Ringer staffer (Robert Mays) who feels like the Birds are going to come away with hardware of a different kind. He has Wentz winning MVP and Pederson winning Coach of the Year honors; he was also the only one. The three others all picked Brady to win MVP and Andy Reid to win COY.

Here’s what Mays had to say about Wentz:

The Eagles’ second-year quarterback has been brilliant over the first half, and the mix of efficiency, big-time raw numbers and team success is what typically wins guys this trophy. Wentz is tied for the league lead with passing touchdowns with 19, trails only Tom Brady and Alex Smith in passing yards, and is averaging 7.8 yards per attempt. Add that to the Eagles’ 7–1 start and Wentz conjuring a dazzling play or two every single week, and you’ve got the makings of an MVP season.  [theringer.com]

BleacherReport.com

Over at Bleacher Report, their nine NFL experts came up with “consensus” award winners. Pederson received two votes for Coach of the Year but ultimately lost out to Sean McVay of the Rams. 

Wentz, however, fared much better. He was named their “Breakout Player of the Year” and also took home NFL MVP honors. Here’s what they had to say about Wentz, who received five of nine first-place MVP votes:

Want a key stat to help establish why Wentz has possessed an edge over his counterparts? Look no further than third-down passing, which is often what separates superstars from the rest of the pack. On third down this season, the 24-year-old North Dakota State product is averaging a league-high 9.3 yards per pass attempt.

The next quarterback on the list is Tom Brady of the Patriots, at 8.6.  [bleacherreport.com]

Interestingly enough, Brady didn’t receive a single MVP vote in this one.


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