There’s been a lot of talk about a burgeoning Philly-Boston rivalry this week. A big part of that is that the cities have the top two candidates for NFL MVP this season. Should the Eagles and Pats meet in February, it would mark the second straight season in which the top two MVP vote-getters squared off in the Super Bowl.
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But make no mistake: While Carson Wentz and Tom Brady are the front-runners for the award, the winner should without question be Brady. He’s having the better season.
The allure with Wentz is that he’s a lot better than we thought a lot sooner than we thought. In just his second year, he’s an absolute stud: 28 touchdowns, five picks, 2,657 passing yards and a 73.4 total QBR.
Yet for all the different ways you can try to define what the MVP means in the NFL (Best player? Best player on the best team? Most touchdowns?) it surely doesn’t mean “surprisingly great player of the year.”
And that’s where Brady comes in. His performance has come as no surprise: 26 TDs, three picks, 3,374 passing yards and a 71.4 total QBR.
While Wentz edges Brady in touchdowns and total QBR, Brady blows him out of the water in passing yards, touchdown/interception ratio and completion percentage (68.4 percent to 60.2 percent).
What makes this a fun discussion is that Brady hasn’t run away with the MVP so much so that he can’t be caught. With a stellar finish to the season, Wentz can wrest it from him. But what about Brady’s finish to the season?
The Patriots have five games remaining. One of them is against Pittsburgh, which should provide a challenge. Look at the other four, however, and Brady could really do some damage. The Pats have two games against the Bills, who rank 22nd against the pass this season. Another is against the Dolphins, on whom Brady just dropped four touchdowns. By the time the Pats even face the Jets in Week 17, they might not even need to use Brady.
The Eagles have some easy opponents too: Wentz should be able to perform against the poor passing defenses of Dallas, Oakland and the Giants. But will it be enough to surpass Brady? The guess here is no. Plus, Wentz’ current three-game streak without an interception is his longest of the season. That could end this week against the Seahawks.
Should Philadelphia and Boston turn into a multi-sport rivalry, Wentz and Brady could be a big part of it. They just aren’t yet because, as usual, it’s tough for anyone to touch Tom Brady.