Russell Wilson Might Finally Earn an MVP Vote This Year

Russell Wilson celebrating.
Russell Wilson celebrating. / Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Russell Wilson has thrown only three more incompletions than touchdown passes so far in the 2020 NFL season. That is not a typo. Through two games, Wilson has completed 52 passes on 63 attempts with nine touchdowns. He has thrown one interception (on a tipped pass) and 11 incomplete passes. He absolutely torched a very talented New England Patriots secondary on Sunday Night Football in Week 2, tossing five touchdowns in what ended up being a very close game.

Wilson is just picking up where he left off last year. Seattle's dedication to establishing the run hindered Wilson's ability to get things going to the point that #LetRussCook became a regular rallying cry on Sundays in 2019. When the Seahawks finally do let him cook, positive results generally come in spades. This isn't really anything new, either. Wilson has been a top-five QB for the last four years after spending the early part of his career as a game-manager of the highest order, which is how Seattle won a Super Bowl.

It's also why, to this point, Wilson has never received an MVP vote. It's not just that he hasn't won an MVP, but he was never even considered strongly enough for anyone in the media to pencil him in on a voting ballot. That was understandable for most of Wilson's career, but we're in the fourth year that Wilson is widely accepted as one of the best quarterbacks in the league. If Seattle continues with their offensive gameplan, this year may finally mark the first of Wilson's career that he's officially in the MVP conversation and gets at least one damn vote.

It's a tall task to actually win MVP. That is not an insightful or bold statement, but it's true, especially this season with all the competing narratives. Patrick Mahomes will put up stupidly-big numbers again if he stays healthy all year. Reigning MVP Lamar Jackson is tearing apart defensive schemes just like last year. It feels like Cam Newton is getting more MVP buzz this morning than Wilson even though the former was the player who lost last night. If Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are even slightly above average, Brady's name will be central to the MVP conversation. Wilson will have to play out of his mind to gain a clear-cut edge over any of those guys during the season.

But to simply earn a vote? Wilson is on the fast track. The Seahawks have a chance to win every game with him under center. They'll lose some, but if Wilson can ensure his team comes away with the NFC West crown, he should be firmly in the running for football's highest individual honor.

It feels unlikely, shall we say, that he'll maintain his current pace and end the year with 72 touchdown passes and eight interceptions. But while he won't put up such gaudy stats, Wilson has been outstanding in the first two weeks of a season where everybody else needs some time to warm up.

We're a few years past Wilson being "underrated" in any sense. Everyone knows this dude is a killer and defensive coordinators should be rightfully terrified of him. But some recognition of that fact in MVP voting has yet to come. This year might finally be the year it does.