I was watching MNF at my local dive bar the other night. It was a good night: shot some pool, drank some tall boys, pounded some Irish car bombs and celebrated my roommate's birthday. But in between my sips and embarrassing pool shots, I listened to Jon Gruden gush unrelenting praise towards Carson Wentz. The over the top praise concluded with Gruden awarding Wentz the honor of being the “Gruden Grinder” of the week for his rugged and gutsy play.
Now to be fair, Gruden can rave about literally any NFL quarterback. I remember back in 2011, the first season where I watched every Patriots game, Gruden hyped up Tyler freaking Palko when the Chiefs traveled to Foxboro for MNF. Palko finished the night 24-37 and threw 3 interceptions and no touchdowns. The so called "mobile quarterback" had a single rush for -6 yards and the Patriots won 34-3. But Gruden has been riding the Wentz hype train hard since his QB camp with him before the 2016 draft.
Wentz was pretty terrible his first season, but that’s to be expected. This year he’s taken the 2nd year leap, but I couldn’t fathom some of the takes I saw on twitter last night, many from respected sports writers/journalists, who were eating up all of the praise Gruden was spewing.
Leads league in TD passes, QB of only 6-win team. If that’s Brady, Brees or Aaron, we are talking MVP. Time to talk that way for @cj_wentz— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) October 24, 2017
Wentz is the MVP of the NFL & it isn’t even close— Jason Collette (@jasoncollette) October 24, 2017
Carson Wentz is absolutely the NFL MVP right now.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) October 24, 2017
Fake news. This stuff is legit lunacy... I posted four of them here, but I could have included about 30 more. I have no idea what planet any of these people are on.
These statements represent everything that’s wrong with sports media nowadays. Reporters are always looking for the hottest takes and fall victim to the most obvious recency bias because they know that it will get their website or page the most clicks. Look for The Ringer, ESPN, and even SB Nation to release midseason awards articles shortly.
I can almost guarantee that the majority of them will have Wentz, and Brady as an “honorable mention”. And then in turn, they misinform their hordes of average sports fans, who parrot this bad info to the point where it’s the consensus on the internet. And that consensus leaks to Vegas shortly thereafter. Anyone that opposes these hot takes are dismissed immediately as “homers”. /end rant
If we voted today, Wentz wouldn’t even be in my top 3. There’s Tom Brady, Alex Smith, Kirk Cousins and then everyone else.
We’re talking about a player that leads the NFL in exactly 1 QB statistic in passing touchdowns. Outside the top 3 in literally every other relevant statistic. Let that sink in. 4th in YPA, 4th in passing yards, 9th in INT%, 8th in passing yards/game, 23rd (!) in completion percentage, 4th in passer rating, and 5th by PFF grade. His fumble issues that plagued him his rookie year haven’t gone away.
After fumbling an unacceptable 14 times his rookie year, he has 7 fumbles through 7 games this year. The 14 he fumbled last year and the 16 he’s on pace for this year is more in a season than any season high for Brady, Smith, or Cousins. And Wentz has had the benefit of playing with a top 2 center, 2 top 4 tackles and a top 5 group of eligible receivers (Jeffery, Smith, a breakout year from Agholor, and Ertz).
I truly believe that Tom Brady, year in and out, gets the “Lebron James” treatment when it comes to individual awards. He is so far above the competition, that any surprising candidate that approaches an average TB12 season get the nod. Cam Newton and Matt Ryan: solid quarterbacks, but nowhere near as good as Brady the last 2 years.
For Brady, a season with a 15:2 TD:INT ratio, a 66% completion percentage, and on pace for over 5,000 yards is just another normal year. He’s carrying the 32nd ranked defense by DVOA, 32nd in yards/game, and 24th ranked by PPG to a 5-2 record against the 3rd hardest SOS in the AFC. Ho hum.
The time will come, young Carson Wentz. He’ll be tearing up opposing defenses for years to come and he has perennial Pro-Bowler written all over him. But contrary to what has been circulating around the interwebs, he’s going to have to wait a bit longer before being crowned MVP. Tom Brady is better than him in every aspect of the game. Nothing but respect for my president.