Evan Macy, sports editor Metro Philadelphia: Tom Brady is probably the best quarterback of all time — no sense in debating that. Five Lombardi trophies and a pair of NFL MVP’s make it silly to argue otherwise. But right now, through nine weeks Carson Wentz is better. And I think he’s going to win 2017 MVP.
Matt Burke, sports editor Metro Boston: That’s swell, but what argument do you want to use for that? Brady has better overall stats halfway through the season. He’s passed for 279 yards more than Wentz this season and Wentz has played in an extra game. And if we’re going to predict who’s going to have a better November and December, I’m going with the guy who has played his best at this time of year for 15 years – not a kid who has been pretty good for two months
Macy: The Eagles have a better record and have slaughtered pretty much every opponent (Remember the Broncos having the second best run defense? Well Philly ran for 197 yards and scored 51 points). The best team in football usually has it’s MVP. And Wentz is more than just a pocket passer. If you give him the eyeball test, he is making plays with his intangibles. He has run for 16 first downs — good for 27th of ALL runners. He has 23 touchdowns, more than ANY other QB in football. And he did this:
— NFL (@NFL) October 24, 2017
Burke: “The best team in football usually has the MVP.” By the time Christmas rolls around, “the best team in football” is almost always the Patriots. You guys in Philly are acting like you’re undefeated and every other contender is 5-4 right now. The Pats are 6-2 and haven’t lost in a month. Would it surprise anyone if the Pats were 10-2 and the Eagles were 9-3 in a month?
Joe Pantorno, sports editor Metro New York: Aren’t we forgetting about Alex Smith? The Chiefs quarterback has been ridiculous this season and is a master at taking care of the football. He has only two fewer passes completed than Brady (204) despite 16 fewer attempts. That completion percentage of nearly 70 percent is third in the NFL. That’s two percent better than Brady and almost 10 percent better than Wentz. His 2,444 passing yards is second only behind Brady and he has 18 touchdowns compared to just one interception (a miniscule 0.3% interception rate). Not like you guys need reminding, but he’s beaten both Brady and Wentz this season, too.
Burke: Alex Smith? The guy who’s lost 3 of his last 4? It’s obvious to see which way things are trending for him. Per usual this time of year, the league has figured him out.
Pantorno: 99.1 QB Rating, 6 TD’s, 1 INT in those last four games, though. Granted, I’m stuck watching Eli Manning and the Giants offense every Sunday so any sort of competent offense looks good to me right now.
Macy: Peter King from Sports Illustrated is on the Eagles bandwagon and has Wentz ahead of Brady. It’s worth noting that the Eagles are going the rest of the way without their Pro Bowland future Hall of Fame left tackle Jason Peters. And that Wentz has run every kind of offense you can imagine. He’s been an option QB, he’s run the west coast offense, he’s thrown bombs and he’s led his team in rushing. The kid finds ways to win and that’s what MVP voters are interested in. Who wants to see Brady and the Patriots win everything again?
Burke: You guys are starved for attention down there in Philly, huh? “Yay, Peter King likes us!” … Brady was putting up ridiculous numbers early in the season without Julian Edelman and then when the team needed him to play more of a ball-control offense in order for the team to win he morphed into the 2003 Just-Win-Baby Brady. Just curious, what is Wentz’ signature moment this year? Can’t imagine he’ll do anything as dramatic as the game-winning drive Brady orchestrated to beat the Texans in September. Voters like those “signature moments” too.
Macy: Oh man this is an easy one, take your pick. You have his three TDs in the first half against the Cardinals; You have this ridiculous pass that somehow found the end zone ; You have the win on Monday night embarrassing the Redskins; You have the Eagles fearless on a short week in Carolina — he’s a human highlight film.
Also we have seen voter fatigue before. I’m not sure how many MVP awards LeBron James should actually have in the NBA, but it’s always kind of seemed like when the vote is close, the award goes to some new blood. It also looks like, from my research, that the best team does in fact most often have the most valuable player. With the Bears, Raiders and Giants ahead on Philly’s schedule, plus two against Dallas (and a pair of tough tests out west vs. the Seahawks and Rams), the best record in football isn’t unreasonable. Even a 4-3 finish gets them to 12-4.
Burke: Finally, I agree with you on something. Voter fatigue is a real thing. It’s embarrassing that Brady hasn’t won the MVP since 2010. Throw in the National media’s hatred of the Patriots and you might get your wish – Tom Brady again being screwed.
Pantorno: There’s no question a QB wins MVP. Nine of the last 10 winners have been from under center. And if there’s a QB that throws for almost 4,000 yards with 36 TD’s and just 2 INT’s, it’ll be hard to vote against him. That’s the pace Alex Smith is on right now. And there’s no voter fatigue with him.
Macy: The Eagles haven’t ever won a Super Bowl. At least give us this.
Pantorno: Philly can’t have anything nice, or so I hear. So I’ll have to agree with Matt on the hard no.