NFL Analyst Picks MVP Winner

The NFL MVP award has seemingly become a two-man race between Lamar Jackson and Russell Wilson

Taz and the Moose
November 19, 2019 - 9:53 am
Lamar Jackson Russell Wilson

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With all due respect to Christian McCaffrey, the NFL MVP award has seemingly become a two-man race between Lamar Jackson and Russell Wilson. 

Both quarterbacks have been unbelievable for their respective teams. Jackson has thrown for 2,258 yards, rushed for a team-high 788 yards and has 25 touchdowns (19 pass, six rush) to just five interceptions for the Ravens (8-2), while Wilson has thrown for 2,737 yards, rushed for 256 and has 26 touchdowns (23 pass, three rush) to just two interceptions for the Seahawks (8-2).

Ultimately, which one is the MVP?

“I did not think I would be saying this at the beginning of the year – just because I thought he had a lot of work to do, a lot of room to grow – but you would have to argue that it’s Lamar Jackson,” former NFL linebacker and current NFL analyst Bobby Carpenter said on Taz & The Moose. “With what he’s been able to do, they’ve built an offense around him with some of the unique personnel groupings. You have three tight ends on the field a lot. But his ability to change the game with his legs is something people say you haven’t seen since Michael Vick or maybe a Randall Cunningham. But I would argue he’s just as fast – if not maybe even more elusive – than those guys, but he’s bigger and he’s strong.”

Jackson is averaging 6.9 yards per carry and has rushed for 41 first downs. Baltimore has won six straight games, including its last two by a combined 90-20 margin.

“He pulls through tackles, rarely do you see guys get a solid hit on him, he gets out of bounds, he’s got great top-end speed, and he throws the football with pretty great and impressive touch,” Carpenter said. “He may not necessarily have that cannon of an arm to push the ball on a rope outside the numbers, but with what he does in their play-action game and his ability to just flip his wrist and drop a ball in the bucket, it’s pretty impressive. I didn’t think he’d be this far in his development this early in his career.”

Defenses, meanwhile, have struggled mightily to stop, or even contain, Jackson. If you’re wondering why teams just don’t spy him, well, it’s not that simple.

“You look at the guys you could potentially spy him with, there may only be two or three guys in the NFL that are capable of getting there – and then even once they get there, being able to tackle him and bring him to the ground,” Carpenter said. “It’s a very, very precarious situation. Whenever you play him now, you’re probably going to have to play a lot of zone to make sure everybody has their eyes back, and you’re basically going to be giving up five yards most of the time because there’s no way you’re going to be able to get there when he breaks the pocket before he picks up at least a little bit of a chunk of yardage.”