Carson Wentz has gone from little-recruited Bismarck Century quarterback to Football Championship Subdivision and North Dakota State star to No. 2 overall NFL draft choice to solid rookie season to … NFL Most Valuable Player?
That’s how oddsmakers and influential football writers are tabbing the second-year quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. Oddsmaker Bovada has Wentz the even-money favorite to be the league’s MVP, ahead of New England’s Tom Brady, Kansas City’s Alex Smith, New Orleans’ Drew Brees and a bunch of other well-known veterans.
Longtime NFL writer Peter King is thinking the same way. The Sports Illustrated writer, while acknowledging MVP “favorites” will change from week-to-week between now and the end of the season, has Wentz leading the award now after a four-touchdown performance in a 51-23 Eagles victory over Denver on Sunday.
“Wentz, Brady. Brady, Wentz. Can’t go wrong either way. The Eagles have the best record in football, and Wentz has had dominating games against one excellent defense (Denver’s, on Sunday) and a good one, Washington’s. Wentz led Philly to 85 against Denver and Washington in the past three weeks,” King wrote. “He has the NFL lead in touchdown passes (23), and he’s second in yards and third in rating. Perfect example of his impact: Against Denver, he rolled right and, with Von Miller in his face, threw 32 yards down the right sideline perfectly for Alshon Jeffery for a touchdown—with Pro Bowl cornerback Aqib Talib in tight coverage. Wentz has been making these types of plays all season.”
The magic is not Wentz’s alone. The Eagles, a 7-9 team last season, are 8-1 and Bovada’s favorite to win the Super Bowl, too.
The question now is whether Bison fans will get a glimpse of Wentz this weekend in Fargo. The Eagles have a bye week, head coach Doug Pederson has given them the entire week off, Wentz returned last year on the bye week and — this might be key — the family of the 10-year-old boy who died of cancer and was featured on ESPN because of his relationship with Wentz will be guests of NDSU during its game against South Dakota on Saturday.