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Vikings star linebacker Anthony Barr: Russell Wilson should’ve won MVP in 2017

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NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

While the Seattle Seahawks have the longtime fearsome linebacker duo of Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright, the excellent defense of the Minnesota Vikings features the pairing of Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks.

Barr has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last three seasons, and is due for a big contract in the next offseason, as 2018 represents the end of the UCLA product’s rookie deal. In a quick-fire “Oklahoma Drill” interview with NFL.com, Barr had a little something to say about Russell Wilson, and he believes Wilson should’ve topped the NFL’s MVP voting last season.

[Russell Wilson] balled. His ability to extend plays and he never has help, and he’s always able to somehow ... He should have won MVP, I think, this past year. No offensive line, no running game, can’t name three receivers on his team and he just makes plays.

Well that’s great respect (albeit while throwing shade at Seattle’s WR corps) from one of the best defensive players on Minnesota’s stacked roster. I must admit that the story of Russell Wilson and the 2017 Seahawks offense has slowly become like LeBron James dragging the 2018 Cleveland Cavaliers roster to the NBA Finals, except Seattle’s “accomplishment” was finishing 9-7 with no playoffs. Wilson accounted for all but one offensive touchdown for the Seahawks, and the historically bad running game led to Wilson having to do almost everything.

Wilson led the league in touchdown passes, rushed for almost 600 yards, and was the team-leader in rushing TDs with three. Unfortunately, his historically very efficient completion percentage dropped career-low 61.3%, his ANY/A was also a career-worst 6.45, and the repeated 1st half woes led to Seattle playing from behind far too many times. In other words, if MVP was based on value relative to the team, Wilson should’ve won in a landslide, because he was that important. If you interpret MVP as “best player in the league,” then the final four games pretty much took Wilson way out of contention, as Tom Brady beat out Carson Wentz.

Hopefully Barr gets to witness the 2018 NFL MVP up close, as the Vikings travel to Seattle for a Monday Night Football showdown on December 10th. It’ll be Barr’s first regular season visit to CenturyLink Field, and it might be a pivotal game in the playoff race.