Welcome to SB Nation FanPulse, presented by Yahoo! Sports — a survey of fans across the NFL, powered by SurveyMonkey. Each week, we send 32 polls to 100+ plugged in fans from each team. Seahawks fans, sign up HERE to join FanPulse.
Oh man, do you like to be mad online? Well I’m sure you’re going to be at least a little annoyed that Russell Wilson isn’t #1 in this week’s national FanPulse survey, which asked which player is the early leader in the race to win NFL MVP. The Seattle Seahawks’ superstar quarterback is slightly ahead of Kansas City Chiefs star and reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes, but out in front with over 35% of the vote is Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey.
You think I’m kidding? Here are the full results!
Personally, I’m confused as to how Aaron Rodgers got any votes and how he’s even in the MVP conversation, but McCaffrey leading this is a total shock. The last running back to win NFL MVP was Adrian Peterson in 2012, and that was bolstered by his 2,000 yard season while the Minnesota Vikings were quarterbacked by the scarcely capable Christian Ponder.
McCaffrey leads the NFL with 587 yards rushing on just 105 attempts, with six touchdowns on the ground and a touchdown catch last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He is no doubt an outstanding dual threat, and the Panthers offense relies heavily on his skill set as a runner and receiver. They’ve gone from 0-2 to 3-2 in part because of his great play, and he figures to be at least in Offensive Player of the Year running by the time the regular season is over...
...But ahead of Russell Wilson? Really? He leads the league in touchdown passes, ranks 2nd in completion percentage, 2nd in QBR, 3rd in yards per attempt, has yet to throw an interception, and is top-10 in passing yards and total completions despite ranking 20th in total attempts. You don’t get much more efficient than that. I’ve not even mentioned that Wilson has two 4th quarter game-winning drives already, adding to his legacy as one of the most reliable 4th quarter QBs the NFL has ever seen.
Yes, I’m being a homer, but am I being irrational? I don’t think so. I’m sure Chiefs fans would also argue that Mahomes should be ahead of McCaffrey. I suppose your stance on MVP credentials is dependent on how much you value the running back position relative to the unquestioned most important position in football.
The McCaffrey for MVP people didn't even bat an eyelid when he finally missed a few snaps and his backup (a former college QB) broke off a 59-yard TD?— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) October 9, 2019
McCaffrey has a far better chance of winning the PFF Stephenson Award (best player, period) than he does anything needing value
McCaffrey is on pace to be worth less than a full Win Above Replacement for the Panthers. He's a great player, but he's not amongst the most valuable in the NFL— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) October 9, 2019
As for the confidence poll, you would think a thrilling win over the Los Angeles Rams would boost our numbers. Somehow, it barely budged. A mere 3% uptick from 79% to 82% is all we got! Must have been the poor end-of-game sequence that affected things.
Seattle’s next opponent, the Cleveland Browns, didn’t drop that far despite a 31-3 thumping at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers. They come into this weekend right behind us at 80% confidence, down from 87% the previous week.
I’m thinking another blowout loss to drop them to 2-4 would sour the mood over there pretty quickly. Then again, this may genuinely be the longest stretch of optimistic thinking that fanbase has had in decades.