Two Eagles who could be darkhorse MVP candidates in 2020

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The Eagles have had their fair share of All-Pro honors, Pro Bowl nominations, and Walter Payton Man of the Year awards, but they lack in major individual awards.

Here is the last time the Eagles have had a winner in those categories:

  • MVP – Norm Van Brocklin (1960)
  • Offensive Player of the Year – never
  • Defensive Player of the Year – Reggie White (1987)
  • Offensive Rookie of the Year – never
  • Defensive Rookie of the Year – never
  • Comeback Player of the Year – Michael Vick (2010)
  • Coach of the Year – Andy Reid (2002)

Carson Wentz should’ve still won the MVP in 2017, but his 13 game season wasn’t enough for voters. He was still Second-Team All-Pro, a Pro Bowler, and the Bert Bell Award winner (Player of the Year).

Miles Sanders came close to becoming the first Rookie of the Year for the Eagles in 2019 after finishing fourth behind Kyler Murray, Josh Jacobs, and A.J. Brown.

A 100 tackle & 13 sack season for Reggie White in 1985 wasn’t enough to win Defensive Rookie of the Year, losing out to Colts’ Duane Bickett’s 141 tackle and six sack season.

In the 2017 season, which was a pretty good one, Doug Pederson received one Coach of the Year vote after all of the adversity he steered the team through.

Does 2020 hold any accolades in store for the Eagles? This series will dive into each of the major awards in a bid to find out exactly that. It’s only right that we kick things off with the MVP award.

MVP

Carson Wentz

Wentz just finished the Eagles’ first-ever 4,000-yard season and he did so without one wide receiver eclipsing 500 yards receiving. His top three receivers were Zach Ertz (TE), Dallas Goedert (TE), and Miles Sanders (RB). Now with a seemingly healthy DeSean Jackson, dynamic rookie Jalen Reagor, and multiple Flash-like speedsters in his arsenal, Wentz has all the tools around him to repeat his 2017 season.

Why he can win

You don’t have to go far to find the last 5th year QB to win MVP. Cam Newton did so in 2015 after posting a 15-1 season where he threw for 3,837 yards, 35 TD, 10 INT, and added 636 rushing yards and 10 rushing TDs. A truly remarkable season.

Could Wentz repeat that feat? Probably not. But he could still put up stellar numbers with the speed around him. The collective 40 time of the 2017 WR corps was 4.415. The 2020 corps comes in at 4.4175 (if you make Reagor’s 40 time a 4.31 as has been reported, it makes the time 4.3975). He’s got some speed. With the band of supermarket baggers at his disposal in 2020, he still put up remarkable numbers. 4,500+ yards, 40+ TD season isn’t farfetched. If that kind of season is coupled with a 10+ win season, then it would be hard to not finally award Wentz the MVP.

Why he can’t win

There is a hell of a lot of competition for this award. Oddsmakers have Wentz at 25-1 to win the MVP. The players in front of him are Patrick Mahomes (3.5-1), Lamar Jackson (6-1), Russell Wilson (8-1), Deshaun Watson (14-1, for whatever reason), Tom Brady (16-1), Dak Prescott (20-1, again for whatever reason), and he is tied with Aaron Rodgers and Kyler Murray.

We’ve seen what every quarterback in front of him can do, so Wentz needs a truly remarkable season to win it. With the Chiefs returning pretty much everyone, the Ravens adding some firepower to their offense through the draft, and Brady linking up with Godwin, Evans, and his old friend Gronk, it does not look likely that Wentz will take this home. But fans would happily settle for a division title and some playoff wins.

Miles Sanders

2012 was the last year in which a running back won MVP. Adrian Peterson was awarded it for having a 2,000-yard season. LaDanian Tomlinson in 2006 for having a 1,800 yard/28 rushing TD season.

History is not on Miles’ side.

Why he can win

Let’s make something clear: MVP and Offensive Player of the Year are two different awards. Despite Lamar Jackson winning MVP last season, Michael Thomas won the OPOY.

If Miles Sanders can put up a stat line where he becomes the first Eagles player since Brian Westbrook to have over 1,000 yards rushing and 600 yards receiving then that could sway voters to the valuable portion of the award and deem him that important to the Eagles success. What if he creeps towards LeSean McCoy’s single-season franchise record of 2,146 yards from scrimmage? Miles can make the voting very interesting if he continues his dynamic trajectory in 2020.

Why he can’t win

It’s a quarterback-driven league. Christian McCaffrey just became the third player ever to rush for 1,000+ yards and have 1,000+ yards receiving while also having the third-most yards from scrimmage ever. If McCaffrey can’t win, which running back can?

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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