Who is the Most Valuable Player in the NFL?  It is a subjective question that garners numerous perspectives based on criteria set by individuals.  But as we stand in the week leading to the conference championship games, the candidates most likely to claim the award are still standing.  

Is the MVP Peyton Manning?  Many would say this is the obvious choice.  And why wouldn’t he be after setting a single-season record for touchdown passes (55), the single-season record for passing yards (5,477), the record for most points by a team (606) and the single-season record for most games with four or more touchdown passes (9)?  Disputing this would seem blasphemous to many.

How about Tom Brady?  Despite not posting the gaudy numbers of Manning or even from his own previous seasons, 2013 quite possibly may be Tom Terrific’s most impressive work.  Without the services of the supporting cast that surrounded him over the years, Brady managed to lead the Patriots to a 12-4 record throwing for 4,343 yards and 25 touchdowns.  MVP quality, right?

With Manning and Brady surely captivating the media for most likely to receive the award, I believe there is a case to be made for a player who just simply wins.  24 games in 32 tries is extremely impressive, a record for a second year QB, all while having passer rating above 100 in both seasons.  Russell Wilson is, in my opinion, the real MVP.   If your criteria is based on stats, then Manning is certainly going to be your guy.  But before your engrave the trophy, understand that Wilson in his own right has impressive numbers when you look beyond the surface. He is third in the league in the most important of all throwing stats, yards per pass attempt (8.5) as well as an elusive runner gaining more than 500 yards on the ground at 5.6 yards per carry.  

As of right now, Wilson is the best all-around offensive player at the game’s most important position.  He may not have the notoriety of the other two quarterbacks in this argument, but if he is able to defeat the 49ers in the NFC Championship game (at home where he is an incredible 15-1), then perhaps a Super Bowl appearance will finally provide the spotlight he unquestionably deserves.