NFL MVP tracker: Eagles QB Carson Wentz maintains lead on Patriots’ Tom Brady

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From Week 1 through Week 17, USA TODAY Sports’ NFL staff will be handicapping the race for league MVP. A first-place vote is worth five points, a second-place vote is worth three, and a third-place vote is worth one.

Our MVP tracker after Week 12’s games:

1. QB Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (31 points): With five of seven first-place votes, he remains atop our poll for the sixth consecutive week. Wentz continues to lead the NFL with 28 TD passes, putting him on pace to throw 41. More important, he’s led Philly to a league-best 10 wins, and the team could be wearing the NFC East crown before Week 13 is over. Last week: 1

2. QB Tom Brady, New England Patriots (22½ points): After closing the gap on Wentz in recent weeks, Brady’s momentum plateaued — at least temporarily. Brady tossed a rare interception Sunday to go along with four more TD strikes (he now has an AFC-best 26), though at least one of our voters wasn’t impressed by his 5-yard scoring “pass” to Brandin Cooks. Brady’s 111.7 passer rating also tops the 2017 charts and would be the third best of the two-time league MVP’s career. Last week: 2

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3. QB Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (6 points): Seattle’s stifled running game and fading defense will continue to create opportunities for Wilson to flash his unique talents — he’s now put the ball in the air a league-most 411 times while generating roughly 80% of his team’s offense. Wilson’s 401 rushing yards trail only Cam Newton among quarterbacks, and his 23 TD passes trail only Wentz and Brady. But if Seattle can’t get back into the playoff field — Wilson has never missed postseason in his six-year career — his candidacy will almost surely collapse. Last week: 3

4. WR Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers: (2½ points): His already stellar season hit another gear the past two weeks, as he totaled 20 grabs for 313 yards and five TDs. Brown paces the league with 80 receptions and 1,195 yards, and his eight TD catches trail only DeAndre Hopkins by one. Currently on pace to exceed 1,700 yards, Brown still has a chance to do something really special if he’s able to maintain his current hot streak. Last week: 4

Also receiving votes: Todd Gurley (1 point)

Week 11 MVP rankings (Carson Wentz)
Week 10 MVP rankings (Carson Wentz)
Week 9 MVP rankings (Carson Wentz)
Week 8 MVP rankings (Carson Wentz)
Week 7 MVP rankings (Carson Wentz)
Week 6 MVP rankings (Alex Smith)
Week 5 MVP rankings (Alex Smith)
Week 4 MVP rankings (Alex Smith)
Week 3 MVP rankings (Alex Smith)
Week 2 MVP rankings (Alex Smith)
Week 1 MVP rankings (Alex Smith)

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Follow Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis

PHOTOS: NFL power rankings heading into Week 13

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