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49ers-Eagles preview: Is Carson Wentz an MVP candidate?

The Eagles are 6-1, thanks in large part to Carson Wentz’s performance thus far.

NFL: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers have faced solid quarterbacks each of the past two weeks, and it only gets more difficult in Week 8. After facing Kirk Cousins in Week 6 and Dak Prescott in Week 7, they face an MVP candidate in Week 8.

The 49ers travel east to face the Philadelphia Eagles, and that means one of the leading MVP candidates halfway through the season. The Eagles are off to a 6-1 start, and quarterback Carson Wentz is a big reason for that. Wentz leads the league with 17 touchdown passes, already one more than he had his rookie season. He is fourth in the league in DYAR and seventh in DVOA at Football Outsiders, and ranks third in QBR.

Does that all add up to league MVP? You’ll be STUNNED to learn that folks at Pats Pulpit think Tom Brady is more deserving. They suggested Brady, Alex Smith, and Kirk Cousins all belong ahead of Wentz. Right now, Brady leads the NFL with 2/1 MVP odds. Wentz is second at 5/2, followed by Smith at 5/1.

As we get ready for 49ers-Eagles, I sat down with Bleeding Green Nation editor Brandon Lee Gowton. Carson Wentz is one of the more intriguing topics leading up to this game. Some analysts think he is simply on a hot streak. I asked Brandon what to make of the QB, and he had this to say about Wentz’s strengths and weaknesses seven weeks into his second season.

Yeah, I'd say a "hot streak" is putting it lightly. The dude is legitimately playing like the NFL MVP right now. Called me bias but the metrics back it up.

Wentz is really doing it all. He can unleash the deep ball; his 64-yard touchdown pass to Mack Hollins had the most air yards of any throw in the past two years. He can avoid pressure and place the ball with laser accuracy into tight windows; his touchdown pass to Corey Clement was insane. He can use his legs to extend plays and/or run down the field; the way he escaped a pile of defenders on Monday night was nothing short of magical.

Wentz's game isn't based on flash alone. He's shown the ability to be consistent and sustain drives down the field. He's been absolutely awesome on third down all year long.

When it comes to weaknesses, Wentz still struggles with sailing some passes at times. He hasn't done that as much recently, but it pops up here and there. Holding onto the ball and trying to extend plays can be a good thing, but it also means he's prone to getting hit and taking sacks.

Overall, though, the good obviously outweighs the bad with Wentz. It's unreal how quickly he's progressed from Year 1 to Year 2. His development is a huge reason why the Eagles currently own the best record in the NFL at 6-1.