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Friday, April 12, 2024

The New Boss in the N.F.C. West Is Seattle

The New Boss in the N.F.C. West Is Seattle

The scramble among the Kansas City Chiefs, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Baltimore Ravens for supremacy of the American Football Conference has dominated the headlines as the N.F.L. reaches its halfway point, and for good reason: Combined, they are 19-3, with the Steelers the last remaining undefeated team.

The National Football Conference is a very different picture, with the N.F.C. East composed entirely of losing teams. Across the country, though, the N.F.C. West is the league’s most competitive division, and superiority there has been decisively seized by the Seattle Seahawks, led by quarterback Russell Wilson, who may finally be on track to win his first Most Valuable Player Award.

With a 37-27 victory over the San Francisco 49ers, the defending conference champions, on Sunday, the Seahawks improved to 6-1 for the second time in franchise history, and the first time since 2013, the season they won their only Super Bowl title. The Seahawks are atop the league’s toughest division and have established themselves as the class of the conference.

Despite making it to six Pro Bowls, steering the Seahawks to the postseason seven times in his nine-year career, and never missing a game, Wilson has never been in the running for an M.V.P. Award.

This season may be different. His four touchdown passes on Sunday gave him 26 for the year, first in the league, ahead of Patrick Mahomes’s 21 and one short of Tom Brady’s record for most passing scores through seven games. Wilson leads the league in quarterback rating, is just behind Mahomes in the key adjusted yards per pass statistic, and ranks in the top five in completion percentage and yards passing. His 71.5 percent completion rate and 307 yards passing per game are career highs.

“I just keep swinging,” Wilson said of his bounce-back performance against the 49ers. บาคาร่า

Wilson has never had a single vote for the M.V.P. Award in his eight previous seasons. But his 26 touchdown passes are already more than the totals of 10 other quarterbacks who have been named M.V.P. since 1970.

Wilson has been nothing if not consistent. He is 92-42-1 as a starter, 32-8 in games after a loss. After their first loss of the season last week, in which Wilson threw three interceptions against the Arizona Cardinals, the Seahawks seemed eager to come out strong on Sunday. Wilson found his new favorite wide receiver, D.K. Metcalf, early and often.

On his first score, a 46-yard catch-and-run, Metcalf showed the speed and elusiveness that has made him one of the league’s best receivers. After catching the ball on the left side, he sliced across the field, raced past 49ers defenders, then sprinted down the right sideline and into the end zone.

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