This has been the season of Wendell Smallwood. The only question is whether the new league MVP will finish it all off on Sunday with a Super Bowl title.
Smallwood was named the league’s Most Valuable Player as MSFL Honors Sunday night, barely winning 8 of the possible 20 votes from the rest of the league. Demaryius Thomas came in close second finishing with 7 votes. Mychal Kendricks received 3 votes. Aaron Rodgers and Tony Romo each earned one vote, but their closing arguments in Week 17 of the regular season diminished any chance to steal votes. Smallwood had a tight race until the very end however, due to Philadelphia’s 14-2 record it left no room for debate. Smallwood closed out his rookie season with league-leading 1,638 rushing yards.
The votes were taken before the wild-card round of the playoffs, but Smallwood’s performance in the postseason only confirmed his spot at the pinnacle of MSFL halfbacks. He is one of the best long yardage and red-zone runners in the league. The threat of him breaking a tackle and his speed to separate quickly helps make Philadelphia one of the most explosive running games in the MSFL. Smallwood’s rushing ability (491 yards and 16 scores on the ground) puts him over the top, but that’s not why he was the game’s best player this season. The fact that Smallwood being a rookie and making an immediate impact on his team leading them to the #1 seed, helped carry the load. When Rookie QB Wentz went down on multiple occasions throughout the season due to injury Smallwood rose to the occasion and carried the team on his back.
Coach Flame commented, “A rookie running back drafted in the 4th round was forced into action after the veteran he was supposed to learn from went down in week 1. With little knowledge on how fast this league moves, he didn’t play well, he played one of the best seasons anyone has ever seen. A truly amazing season, I’m glad I was part of it. Congratulations Wendell”
It feels like Wendell owned the entire 2016 season, and we were just going along for the ride. He just needs one more big game and he will reach a status few football players ever achieve.