A lot has been made of Russell Wilson’s magical first season in the league, but was it really deserving of the hype? Part of me wants to believe that Wilson is getting Tebow-esque adoration for some similar reasons.
Although not as vocal or nearly as public about his religion, Wilson loves him some bible. Just follow him on twitter @DangeRussWilson and you’ll find out what I’m talking about. He -- like Tebow -- is also famed for his unmatchable work ethic, and rumour has it he’s already training for next season and spending time in the film room. Yes I’m serious. He plans to take a break for his honeymoon with his wife, but one has to wonder if he’ll even let it last a week.
He also had to overcome physical setbacks to succeed in the NFL. Tebow can’t throw and Wilson can’t ride roller coasters. Too short and all that. One major difference, though, Russell Wilson is good. Really, really damn good. Nope, other than overcoming physical setbacks, being very vocal about their spirituality and ability to run, there is nothing in common between the two.
When you check out Russell Wilson’s stats it becomes clear the Seahawks really do have something special with this kid. To the point where I feel bad for having mentioned him in the same paragraph as Tebow and will refrain from the comparison for the rest of the article. Without going too in depth, and getting all Elias or Football Outsiders here, let’s just point out the obvious.
Nobody expected Wilson to land the starting job after the Seahawks drafted him in the 3rd round, and I mean it when I say nobody. Tried thinking of one analyst, but none came to mind. Although there may be some unknown pundit who did predict Wilson becoming the starter, so help me god if anyone tries to tell me they predicted he’d be a candidate and -- as far as I’m concerned -- the frontrunner for Offensive Rookie of the Year you can go find another blog to read.
In true leader like fashion, these personal accolades aren’t what he was going for and you can point to this team having made the playoffs as a result of Wilson’s play. Marshawn Lynch and the defense were great and all, but it’s a quarterback's league folks. Don’t even try to tell me the Seahawks make the playoffs with Matt Flynn or Tarvaris “three and out” Jackson.
Getting into the playoffs was just one more thing that Russell Wilson wasn’t supposed to accomplish though. Apparently. Just about everybody recognized this year’s version of the Seahawks as a huge improvement on last years. I mean, no Tarvaris Jackson certainly can’t hurt. The consensus seemed to be that this team was still on the cusp of being a playoff contender. Not quite there yet, but just good enough to make San Francisco’s run at the division title a little more difficult. Nobody predicted that they would go 11-5 and embarrass the 49ers on national television in week 16. The thought of them actually winning a playoff game? Now that was crazy talk.
In proving all his doubters wrong, again, Wilson put up some amazing stats and shattered some records along the way. The only unimpressive number with regards to Wilson’s stats is the 3,118 yards. Even less impressive though, he only threw the ball 393 times. Not his fault the attempts were so low, but such is life. Seeing as he draws frequent comparisons to Drew Brees based on -- you guessed it – height, let’s see how many yards he could hypothetically put up with as many attempts as Brees. With 650 pass attempts, based on his average yards per attempt, he would hit 5,154 yards. I put about as little stock in that though, as people should his actual yardage. Miracle he put up as many yards as he did with the paltry 393 pass attempts he had to work with. His 26 touchdowns to only 10 interceptions, now that’s one stat worth paying attention to. Here’s another great one, he also had the 4th best passer rating in the entire league at 100.0. On top of all that, he also ran for 489 yards. Now that’s none too shabby for a hobbit who shouldn’t have won the starting job right? Wait until you see what he did in the postseason.
Aside from winning his first playoff game in the NFL with a 4th quarter comeback, after being down 14-0 and almost finishing a comeback from a 20-0 deficit he also set a few records along the way. His playoff passer rating of 102.4 is 9.7 ahead of the previous record held by none other than Mark Sanchez. Best of all though, he was averaging 9.23 yards an attempt, also a rookie record. Another rookie record is his 572 yards through the air during the postseason. Wilson’s 385 passing yards are also, you guessed it, the rookie record for yards in a game. To top it all off, Russell Wilson is the only rookie quarterback with 2 4th quarter comebacks under his belt. There is just something different about this Wilson kid I tells ya. The scariest part for the rest of the league, he’s only going to get better.
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