Very few people believed early in the off-season that rookie quarterback out of Wisconsin, Russell Wilson, will be the starting QB for the Seattle Seahawks during the 2012 season when Matt Flynn was looking like the first choice for the job.
A few months later, and Wilson is another one of a long list of rookie quarterback, headlined by Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, that is making them the main attraction in a huge chunk of NFL games. He’s even setting some new records, doing something no NFL rookie has done before.
By earning a 125.9 passer rating in the Seahawks’ 21-24 loss in Miami to Dolphins (21-27, 224 yards, 2 touchdowns) Wilson became the first rookie in NFL history with three consecutive games with a passer rating of 125 or more. The streak began in the 30-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings; Wilson threw for 173 yards, comleting 16 of his 24 passes and throwing for three touchdown. He earned a 127.3 passer rating.
A week later, on November 11, the Seahawks manhandled the New York Jets 28-7. Wilson threw for 12-19, 188 yards and two touchdown passes, earning him a 131 passer rating. He also had a 133.7 passer rating in the 24-23 win over the New England Patriots.
One thing that is obvious about Wilson, which goes the same for his team, is their horrible ability on the road when compared to their home games. The Seahawks are undefeated at home but only 1-5 on the road, with their only road win coming against the Carolina Panthers (16-12), not one of Wilson’s best game, in which he hit one man for a touchdown but also threw two interceptions.
While at home his passer rating is 122, his away passer rating is 75.5. He completes a higher percentage of his passes (64.5% compared with 62.2%) but is forced to throw much more, leading to his 8 interceptions. He has thrown six touchdown passes on the road.
At home? Wilson hasn’t thrown a single interception yet, and he looks like a completely different player. While he looks like he’s running around not really knowing where to go or what to do half the time, at home he seems to be perfectly aware of where everyone is. Not so much on the road, but that’s expected from a rookie and a team that thrives on the energy delivered to it from their crowd.
Rookie of the year? Not so sure. Andrew Luck is probably a better choice, or RG III. They’re also getting a lot more publicity, and better numbers. Wilson, unlike them, isn’t the main highlight on his team. Marshawn Lynch is the big offensive weapon for the Seahawks, who also rely on their extremely physical secondary. Andrew Luck and Griffin are the heart, present and future of their teams’ success this season and whatever comes next.
Wilson? It’s still too early to say if this is a new franchise quarterback, or if it’s time to drop Flynn and see what he can get Seattle on the trading block. For now, it’s about limiting Wilson to do what he does best, and minimizing his mistakes. It’s gone rather well so far, much better than expected. If Seattle can find a way to fix their road misery, who knows how far this kid will get to this season, and possibly his career.