Dan Graziano of ESPN currently has Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson listed as number three on his MVP Watch list. The burgeoning superstar from Wisconsin trails only Peyton Manning and Drew Brees on the list. Though he may not overtake the two veteran signal-callers, this high ranking is still certainly well-deserved for the youngster.
Just how notable is this ranking? Invariably so. Let’s start with the obvious difference between Wilson and Manning and Brees: age. Wilson is a second-year man, and he’s already an undisputed leader on the Seahawks as well as a formidable opponent to NFL defenses. To be put alongside Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks so early in his career is remarkable.
The main reason Wilson sits behind these guys, though, is a result of stats. Wilson plays for a run-first team, whereas Manning and Brees headline their respective offenses. As a result, Wilson’s thrown about 125 fewer balls, thrown for 1,000 yards less, and scored at least six less touchdowns.
There’s nothing to be done about that, because Seattle’s run-first offense is working quite well, to put it mildly. It is fun to imagine how Wilson’s numbers would compare if he was throwing the same amount as these two veterans. Would they be close to these future Hall of Famers? I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t be.
Though he may not overtake these legends, Wilson’s got all the tools to be the next idolized quarterback in the league. He’s incredibly humble, a fantastic team leader, exhibits tremendous athletic ability with his feet and arm, and he knows how to win in different situations. And in terms of marketability, the guy’s a stud. Manning and Brees pervade TV commercials, and who’s to say that Wilson won’t be the next face of the NFL? The guy’s got the whole package for the sport and business of football.
This list by Graziano, at least these top three, are definitely in the right order given their play this season. Manning is tearing it up, and Brees isn’t far behind. Wilson may not have the flashy, jaw-dropping numbers, but his are still excellent. Wilson completes 64 percent of his passes, and has thrown for 19 touchdowns and only six picks (which is better than Brees and tied with Manning). He’s sure to keep the good times rolling, as three of Seattle’s last five games are at home, where Wilson has yet to lose.
Though he may not be this year’s MVP, rest assured that his ranking will climb to number one in the near future.
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