Sunday 18 March 2018 / 04:52 PM

The rise of Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson is red hot. Scratch that, he’s white hot.

Over the past three games Wilson has thrown 11 touchdown passes with no interceptions to set a new Seahawks record for TD tosses over a 3-game span.

Quite a feat for a guy who’s supposedly not a passing QB.

Not surprisingly, the Seahawks won all three of those contests and now control their own destiny for a Wild Card spot at (7-5). Back from the brink, the Hawks are heating up at just the right time and Russell Wilson is a big reason we’re seeing such a turnaround in Seattle.

And December is When Wilson Shines

Russell Wilson’s career record in the month of December is an incredible (12-2), the highest winning percentage in December for any starting quarterback over the past decade and a half.

His career passer rating for the month of 102.8 is second only to Aaron Rodgers (102.9) and no other quarterback in the history of the NFL has a December rating that tops the 100 mark.

This guy lives for the clutch and we’re entering crunch time. Watch out.

Yet he’s Currently Sitting 10th in Pro Bowl Balloting

While #3 would rather play in his third straight Super Bowl instead of his first Pro Bowl, Wilson is getting royally hosed by the fans when it comes to Pro Bowl voting.

Most still view him as a ‘running’ quarterback. Sure, in Wilson’s inaugural season he, RGIII and Colin Kaepernick lit up the league with the unstoppable read-option package – but what the lay fan has not noticed is that Wilson made a point to learn how to throw from the pocket where Griffin and Kaepernick did not.

Which is why he’s still a star when the other two are quickly turning into has-beens.

Yes, Wilson is still an incredible running threat (he’s rushed for 450 yards so far for an average of 5.2 yards per carry and a touchdown) but each and every week he’s getting better in the pocket and the numbers back up this assertion.

Forget for a moment that Aaron Rodgers is having an off season and is missing Jordy Nelson. Did you ever expect that Russell Wilson would have more passing yards (2,997) after week 13 than Mr. Rodgers (2,957)?

And guess what, Wilson’s also had a whopping 74 less attempts.

Wilson is ranked #3 in yards per attempt (8.51) which is almost a full yard better than Tom Brady.

He’s also second in completion percentage (68.5%) and has thrown 21 touchdown passes to just 7 interceptions.

Seattle’s run-first mentality is proving to be a fabulous disguise to hide one of the most dangerous quarterbacks in the NFL.

Learning to Love the Pocket

While Wilson’s most dramatic highlight reel plays often show him running circles around defensive linemen a la Fran Tarkenton, the truth is that if you watch the tape he’s making the majority of his throws from the pocket. With a quick release and an accurate arm he’s truly on track to be one of the league’s elite signal callers.

Over the past three games Wilson has completed 85 percent of his passes inside the pocket (59-69) for 810 yards and 10 touchdowns with a total QBR of 98.6 on those throws.

During that same stretch he was 21 of 27 passing against the blitz for 381 yards and six touchdowns.

The numbers don’t lie. Wilson deserves more respect than he’s getting as a passing quarterback.

A Real Shot at 4,000

To realize how misguided critics of Russell Wilson are, one only has to look at the real possibility that he’ll be the first Seahawks player to ever throw for 4,000 yards in a season.

Not even Matt Hasselbeck eclipsed 4,000 back when Seattle was known for their offense and not the other way round.

And to think Wilson gets all this done behind a mediocre offensive line and with ‘decent’ wide receivers at best.

I love Doug Baldwin. I really do. But I can’t help but wonder what kind of damage Wilson would do with an A.J. Green or Julio Jones to target.

But it doesn’t really matter. Wilson moves to the beat of a different drum and nobody wants to meet his team come January.

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Michael Airhart

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