NFL – RUSSELL WILSON FINALLY DESERVES OUR RESPECT

If you have some doubt in your mind right now about Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson, you shouldn’t.

Well, I understand if you feel that way, since before this past Sunday’s NFC Championship game, I had little confidence in him myself.

He’s 5’103/8 and 200 lbs, for God’s sake.

The average quarterback in the NFL is at least 6’3 and 220 lbs.  The average defensive tackle weighs in at more than 300 lbs!

Easy to doubt a player based on those dimensions alone.

Yet, despite his small physique (by NFL standards), Wilson’s career performance numbers have been very good.

In fact, so far in his three year career, Wilson has outplayed his much taller QB counterparts:

Russell Wilson
(2012-14)
Andrew Luck
(2012-14)
C. Kaepernick
(2011-14)

Height

5’103/8 6’4 6’4

Completion %

63.4 58.6

60.1

Touchdowns 72 86

50

Interceptions

26 43 21

QBR

98.6 86.6 90.6
Sacks 140 108

118

Super Bowl Wins 1 0

0

Doesn’t mean we still don’t doubt him.

After all, Wilson has that Defense behind him.  And, those excellent coaches.  Oh, and that Marshawn Lynch guy as his running back…

But, after his performance during this past Sunday’s NFC Championship game, Russell Wilson proved himself, at least to me.

Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking.  He almost gave that game away singlehandedly.

In the first three quarters, Wilson threw 4 picks, had a measly 48.3% CMP and 44.3 QBR rating.

Terrible, by anyone’s standards.

Yet, it’s what he did to help his team win with less than 3 minutes on the clock and down 7-19 that impressed me the most.

Wilson must have been feeling all of that previous disappointment and anxiety of all those plays that got away.  That he was giving the Seahawks’ golden ticket to the Super Bowl away.

But, he helped turned things around.  Somehow.

By rallying his team with clutch throws down the field, he helped the Seahawks tie the game and go to overtime.  It was then up to him to make sure the Seahawks were victorious after he learned they won the coin toss.

Wilson had apparently predicted his own comeback when he told Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell on the sideline, “I’m gonna hit Kearse for a touchdown.”

And, he did it.  Finally, after throwing 4 interceptions towards the same receiver previously in the game (Jermaine Kearse), he nailed a 35-yard touchdown pass to Kearse to win the game.

Wilson engineered the biggest win in NFC title game history by a quarterback who threw for four or more interceptions in a championship game.

Only a few athletes in any sport have the mental toughness and capability to pull themselves up after (their own) disaster and lead their team to victory.

But, Russell Wilson did it.

He must have been scared to death knowing that he had to finally get the big completion in the end zone to Kearse after all those previous failures.  Yet, he made it happen.  He grabbed back the golden ticket to the Super Bowl himself.

And, it showed how relieved he was, when afterwards Wilson kneeled to the ground, and wept like a baby.

It takes courage to do what Wilson did, bad performance or good performance aside.

And, that gets so many more points in my book than those I may have taken away from his bad performance in those first three quarters.

Guts can make a small man bigger.  And after Sunday’s performance, Russell Wilson stands just as tall as any other quarterback in the NFL to me.

FOLLOW-UP: January 21, 2015

Yesterday, Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson published a short yet fascinating article that he wrote for Derek Jeter’s “The Players’ Tribune” website.

In his article, entitled “One Mission”, Wilson explains the reasons that he was able to push forward through this season’s NFC Championship game vs. the Packers and lead his team to the win, despite having one of the “worst games” of his career.

How did he say he did it?

By tricking his mind through visualization and using an imaginary “RESET BUTTON”, as well as with the help of his teammates who believed in him.

Wilson wrote that these things together along with his faith, helped guide him and his team through the tough times during the season and to a place where their talents could ultimately shine.

Which helps to explain his unbelievable mental strength that I explored in my previous article “Russell Wilson Finally Deserves Our Respect”.

The new question before us now is:  Will these intangible qualities exhibited by Wilson and the Seahawks be the key to their Super Bowl success over the Patriots this year?

Unless “Deflategate” put an emphasis on New England’s swagger and motivation, Seattle’s newfound chemistry and renewed leadership will be hard to beat.

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