It’s been the year of the rookie quarterback in the National Football League.
Five of them were named starters on Opening Day and for much of the season, the debate has been over whether it would be Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts or Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins who would be named Offensive Rookie of the Year and whether the top two picks in this year’s draft should be in the Most Valuable Player discussion.
But there’s a third rookie signal-caller, one who didn’t come with the first-round hype of the other four, who has scrambled his way into both discussions.
While Luck, Griffin and Ryan Tannehill of the Miami Dolphins were all taken in the top eight picks of the draft and the Cleveland Browns selected Brandon Weeden later in the first round, it’s the guy the Seattle Seahawks tabbed in the third round who might be outshining them all right now.
Russell Wilson doesn’t look like a rookie.
On a field full of great players on Sunday night, Wilson was the best of the bunch.
He was poised like few rookies before him. He was accurate like few rookies before him. And elusive? He was killing the San Francisco 49ers defenders with his maddening ability to extend plays with his feet.
Put all those together and what you had was the Seahawks making a statement on national television by absolutely demolishing the vaunted 49ers 42-13.
You remember those 49ers. Right? The ones who made their own statement a week ago by winning in Foxborough?
Well, all Seattle has done in the last three weeks is hang up 150 points. They came into the game against San Francisco having become the first team since the merger to score 50 or more points in back-to-back games.
After pummeling the 49ers, they’ve outscored their last three opponents 150-30, a margin over three games that hasn’t been seen since the early 1920s.
Wilson beat the 49ers with his four touchdown passes—pulling to within one of the rookie record of 26 set by Peyton Manning in 1998—but he absolutely killed them with his scrambling.
He made one of the league’s best defensive units look silly.
And all the Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson have done while winning four in a row and six of seven is establish themselves as “that team” … the one no one wants to play in the playoffs, which is where the Seahawks will be after clinching a berth and staying alive for the NFC West title.