Once every 10-15 years the NFL is blessed with a quarterback that has that "It" factor. The "It" factor is a bonafide leader, a "Don't worry about it fellas I got us" player, that rare ability that can't be taught but take every game serious like he's playing for a starting job.
You know that player when you first see him, its just something about him that says winner. For example Dan Marino had an excellent rookie year. He started 9 games with a 7-2 record, 2210 passing yards, 20 TDs with only 6 picks and a 96.0 quarterback rating. Everybody knew he was going to be great. But when you saw John Elway for the first time you knew it was something about him that made him more than great, he was special.
In the past, the trend started with Johnny Unitas then Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, John Elway, Brett Farve, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and now Russell Wilson. Russell Wilson is one rookie that showcased his uncanny ability all year long. There were other rookies quarterbacks that were hype up and lived up to the hype like Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck. Both stellar quarterbacks led their team into the playoffs but came out empty handed.
Wilson on the other hand faced RG3 in the playoffs and was down 14-0 in the second quarter on the road. Yes I know RG3 was hurt but we also have to factor in that he doesn't play defense either. Wilson catapulted his team to 24 unanswered points to give him his first playoff win. This isn't his first big time comeback win of his career. He also had three comebacks against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, and most impressive of all, Brian Urlacher and the Chicago Bears in Soldier Field.
This past Sunday he took his team into a hostile environment in the Georgia Dome. Wilson displayed his greatness and made non believers believe that he is the truth against the Atlanta Falcons. Down 27-7 in the fourth quarter he led his team back with a would be game winning drive that ended in a touchdown with 31 seconds left in the game to give them a 28-27 lead. Unfortunately Atlanta amazingly drove down and kicked a 49 yard field goal to only leave Seattle and the football world heart broken to see the end of what could have been the greatest run ever. Wilson finished the game with 386 passing yards, his first 300-yard passing game of the season.
Although in defeat, Wilson showed he is undoubtedly the most amazing rookie QB that has played the game. Down 27-7 in the 4th quarter on the road in the Divisional round playoffs and he carries his team on his back to take the lead! His coach Pete Carrol is quoted after the game saying "It's unheard of for rookies to do something like that. He ain't a rookie. .... I can't imagine how he can get better".
The young phenom has the poise of a Joe Montana. He takes the game seriously like a Peyton Manning. After a big win in the regular season Carroll gave the team an extra off day until Wednesday. After everybody celebrated Wilson told every rookie that he expects them there on Monday to look at film. Have you ever heard of a rookie QB doing that? A student of the game, he lives in the film room. After being asked does he ever get nervous after his first playoff win, he answers "I never get nervous when I'm prepared".
In all due respect to the wide outs of Seattle, he has average receivers who have stepped up their game because he inspires them to. He doesn't have the luxury of having the "Mark Brothers", Marvin Harrison, or Sterilng Sharpe as receivers. As I stated before in one of my past articles, I believe he will be the first one that will lead his team into the Super Bowl out of the 2012 quarterback rookie class.
If there is anybody who deserves credit for the success of the Seattle Seahawks then it is Pete Carroll. He was the first to see that his young raw quarterback was special and had the "It" factor. We all got to see him morph into an incredible superstar before our eyes. I advise you to start setting your DVR or VCR if you're behind the times because quarterbacks like this doesn't grow on trees.