With Super Bowl Weekend finally here and every Tom, Dick and Jane making their predictions for the biggest game of the year, fans have to find the faults or deficiencies in each team. Seemingly, one of the biggest shortcomings of the Seattle Seahawks is quarterback Russell Wilson.
Wilson threw for 3,357 yards in the regular season, which in this day and age of passing, is not an impressive mark anymore. The quarterback gained 300 yards through the air just twice, including the playoffs, and one of those games was Week 1.
The second-year quarterback also benefits from being able to hand the ball off to 1,000-yard rusher Marshawn Lynch and the number one defense in terms of points allowed, yards allowed and takeaways. No defense has accomplished that feat since the 1985 Bears.
Many would argue Russell Wilson is more of a 'game manager' than a big play quarterback.
First off, the phrase 'game manager' was never meant to be used as an insult. Every quarterback is a 'game manager', it just does not seem like the phrase is applied to quarterbacks like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees because they throw the pigskin all over the yard. Being a good game manager is impressive.
It is even more impressive when the quarterback is only in his second season.
Maybe its because of all the recent success young quarterbacks have had in the NFL the last five years. The days of holding the clipboard and learning behind a veteran even if the quarterback was selected number one overall (aka Carson Palmer), are over. College quarterbacks are expected to step in and have an immediate impact in their first seasons.
Remember, Wilson did not even come into camp as the clear-cut starter being selected in the first round; he was a third round pick, a hunch played by head coach Pete Carroll.
Only two other quarterbacks younger than Wilson will be on Sunday ever started in a Super Bowl, Dan Marino and Ben Roethlisberger, and only one of them won the game. Roethlisberger, who defeated the Seahawks at 23 in Super Bowl XL, had a great defense, a couple good running backs and a better receiving core than Wilson does.
That season, Roethlisberger threw for 2,285 yards and 17 touchdowns in 12 games. Wilson played the complete season, but the Seattle QB had 1,100 more passing yards and 26 touchdown passes in his second year.
Yet Big Ben was heralded as the next best quarterback and Wilson, at least coming into the Super Bowl, is the weakest link on the team.
Perhaps the league has shifted that much to the passing game even since 2005 where if Big Ben put up the same numbers from his second season today, they would not be as impressive. But if Seattle ends up defeating Denver on Sunday to win its first Super Bowl title, and even if Wilson throws for fewer than 300 yards and two touchdowns, give him the credit he is due.
Winning Super Bowls, regardless of your supporting cast is pretty tough to do. Just ask Peyton Manning.