By Jack Sitt
Who has the most touchdown passes for rookie quarterbacks this season?
The correct answer would not be Andrew Luck or RGIII; it would be Russell Wilson with 19 touchdowns to just 8 interceptions.
The media loves to talk about Luck and RGIII, but it is time that we give some respect to Russell Wilson. He may not have the throwing yards or highlight plays that Luck and Griffin have, but that is in large part due to the conservative offense that he plays in.
Last Sunday, Wilson knocked off the best defensive unit in football on two clutch drives; a 97-yard go ahead drive at the end of regulation, and an 80 yard game-winning drive in overtime. He can now add this win to his impressive resume, as he has now beaten the Bears, Patriots and Packers. Lets take a look back at Wilson’s ability to throw and run the football.
Wilson making the right reads:
Wilson to Baldwin for 11 yards on 3rd and 14.
On the left side of the field, Braylon Edwards (the slot receiver), and Doug Baldwin (the outside receiver) run a route combination. Edwards aligns with a narrow split so he has room to run his route to the outside, while Baldwin aligns with a wide split so that he has room to run his route to the inside. Edwards runs a wheel route, and this attracts the attention of Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman in their cover 2 zone. The defenders drive back to cover Edwards, and this leaves Baldwin open underneath. Wilson has a clear pocket because the defensive lineman slant, and he hits Baldwin in stride. This was a clutch read by Wilson because this set Seattle up for a manageable 4th and three to keep the drive alive. The play by Wilson also set Seattle up for success later in the drive when Wilson made the same read on his go-ahead touchdown pass to Golden Tate.
Wilson beating you with his legs:
Russell Wilson scrambles for 13 yards.
The Seahawks call a run for Wilson while the ball is aligned close to the left hash mark, so this gives Wilson a little extra room to run to the right side. Wilson uses a play action fake to drive the defensive lineman to the left side of the field, so that he can scramble to the right. The defensive end on the right side of the field tries to set the edge to prevent the scramble, but the left guard pulls from the his normal positioning, and commits a trap block on the end to prevent any penetration. This gives Wilson the room to scramble, and he takes over from there. He shows determination by putting a spin move on cornerback Kelvin Hayden and picking up the first down.
Wilson succeeding with both his arm and his legs:
Russell Wilson throws game winning touchdown pass to Sidney Rice.
Wilson recognizes that the Bears are playing man free coverage because they only placed one safety back, so he knows that he will have Rice on the crossing route. The man who is covering Rice, Charles Tillman, freezes on the play action fake, so Rice is left open across the middle.
Wilson’s running ability helps him on this play because he is able to scramble to achieve a clear throwing lane. Julius Peppers bits on the play action fake, so Wilson has no problem scrambling left and hitting Rice for the win.
Wilson deserves a look for offensive rookie of the year. I understand how amazing, Luck and Griffin have been but Wilson has made a strong case himself.