Dude Doesn't Lose: The Russell Wilson Story
By Jonathan Comey
Cold, Hard Football Facts Wilsonnaire (@colonelcomey)
In addition to having movie-star good looks, the nerdiest/coolest name of any QB in the NFL, a devoted fan base, a beautiful wife, poise beyond his years, Russell Carrington Wilson has another distinction.
Never suffered an NFL beatdown.
Not one. Dude has never had to sit in the locker room and face the media after watching his team come out flat and get thoroughly beaten. The Seahawks’ 40-10 exhibition win vs. Denver this past weekend was just another brick in Wilson’s wonderwall.
Wilson has now played in 26 NFL games – six preseason, 16 regular season, two postseason. And in all 24 of those games, the Seahawks have either won or been within a touchdown of winning.
Think about that. A full season-and-a-half worth of games, no bad losses.
The most lopsided defeat he has so far dealt with was a 13-6 road loss to San Francisco – which was a victory, at least, for the bettors, who took the Seahawks +7.5.
Speaking of gambling, Vegas wiseguys might be the only ones who don’t love Wilson. The Seahawks are now 19-5 against the spread in Wilson’s tenure. CHFF Insiders printed money riding the Seahawks in 2012, as we caught the Seattle wave early and rode it hard all season.
Oh, but it gets better.
Over his last two years in college – at two schools, mind you – Wilson also somehow managed to avoid any lopsided losses. The biggest margin of defeat was 11 points against Virginia Tech, and that came after two Hokie touchdowns in the last 1:15.
Hell, he was even on the winning Senior Bowl team.
The last time Wilson played in a game where he was on the wrong end of garbage time was Nov. 21, 2009, a 38-10 loss to Virginia Tech at the end of his sophomore season at NC State. He liked that so much that he closed that season with an upset win at ranked North Carolina where he was 20 of 27 for 259 yards, four TDs and zero INTs.
That was 51 games ago.
About the only adversity he faced as a pro athlete came after he was drafted by Colorado in the fourth round of the MLB draft in 2010. In the minors, he struck out once every three at-bats and hit .223.
In a Denver Post story, Colorado’s scouting director remembers: "He could throw. He used to pitch, so he had arm strength. The question was his hitting. What I told him, I told his agent: 'We're not going to know what we have until he gets 1,500 minor-league at-bats. Most likely it's three, four years down the road when he's in Double-A that we're going to know.' "
Back in football for a strange one-off senior year at Wisconsin, Wilson seemed to decide that he was never, ever, going to struggle again.
The Badgers went 10-3, the losses by 7, 3 and 6 points, and Wilson didn’t have a game with a college passer rating under 142.2.
And then, despite everything on his resume screaming “HELL YEAH!” Wilson’s 5-10 (and 5/8ths) height was off-putting enough to keep NFL scouts from earning their money. Yes, 74 players went off the board in front of Wilson, who rolled with the punches and earned a starting job in Seattle before the ink was barely dry on his comically low four-year, $3 million contract.
And so, he will make less than some practice-squad players this year while piloting a team that is Vegas’ No. 3 favorite to win the Super Bowl this year.
The Seattle top-ranked scoring defense is largely responsible for their reputation, but let’s not forget that the Seahawks were No. 1 in our Quality Stats Power Rankings, or that Wilson and Seattle were No. 6 in Real Quarterback Rating.
After the Seahawks beat the Chargers in Week 1 of the preseason, veteran Dwight Freeney went on San Diego radio to talk Wilson: "I had no idea how fast he was. By the time I got after the bull rush, I’m looking for this guy. He’s like 5-3, 5-4, whatever he is and I can’t find him. By the time I find him I was like ‘oh, here goes a sack.’ Next thing you know, ‘oh, no’ and I’m chasing him.”
Teammate Richard Sherman faces Wilson every day in practice, and isn’t surprised by anything anymore.
“To tell you the truth, I don’t think Russell has changed very much,” he told Seahawks.com “I think that’s one of the best things about him, one of his best qualities, is that he stays to himself. He stays within himself.
“He came in ready. He came in studying meticulously; working meticulously. Staying as long as he can, trying to get better, better, better every day. And I don’t think that’s changed. He came in with an incredible leadership quality about him. And I don’t think that’s changed. I think he’s gotten more comfortable with what he can do – his abilities on the field and off the field.”
If there is a change, it’s this: “I think he’s more confident, and his teammates are more confident in him.”
Sounds pretty scary for the rest of the league.
Oh, and P.S., for the fantasy types? Wilson is currently going sometime in the seventh round, right near Jaguars wideout Cecil Shorts and Jets running back Christopher Ivory.
Let the underrating continue.
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