The Future’s So Bright … I’ve Gotta Wear Shades …
If you're anything like me ... this weekend is going to be a bit hard for you. Watching the FALCONS take on the 49ers in the NFC Championship ... and knowing that the Seahawks were a mere 25 seconds away from being there is a bitter pill to swallow. As you're reaching for the vomit bag though, you should also be reaching for hope ... realizing that the future of the Seattle Seahawks is a bright one.
After a season in which the Hawks finished 11-5 and came within an eyelash of the NFC Championship Game, it’s hard not to conclude that. In the midst of our discontent, Seattle fans are also abuzz with the prospects of the future and frankly, they should be. And what really sets that future ablaze is Russell Wilson.
We’ve talked before about the fact that Russell Wilson finished the 2012 Regular Season with a 100.0 QB Rating (4th Highest in the game), which ranked behind only Robert Griffin III (102.4), Peyton Manning [105.8], and Aaron Rodgers (108.0)
That’s rather impressive … but what’s even more impressive is how he did in the clutch and in pressure situations.
In the 4th Quarter this year, Russell Wilson posted a QB Rating of 102.7 (5th Best in the NFL) … behind only Joe Flacco (103.1), Peyton Manning (103.9), Aaron Rodgers (113.5), and Jay Cutler (114.7).
In situations where the Seahawks were trailing this year, Russell Wilson threw 15 touchdowns and 6 interceptions (a 101.6 QB Rating). The only 2 quarterbacks who were better this past year were Aaron Rodgers (16 TD’s and 5 INT’s – a QB Rating of 108.5) … and Peyton Manning (18 TD’s and 4 INT’s – a 113.0 QB Rating).
They say that home is where the heart is – that’s certainly the case with the Seattle Seahawks. Including playoffs, the Seahawks are 63 and 31 at home since 2002 (a .670 Winning%). That’s the 2nd Best Home Record in the league over that time behind only Green Bay (who is 66-30 and have had a .688 Winning% over that same time frame). It’s one thing to put up great numbers at home in front of friendly crowds … it’s entirely a different thing to do the same thing against crowds who’d just as soon hang your quarterback upside down from the rafters like an effigy. Let’s take a look at how Russell Wilson’s numbers on the road compared against some of the other top quarterbacks in the league …
|2012 Top NFL Quarterbacks (Last 4 Road Games sorted by QB Rating)|
|1. Aaron Rodgers||84||128||65.6%||1,111||10||2||112.46|
|2. Matt Ryan||119||165||72.1%||1,385||10||3||109.78|
|3. Russell Wilson||83||122||68.0%||958||7||1||107.2|
|4. Robert Griffin III||71||113||62.8%||937||9||3||104.48|
|5. Tom Brady||89||143||62.2%||1,132||10||3||101.5|
|6. Peyton Manning||92||139||66.2%||1,100||5||2||96.21|
|7. Joe Flacco||81||128||62.3%||854||5||1||92.38|
|8. Colin Kaepernick||70||118||59.3%||904||6||3||89.8|
As you can see, Wilson’s numbers on the road rank right up there with the best in the league.
8 Times Russell Wilson had a Total QBR that ranked among the Top 10 Performances of the Week. And he was the NFL’s weekly leader in Total QBR 3 times this past season (the only NFL QB to do that) …
Week 2 … 76.3 Total QBR vs. Cowboys (#10)
Week 6 … 91.4 Total QBR vs. Patriots (#4)
Week 8 … 93.7 Total QBR at Lions (#4)
Week 9 … 82.8 Total QBR vs. Vikings (#8)
Week 12 … 90.7 Total QBR at Dolphins (#1)
Week 13 … 85.4 Total QBR at Bears (#6)
Week 15 … 99.3 Total QBR at Bills (#1)
Week 16 … 97.6 Total QBR vs. 49ers (#1)
To put it in to perspective of just how good that is, only 4 quarterbacks in the NFL had more Top 10 Weekly Performances in terms of Total QBR than Russell Wilson. Those were …
Tom Brady and Matt Ryan were in the Top 10 for the Week 11 Times
Peyton Manning 10 Times.
Aaron Rodgers 9 Times.
Russell Wilson finished the year 8th in the league in terms of Total QBR (69.6). Given how he STARTED the season, that’s fairly remarkable …
Russell Wilson’s Total QBR Performances (First 8 Games of the Season) …
Week 1 … 27.5 Total QBR at Cardinals (#27) – LOSS (16-20) – QB Rating (62.5)
Week 2 … 76.3 Total QBR vs. Cowboys (#10) – WIN (27-7) – QB Rating (112.7)
Week 3 … 28.5 Total QBR vs. Packers (#24) – WIN (14-12) – QB Rating (99.3)
Week 4 … 16.8 Total QBR at Rams (#25) – LOSS (13-19) – QB Rating [45.8]
Week 5 … 51.7 Total QBR at Panthers (#13) – WIN (16-12) – QB Rating (82.3)
Week 6 … 91.4 Total QBR vs. Patriots (#4) – WIN (24-23) – QB Rating (133.7)
Week 7 … 26.0 Total QBR at 49ers (#22) – LOSS (6-13) – QB Rating (38.7)
Week 8 … 93.7 Total QBR at Lions (#4) – LOSS (24-28) – QB Rating [96.8]
The Seahawks were 4-4 during the First 8 Games of the season … and 7-1 during the Last 8 Games. Oh what could have been IF Pete Carroll had only taken the training wheels off sooner.
Still … there is every reason to believe that this Seahawks team will be a perennial challenger for the Super Bowl for years to come. Looking up and down that Seahawks roster, you don’t see a group of long in the tooth aging veterans who after years of struggle finally put it together. They are young, they are hungry, and they are not satisfied with anything less than a Super Bowl title. There aren’t a whole ton of holes on this team and given that most of these Seahawks are young, I’d look for them to be good for some time to come. Just imagine what things are going to be like next season now that Wilson’s got some experience under his belt and has zero restrictions on him.
This Seahawks group is a very dangerous team that isn’t all that far away … and once they retool this offseason and take care of the few holes that do exist, they will be downright lethal.
Watching the Falcons face the 49ers this weekend is going to be agony for these guys, so I fully expect them to come back to training camp this next year focused and on a mission.
So, take heart as you're watching the games this weekend. Don the sunglasses fellow Hawks fans because the years ahead ... look bright indeed.