Can Russell Wilson Be the Best NFL Quarterback Ever?
Like most high-level quarterbacks, Russell Wilson has set his sights on being the best of all time. That’s not an abnormal thing — most people trying anything out tend to idly speculate about being at the top of the food chain. The best tennis players when they pick up a racket. The best baseball pitchers when they throw a baseball. The best quarterbacks when they win a Super Bowl in their sophomore season. It’s not so odd, really.
But is this a real thing? Could Wilson really be the best quarterback of all time? The knee-jerk reaction is a scoff, because “best ever” is usually something that’s already happened, appreciated in retrospect as hitting heights that no one is going to hit again. Sepia nostalgia coloring over the past and providing a defined line between the “greats” of yesterday and the “pretty good, I guess” athletes of today.
To draw as best a comparison as possible, let’s take a look at Wilson’s first two seasons in the NFL. There they are. On the face of it, his 52 touchdowns seem high, the byproduct of a throw-happy National Football League. Except that no team stifles the throw in favor of the run as often as Seattle. So if we accept that Wilson’s throwing numbers could be inflated by virtue of the way the game is played now, we have to assume that they are inflated less than a QB on another team. But how do his numbers stack up to the rookie and sophomore years of some of the greats?