Just how good is Russell Wilson?
Pretty darn good, as it turns out. When tallying up 2012's "volume" quarterback statistics, like attempts, completions and yards, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson does not place among the NFL's top leaders.
However, when it comes to the "efficiency" type of statistics, Wilson's name is all over the place on the lists of NFL leaders.
Despite not being in the top 10 for attempts, completions or yards, Wilson did tie for ninth in the NFL for passing touchdowns with 26. That's pretty efficient touchdown-tossing. Drew Brees led the league with 43, followed by Aaron Rodgers at 39 and Peyton Manning at 37.
Rodgers led the league in passing touchdown percentage with 7.1 percent. Wilson came in second at 6.6 percent, ahead of Brees (6.4%), Peyton Manning (6.3%) and Ben Roethlisberger (5.8%). Wilson tied for seventh in pass completion percentage at 64.1 percent (with Philip Rivers). Atlanta's Matt Ryan and Peyton Manning had the league's highest completion percentage with 68.6 percent.
In terms of passer rating, Wilson was one of only four quarterbacks to top 100 for the season. He finished with a rating of 100.05, behind Rodgers (108.2), Peyton Manning (105.3) and fellow rookie phenom Robert Griffin III (102.4).
Wilson also placed fourth in the league in yards per pass attempt with an average of 7.9. That was just off Robert Griffin III's 8.1 top ranking. Wilson also placed fifth in yards per pass completion with 12.4. Clearly, the Seahawks do not just dink and dunk their way down the field.
What is also clear is that Russell Wilson had a very impressive season in 2012.
Wilson's year is all the more impressive when you consider that he was a mid-round rookie draft pick. Placing among the NFL leaders in touchdowns, touchdown percentage, passer rating, pass completion percentage, net yards per pass attempt (passing yards – sack yards / passes attempted + times sacked), game-winning drives (tied for third with Tony Romo with 5) and comebacks (tied for third again with 4 among four quarterbacks) would be noteworthy for any quarterback. Many high-drafted and/or veteran quarterbacks barely made a dent on these leader boards: Michael Vick, Andy Dalton, Matt Schaub, Carson Palmer, Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez, Christian Ponder and more. Some are nowhere to be seen. To walk into the league as a rookie and take your place among the best in several major categories? That's Marino-esque.
Wilson's availability is a breath of fresh air. His 16 starts last season mark the first time since 2007 a Seahawks quarterback started all 16 regular season games.
The Seahawks have seen some pretty good quarterbacking in their 37 years, led by Matt Hasselbeck (six playoff appearances) and Dave Krieg (four playoff appearances). They've also experienced some mediocre quarterbacking from veterans who had better success elsewhere: Warren Moon, Trent Dilfer, and Jon Kitna to name a few. They've also endured the Stan Gelbaugh / Kelly Stouffer / Dan McGwire experience.
As a first-year starter, Russell Wilson's quarterback rating is tops among Seattle's first-year regular/preferred quarterbacks.
Russell Wilson (2012): 100.5
Dave Krieg (1983): 95.0 (his career best)
Warren Moon (1987): 83.7
Jon Kitna (1999): 77.7
Matt Hasselbeck (2001): 70.9
Rick Mirer (1993): 67.0
Jim Zorn (1976): 49.5
The verdict: The Russell Wilson era has gotten off to the strongest start for a Seattle Seahawks quarterback from any era.
Statistics from www.pro-football-reference.com.