Matt Calkins: Is there a Russell Wilson redemption arc coming?

Matt Calkins, The Seattle Times on

Published in Football

SEATTLE — Jim Mora came to mind when I read Russell Wilson’s comments Sunday.

You remember the old Colts coach, who responded with the following when asked about his team reaching the playoffs after a loss to the 49ers.

“Playoffs? Are you kidding me? Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game.”

So when Wilson remarked that he wanted to win two more Super Bowls in the next five years, I had a Mora-like reaction.

Super Bowl? Really? Is Russ even going to start another game?

That isn’t written with intent to pick on the former Seahawks quarterback. He has always been an incessant optimist, and chasing lofty expectations is a prerequisite for greatness. But we’re talking about a man who was benched at the end of last season despite his Broncos being (barely) alive in the postseason hunt. Is Wilson still capable of leading a team to a winning record — let alone a title — as QB1?


His numbers last season weren’t atrocious, after all. The traditional ones actually looked pretty good.

Wilson’s 98.0 passer rating was sixth among quarterbacks who played at least 10 games. He completed 66.4% of his passes, which is nearly two points better than his career average, and he had 26 touchdown passes against eight interceptions.

But he didn’t throw often — averaging just 204 passing yards per game. And his QBR — a more measured statistic that takes into account sacks (he took 45) and fumbles (he had 10) — was 21st in the league.

Above all, though, he didn’t win — going just 7-8 as a starter. He was 4-11 the season before, and when you’re a sub-6-footer who made his mark — in part, at least — as one of football’s all-time great scramblers, the odds of a renaissance at 35 years old are low.


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