Forget Luck or RGIII, Russell Wilson Is Your Slam Dunk Rookie of the Year

Jamal CollierAnalyst IIIDecember 24, 2012

Russell Wilson: 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year?
Russell Wilson: 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year?Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The last time that a quarterback won the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award despite being passed over for the entire first round was 1970 (Dennis Shaw, 30th overall). A QB that was drafted as late as Russell Wilson (75th) has never won the award, but for the first time in 42 years, a post-first-round selection has the inside track to taking home the honor.

Robert Griffin III leads rookies in passing TD-to-INT ratio (20 TD and five INT), which is to say nothing of his phenomenal rushing ability, but missed a game. Andrew Luck leads his contemporaries in passing yards (4,183) by a wide margin (Brandon Weeden has 3,385), but has struggled with turnovers all season long: He has 18 interceptions to go with his 21 passing touchdowns.

Luck’s and Wilson’s squads are playoff-bound, while Griffin’s has one game left to win before securing its own postseason berth.

Wilson leads all rookies with 25 touchdown tosses. He’s also compiled 2,868 passing yards on a 63.4 completion percentage with just 10 interceptions in the process. Arizona Cardinals QB Ryan Lindley has thrown seven picks in 203 fewer passing attempts.

The Seattle Seahawks rookie quarterback does what is asked of him. Early in the season, Seattle asked him to hand the ball off essentially as often as possible—which may ultimately be his downfall with regard to his Rookie of the Year bid.

As the Seahawks opened up their offense, they’ve been putting up points like a pinball machine. Wilson has a lot to do with that: He’s thrown for 1,402 yards, 15 touchdowns and two interceptions on 108-of-164 passing (65.9 percent) in his last seven games. He accumulated a passer rating of 104.4 or better in six of the seven as Seattle went 6-1 over that stretch. The Seahawks' lone loss in their last seven came at the hands of the Miami Dolphins in Week 12, but the three-point defeat can’t be blamed on Wilson—he posted a 90.7 QBR in that game.

That impressive rating—the QBR is on a scale of 1-to-100—is only Wilson’s fifth best in his rookie year.

Luck has had two outings with a better QBR, while Griffin’s had three. Wilson has two of the top four single-game QBR performances in the NFL this season, including the best one: 99.3 on the road against the Buffalo Bills in Week 15. His other entry came the very next week against a tough San Francisco 49ers defense at home: He put up a 97.6.

Tom Brady’s best in 2012 is 98.4.


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