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Russell Wilson: QB Will Be the First Rookie to Lead His Team to Super Bowl Win

LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 06:  Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks throws the ball in the second quarter of their NFC Wild Card Playoff Game against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on January 6, 2013 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images
Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2013

Russell Wilson will do what no starting quarterback has done in his rookie year: win the Super Bowl.

With a 24-14 win over the Washington Redskins, the Seattle Seahawks have advanced to the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs to face the Atlanta Falcons.

Wilson didn't have a spectacular game, but he did what he's been doing all season. The rookie managed the game well and helped the Seahawks offense move the chains.

He went 15-of-26 for 187 yards and a touchdown. Wilson let Marshawn Lynch do most of the heavy lifting. Lynch carried the ball 20 times for 132 yards.

It's that ability to manage the game so well that will make Wilson the first rookie QB to lift the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season.

Four rookies—Shaun King in 1999, Ben Roethlisberger in 2004, Joe Flacco in 2008 and Mark Sanchez in 2009—have led their teams to the conference title stage, only to fall short of making the Super Bowl.

Like Wilson, those four quarterbacks relied on solid defense and a steady running game. It wasn't as if they needed to throw for 300 yards and four touchdowns each and every week.

If you were to look at Wilson's numbers on the season, they are good, but they don't exactly jump off the page when you compare them to other quarterbacks.

He was behind Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III when it came to passing yards. His 26 touchdowns are good, but they rank only ninth in the league.

Those numbers are actually a good thing for Seattle.

Luck and RGIII had arguably better regular seasons than Wilson, but their teams were both bounced in the Wild Card Round.

Their performances were much of the reason for that.

Luck only completed 51.9 percent of his passes and threw an interception. RGIII was knocked out of the game, and before that was only 10-of-19 for 84 yards.

The Redskins and Indianapolis Colts relied so much on their rookie QBs that it was bound to catch up with them in the postseason.

Washington did have Alfred Morris. Regardless, Griffin III represented a large part of how the Redskins played.

Playoff football in the NFL is unlike anything a college football player coming into the league will have seen. You can't prepare a rookie to face the best teams in the league on the biggest of stages.

Wilson will likely struggle at some point in the postseason. However, his issues won't cripple the Seahawks because they've built a much more stable core around him.

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