With all due props to Peyton Manning’s masterful display of QB execution, Russell Wilson is the frontrunner for 2013 NFL MVP.
There’s no need to wait for season’s end to say it. Whether Seattle wins a Super Bowl or not, we all saw the magnitude of the second-year QB’s value on Sunday, as he dipped and dived, dashed and delivered dirty ankle-breaking business, to lead his Seahawks back from the brink of demolition against the Houston Texans.
But Wilson, came up larger than Timbaland in Jay Z’s Fade To Black documentary. Money plays have become a habit for Wilson and the way he contorts his skill set to fill Seattle’s particular needs, makes him the most valuable player in the sport.
Down 20-3 in the 4th -quarter, nursing a compromised offensive line and warding Houston’s bloodthirsty defenders led by mauler J.J. Watts, Seattle was lodged deep in enemy territory and a fumble by Wilson on the drives first play suggested they lay down and take this one on the chin. It was looking like one of those off-kilter days for a Seattle squad with Super Bowl aspirations.
With the exception of the 2007 Patriots and the 1972 Dolphins, every NFL squad gets their regular-season heads whipped at least once on the road to Lombardi Trophy riches and diamond rings.
You only win games late against teams like the Texans by snatching their heart, and Seattle’s 14-play, 98-yard drive to set off the 4th-quarter, gave Houston 7:28 exhaustive seconds to think about how helpless they had become.
It had to be torture to a Texans D that seemed to have Wilson in check before he hit that MVP switch —the same one we’ve seen cats like Tom Brady dagger the opposition with.
Wilson, the least heralded of 2012’s royal rookie QB class, ran four times for 53 yards, including converting a fourth-and-three on a 4-yard scramble. The drive in total consisted of six first downs, two third-down conversions and a fourth-down conversion.
The Hawks passing game was under duress all game. Wilson didn’t have the time to chill in the pocket and get his aerial game crackin’.
Rather than eat a loss, Wilson switched the emphasis from his arm to his lethal legs, finishing with 77 yards rushing, the second-highest total of his career. He’s only rushed for 54 yards in the first three games of the season.
Having their coveted spread option QBs run less has been a goal of most NFL teams in ’13. The risk involved in QBs acting as running backs has been brought to light by the recent struggles of RG3 in attempting to return from knee surgery and transition to a more pocket-safe style.
The difference between Wilson and these other cats is that he seems equally comfortable doing both, and he has that “special something” that convinces everyone around him that he will lift them out of any rut.
Texans QB Matt Schaub had some flashy numbers (355 yards passing and 2 TDs), but Houston didn’t score after halftime. Schaub also had two picks, including one to Richard Sherman who ran it back 58-yards to the crib to force overtime.
Wilson had a low-grade, but high potency 123 yards passing and a clutch TD in the 4th-quarter. His will to win (and the renegade rushing of “Beast Mode”) did the rest.
From his controversial TD against the Packers as a rookie to his overtime victory on Sunday, Wilson has proved that crunch time is fun time as far as he’s concerned.
“In the fourth quarter, he just had that look in his eyes,” receiver Doug Baldwin told seattletimes.com. “He said, ‘Screw it. If I can’t get time, I’ll find time.’ And he did that with his legs. He kept drives alive. It’s unreal.”
Wilson was too swift, elusive and intelligent for the Texans down the stretch. They battered him like a fish fry, but he kept coming back like an untreated rash.
Halfway through the 4th-quarter, it looked as if the Texans were gorillas with vaseline hands and cement buckets on their feet, trying to catch a squirrel before he eats their last banana.
Wilson’s heroics also inspired his equally potent defense to clamp down and the winning results gave America a clear look at the most important player on an undefeated Seahawks team—a rising squad, whose fortunes change as quickly as Wilson’s demeanor.
When Wilson starts pumping his bows and gets on his French Montana “(I) Ain’t Worried About Nothin,” he changes games, and his excellence can’t be measured in a statistic. It’s evident in the eyes.
That’s what MVPs do.