Comparative Experience: Matt Flynn & Russell Wilson


In one of the deeper subthreads, I saw some discussion about the QBs' college experience. I knew Matt Flynn wasn't a 4-year starter, and that wasn't particularly significant for me. But looking again, I have to say I was a little bit struck by the contrast between the two.

So this is just FYI. I'm not making a point. Just food for thought.

Tracking games started is a bit tricky to navigate. Injury fill-in games can have a significant number of snaps, and that has occurred for Flynn. Level of competition also matters to an extent. The NC State experience for Russell Wilson is lesser in this regard than LSU & Wisconsin. Flynn has also played in NFL regular season games. Both have played in preseason.

How does preseason fit in? With the 1's, at least, it has to be at least comparable to better college experience.

So I decided to count college and NFL games (both preseason and regular), with a substantial number of snaps taken as QB. Flynn appeared in games as a placeholder, which made sorting out his QB appearances from his games appeared in necessary.

And then I just counted cumulative pass attempts, in college & the pros.

Games started or with significant playing time: Flynn: 20 (2005 to 2012), Wilson: 53 (2008 to 2012)
College, NFL Pre- & Regular season pass attempts: Flynn: 764. Wilson: 1522.

I did not expect that extent of disparity. Flynn has appeared in NFL games, and Wilson only four 2nd-half preseason quarters. Although Flynn's preseason experience more than triple Wilson's, is still not nearly as much more as I would have expected, given that he's been in the league since 2008. In 2009 he appeared only twice and had 8 pass attempts. 2008 & 2011 he had more than 40 pass attempts, and 2010 he started his only Packer preseason game and totaled 85 attempts for the preaseason.

I think of Flynn as the veteran because he's older and been in the league longer. Wilson actually beats him in professional sports experience (two years in professional baseball farm systems) and in post-high school playing time, in half the time period.

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