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Russell Wilson Staturday: QBs mostly struggle against winning teams on the road. Mostly.


Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

On the bright side of watching the Seahawks at home, you've seen them win a lot more than they lose. On the downside ... Wait, I forgot that there wasn't a downside.

One of the most pleasurable experiences for Seattle fans these last three years has been seeing Aaron Rodgers, the absolute greatest quarterback in football (and I do believe that to be true) really suck against the Seahawks on the road. Rodgers has come to Seattle three times since the beginning of 2012 and is 0-3.

It started with the replacement refs game, it ended with the comeback, and sandwiched between was a fairly uninteresting blowout in Seattle's favor. It wasn't just hanging losses on the Green Bay defense though either -- they actually played pretty well in games 1 and 3 -- but Rodgers shares the blame quite a bit. He's had just two touchdowns and three interceptions in those games. He's posted a low Y/A, bad QB rating, it's all there. Or not there, as it were.

Overall, Rodgers has lost nine of his last 11 road games against teams that had overall winning records, including his last eight straight. So is he only posing as the best football player in the world?


Come on, we're talking about winning on the road (which is already the hardest thing for any team in the NFL to do, outside of finding a franchise QB like Rodgers) and compounding that with playing against good teams in their home stadiums. Rodgers has moreso just proven that he's human against good-to-great defenses, and inhuman the other 75-percent of the time. He mostly struggled last season against the Seahawks, Bills, and Lions, going 0-4 in those road games against the league's top pass defenses.

Which is part of what makes Russell Wilson so valuable.

Funny enough, Wilson gets criticized for not throwing it enough. That his passing is so limited that it makes it difficult for him to go toe-to-toe with guys like Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, or Drew Brees. (I believe he's got a perfect record against all those QBs save for Luck Brees.) However what his running ability does do -- and this is why Pete Carroll has emphasized a strong running game since day one in Seattle -- is not make him a liability when going up against great pass defenses.

Including on the road.

Dating back to Wilson's first season in the NFL three years ago, and including playoff games, these are some of the records that notable QBs hold when playing on the road against teams that finished with winning records:

Philip Rivers: 6-5

Ben Roethlisberger: 5-4

Russell Wilson: 6-7

Peyton Manning: 6-7

Colin Kaepernick: 6-7

Tony Romo: 5-8

Tom Brady: 3-7

Andrew Luck: 4-12

Aaron Rodgers: 2-11

Eli Manning: 2-11

Drew Brees: 2-10

Ryan Tannehill: 2-10

Matt Ryan: 1-8

Matthew Stafford: 0-11

0-11? More like 0-lIons ... I don't know what's there but something is there. The 11 looks like LI. Look, writing is hard.

I think there's absolutely some correlation between beating good teams on the road and having a running game. The Lions and Falcons famously do not have any semblance of a running game over most of the last three years. They rely heavily on the passing game, as do the Packers when they didn't/don't have Eddie Lacy. The Giants running game? The Saints? Even the Dolphins when they were running out Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas.

(Notice the connection between the Lions and Dolphins with Bush? Maybe let's stop trying to beat that drum, NFL.)

On the flip side you have dual-threat quarterbacks like Wilson and Kaepernick, two players who also have (or in the 49ers case, had) great running backs. The Steelers have had Le'Veon Bell for a couple years now and in the case of the Broncos, Peyton Manning is just Peyton Manning. Though they have had a good defense and an underrated running attack that gives them a balanced offense.

It's the imbalanced offenses, even ones that have a player as talented as Aaron Rodgers, that tend to struggle in tougher situations, like winning on the road against good teams.

This post would seem to therefore lend credence to the idea that Wilson is "only good because of Marshawn Lynch and his defense" but that ignores the fact that Wilson is a huge part of the running game himself. And if the Seahawks didn't control the clock with a tough ground game, the defense would give up more points.

Oh and if you want me to explain Philip Rivers and the Chargers sitting up there with a 6-5 record ... keep wanting.

FYI: Already sold a few future Russell Wilson articles over at my IndieGoGo campaign. For just $12, I'll write the post of your choosing.