I know, I know, I know. Russell Wilson won’t be lining up across from Cam Newton on Sunday, but against the the opposing team’s defense. However, there is nothing like a primetime star QB duel on Sunday Night Football. We have the reigning NFL MVP against arguably this years NFL MVP (spoiler alert, he won’t win it). So how should we expect them to perform?
Let’s take a look at the stats from the previous six games in this series, going all the way back to Wilson’s rookie season in 2012.
First off, the MVP of our hearts.
Wilson is averaging 269 ypg, 67% completion rate with 8.5 ypa, 2 teeders, 1 int, 3 sacks for a decent rating of 102.1. His rushing hasn’t always been a huge factor, but he gets about 27 ypg at 4.7 per.
Now, for SuperCam
Cam’s most recent performance against the Hawks, he had his best game out of the six, but it was only the second time he’s ever posted a rating over 80. His average rating is a mere 78.0 due to having only 186 ypg, 57% completion rate (10 points lower than Wilson) with a 6.8 ypa, 1 teeder, 1 int and 2 sacks. Cam actual runs more than Wilson, averaging three rushes more per game, but is less efficient only gaining 3.3 ypa.
Even though they are both going to face off for the seventh time in five years, this will only be the third time they will have played in Seattle. The two previous times happened last year in a regular season Hawks loss with a busted coverage by the LOB giving up the game winning TD, and the year prior with a game sealing interception by Kam Chancellor in the 2015 NFC Divisional game.
So when the field changes, how do the numbers change?
Russell Wilson in Seattle vs @ Carolina: completes 6% less of his passes, but increases his yards per attempt by 1.3 yards at 9.8, throws the same amount of TDs, but doesn’t throw any INTs. He’s sacked .5 more times, however, his rating is 31 points higher at home. He also runs 3 times more at almost a half yard more per attempt.
Cam Newton in Seattle vs @ Carolina: completes 2% less of his passes, but also increases his yard per attempt by 1.3 yards (but is still 2.2 yards lower than Wilson), throws .5 more TDs but throws 2 INTs compared to almost none when he plays at home. Newton is sacked about the same, but his rating drops about eight points.
Overall, Wilson is more accurate & efficient, but when playing at Seattle in front of the 12th man, it’s even greater. In Seattle, Wilson posts a rating 50 points higher than Newton!
PREDICTION: Sunday’s game will be much like the games in the past, a slug fest. It’s hard to predict what’s going to happen for both quarterbacks due to the state of both team’s offensive lines. However, I think we see something close to what I posted above. The offensive lines for both teams are such a wild card its hard to predict what will happen. Will Russell and Cam be able to make plays within the structure of the offense, or will they be forced to create their own magic?