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Russell Wilson is the best 4th quarter QB in the NFL ... by a lot

It’s when he’s outclasses his peers this year — all of them

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
adorable how they think he’s cornered
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

As much fun as it is to poke holes in Pete Carroll’s mantra about quarters and which ones you can win the game in, Russell Wilson is presently embodying everything Carroll preaches, from “protect the ball” all the way to fourth-quarter dominance. Consider how he stacks up to other quarterbacks in 2017.

To see Wilson atop the list, with a couple dozen passer rating points (and change) to spare between him and second place, makes a lot of sense if you’ve been paying attention to his last four games.

Wilson, in the fourth quarter, Weeks 7-10: 32-43 for 475 yards, with six touchdowns and one lonely, ultimately immaterial, interception.

If RW only played fourth quarters, he’d be he greatest quarterback to have ever lived. He has an NFL-best two fourth quarter comebacks this season, and led Seattle to a comeback against Washington as well, only to be toppled under the weight of Kirk Cousins and an Earl Thomas-less defense in the final minute. With Aaron Rodgers on the shelf, it’s hard to argue that there’s a better active quarterback that you’d want with the ball in his hands in the final five minutes, and even Rodgers might not stack up to Wilson’s resume — both this season and consistently over the course of his six-year career.

(Just ask Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.)

The Seattle Seahawks signal-caller also making the most of the final four minutes of the game. For his career he’s tossed 22 touchdowns with 4:00 or less to play and averages 8.3 Y/A.

To revisit the list above once more, though — the imperfections of passer rating are numerous. Chief among them is how it fails to take rushing into account. In the fourth quarter, Wilson also tends to use his legs far more frequently than in earlier stretches of the game.

Rush attempts, quarters 1-3: 326

Rush attempts: quarter 4: 193

You may have intuited already that the fourth quarter is Russell Wilson time. Let the numbers confirm it.