Debating not just the quality of quarterbacks, but the quality in relation to one another, is a time honored tradition in the NFL. It’s not good enough that your quarterback is good, he has to be better than pretty much every other quarterback ... and it’s important that the nation — and the media — agree. That’s why Mike Sando’s QB Tiers piece for ESPN have been so popular since debuting five years ago.
Including around Seattle, where Russell Wilson is consistently ranked “too low” and is “disrespected” by the anonymous scouts, coaches, and GMs who don’t place him in Tier 1.
But this year, the Seahawks quarterback received the biggest jump in Tier 1 votes of any quarterback, with 15, tying in that category with Matthew Stafford and Philip Rivers. Wilson ranked sixth overall behind five guys you can probably guess. That placed Wilson near the top of Tier 2, with just four quarterbacks getting Tier 1 status — a statement that sounds like it means something, but it really doesn’t.
Keep that in mind.
Speaking of things that don’t mean anything, when looking for a negative comment about Wilson, a person who gets to say crazy things because he remains anonymous had this to say about Wilson: “Now, I don’t agree with him doing all these look-at-me things in the spring, like the ESPN show and Major League Baseball, but when it is time for the season, he is ready for the season. At least he does that.”
It’s kind of weird to think that a person being asked about football abilities complains about offseason activities — and not because it prevents Wilson from being ready for the season. The anonymous offensive coordinator clarifies at the end that regardless of his issue with ESPN and MLB, Wilson’s “look-at-me things” don’t stop him from being the best quarterback he can be. So why exactly are we talking about it? Why is it even included?
Oh right, to anger.
Despite the Seahawks having a worse record in 2017 than they’ve had in any season with Wilson, he moved up the rankings because by being worse and losing key pieces on offense and defense he had to do more to help Seattle win. Note that in 2015, Wilson led the NFL in passer rating, threw 34 touchdowns, and rushed for 553 yards, while losing Jimmy Graham, Marshawn Lynch, Thomas Rawls, and Paul Richardson at different points of the season, with Patrick Lewis at center, Garry Gilliam at right tackle, and a defense that suffered through Cary Williams at corner for more than half the year.
But what me know?
Wilson did also rank 6th in 2016 — which you could easily argue was low given the circumstances — but it’s just worth noting that he has not just all of a sudden learned how to carry the team.
All of this matters.