And then there were two. And there are two quarterbacks who currently are the best in the NFL.
One of them is no surprise (and you know who it is, don’t you?). The other will surprise many, because Russell Wilson — at No. 2 on the Chris Simms quarterback top 40 countdown — still doesn’t get the appreciation he deserves.
Simms and I looked at some of his work during Thursday’s PFT Live, and we tried to figure out why he’s not more widely regarded as one of the very best quarterbacks in football. One possibility is this: He makes it look so easy and he delivers great plays so quickly that we just don’t recognize how special his play is as it’s happening.
Players like Patrick Mahomes have an exciting, frenetic quality to the setup for his spectacular plays. There’s a hair-on-fire quality to his movements while being chased, capped with something unexpected, unusual, and highly effective. With Wilson, the shift from the collapse of the play that was called to the improvised play that saves the day happens quickly, sometimes in the blink of an eye. The walls begin to close in, and Wilson instinctively pivots away and delivers the ball with a release of underrated speed and precision before the panels of plaster, wood, and brick ever really moved.
The best way to understand it is to watch some of Wilson’s better plays, one after another after another. There’s rarely anything that moves the fan to the edge of the seat before Wilson has stepped up or stepped back or spun or twisted or turned and then delivered like a cobra strike a perfect pass to an open receiver.
It’s typically over almost before it even began, and it keeps people from realizing that Russell Wilson, with plenty years left in the tank, could end up being one of the all-time greats.