The Simms quarterback top 40 countdown, No. 2: Russell Wilson

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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.

25 responses to “The Simms quarterback top 40 countdown, No. 2: Russell Wilson

  1. I think he’s already one of the all-time greats. One thing I didn’t see mentioned is Wilson’s durability. He’s never missed a game in his entire career. Not one. In fact I think he’s only missed two practices in his entire career. 8 years, playing the way he plays and he’s never missed a game. THAT is worth as much as his on field heroics.

    If he can continue to stay healthy for another 5 to 10 years he’ll likely be a first ballot guy.

  2. Re deadinbed says:
    June 25, 2020 at 11:59 am
    Fun fact. He was drafted to be the back up to Mike Glennon. Who?

    It was actually Matt Flynn. And he was drafted as competition, not a backup. He was given a legit chance by his coach to start and started week one when everyone said at the time Pete Carroll was crazy to do so.

  3. You shoulda handed off to Lynch Russell….forever to be the qb of a one year dynasty that literally gave away a Superbowl.

  4. First off when it comes to this, I’m biased to Wilson. As a Seahawks fan I’ve watched pretty much every play in his career. I think #2 is a pretty good place for him.

    So a couple of people have said he is overrated. Back that up! Is it Seahawks hate and jealousy? Even as a Hawks fan I can see an argument for Brees or Rodgers, Jackson etc. but to call Wilson overrated with nothing backing it up is just absured.

  5. While I’m not a Seattle fan, I’ve rooted for Wilson who is just an unbelievable player. I actually think Simms did a good job with this list.

  6. Russell had no playoff win since the Legion of Boom was dismantled by the Patriots then he lucked last year when he faced the depleted Eagles and Carson Wince. Otherwise he would still be winless.

  7. Russel is a ridiculously overrated PASSER. But clutch player? Great leader? Guy you want in the 4th quarter of a big game running the show? Absolutely.

  8. Russel Wilson is the prototype of the modern quarterback but for some mysterious reason he doesn’t get the credit. His pocket awareness is the best of any QB I’ve ever seen, allowing him to avoid sacks. But he doesn’t just take off and run when the play breaks down, like RGIII or Lamar Jackson might, but he extends the play and keeps his eyes downfield. This frequently leads to an open receiver and Wilson is able to hit that receiver on the run with uncanny accuracy. But if no one is open or Wilson doesn’t see him (unusual) he can make yards with his legs and, most importantly, he is amazing at avoiding big hits when he runs and sliding or running out of bounds when necessary. Yes I agree that Mahomes is #1 but Wilson is a clear #2.

  9. I frequently wonder why top QBs don’t change teams. Wilson would be better off with an offensive minded coach, but he re signed up with Seattle. Stafford has been in Lions purgatory. Lucks career was cut short by a team that didn’t bother to get him protection until it was to late.

    Stafford and Luck would have a shot at a Hall of Fame career elsewhere. Wilson should get in regardless, but he could be top10.

  10. Russell Wilson is so good he lost 3 of the last 4 games last season and barely beat Cincinnati, which has the worst record last season and the number 1 overall pick in this year’s draft. ROTFL.

  11. I love Wilson. Awesome player. Great guy. If there’s one thing to criticize, it is his insistence on bleeding his team of every dollar he can get out of them. Yes, it is his right. But it seems odd that he’s more concerned about money than his legacy. He has more money than he can ever spend but he’ll likely go down in the record books with one SuperBowl victory.

  12. snowlock2013 says:
    June 25, 2020 at 1:08 pm
    Russel is a ridiculously overrated PASSER. But clutch player? Great leader? Guy you want in the 4th quarter of a big game running the show? Absolutely.
    =====================

    Russ is one of the most accurate passers in the league and throws arguably (barely) THE best deep ball in the league.

  13. bobwhitequail says:
    June 25, 2020 at 12:12 pm
    Re deadinbed says:
    June 25, 2020 at 11:59 am
    Fun fact. He was drafted to be the back up to Mike Glennon. Who?

    It was actually Matt Flynn. And he was drafted as competition, not a backup. He was given a legit chance by his coach to start and started week one when everyone said at the time Pete Carroll was crazy to do so.
    *******
    Nobody expected a 3rd rd pick to win a QB duel, when they just paid Matt Flynn starter money. I agree with much of what you said, but only Wilson’s preseason display won him the job.

  14. patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    June 25, 2020 at 1:01 pm
    Russell had no playoff win since the Legion of Boom was dismantled by the Patriots then he lucked last year when he faced the depleted Eagles and Carson Wince. Otherwise he would still be winless.

    The SB against the Pats was 2015. The Seahawks won playoffs games subsequent to that in 2016, 2017, and 2019.

  15. If Andrew Luck had the defenses that Wilson did a few years ago, then he would have multiple SB rings on his fingers, instead of one ring and a Butler did it interception.

  16. “bobwhitequail says:
    June 25, 2020 at 12:12 pm
    Re deadinbed says:
    June 25, 2020 at 11:59 am
    Fun fact. He was drafted to be the back up to Mike Glennon. Who?”

    You have your years and teams wrong. In fact, almost everything backwards. Some dumb college coach in North Carolina replaced Wilson with Glennon which caused Russ to take his skills to Wisconsin and as they say, the rest is history. He took Wisconsin to the Rose Bowl and set the all time men’s collge football record for QB ratings. No one playing the game today is even close.

    Oh, I forgot, Russ also has the 2nd highest QBR in NFL history. Only Aaron Rodgers has a better number and if things continue at the current trajectory, Russell almost certainly will have the top number in time.

  17. If Andrew Luck had the defenses that Wilson did a few years ago, then he would have multiple SB rings on his fingers.

    ___________

    Who?

    Who does he start for… can I watch him play? I need to get to know this amazing talent you’re talking about…

    Meanwhile, Russell has never missed a game in his career.

    Stop talking about things that never materialized. When all was said and done, these words and ideas were just the fruitless dream of a disappointing first pick in the draft.

    Whatever physical attributes Andrew luck had when he was healthy, Russell Wilson is 50 times the mental player.

    Again, RW has never missed a game in his career. And what’s more, he never WANTED to miss a game. He thinks he can do anything out there and wants to prove it to everyone every single play. He still has a chip on his shoulder because of people like you and I appreciate that as a Seahawks fan.

    Thank you for keeping that fire burning.

  18. californianewton says:
    June 25, 2020 at 1:52 pm
    Russell Wilson is so good he lost 3 of the last 4 games last season and barely beat Cincinnati, which has the worst record last season and the number 1 overall pick in this year’s draft. ROTFL.
    ———————————————

    …and if they were stuck with someone like Garoppolo, they would have at least 6 more losses. Yet 9ers fans still think of that loser as Stephen Joseph Smith Montana

  19. californianewton says:
    June 25, 2020 at 3:12 pm
    If Andrew Luck had the defenses that Wilson did a few years ago, then he would have multiple SB rings on his fingers, instead of one ring and a Butler did it interception.
    ++++
    Hypotheticals are fun because you’re never wrong but, you’re also never right.

  20. californianewton says:
    June 25, 2020 at 1:52 pm
    Russell Wilson is so good he lost 3 of the last 4 games last season and barely beat Cincinnati, which has the worst record last season and the number 1 overall pick in this year’s draft. ROTFL.
    ================================

    Closed eyes Crappalo.

    LOL

    How did that SB work out?

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