Two 50+ point games have the Seahawks on everyone’s minds, and not just in Seattle. The world loves a hot quarterback and they ESPECIALLY love a hot rookie quarterback.
The last nine weeks or so, Russell Wilson has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Of course, when you’re picking a ROY, you don’t get to cherry pick your best games, you’ve got to deal with your season as a whole. And, in spite of a rough first five games, the Russell Wilson Rookie Season has been a remarkable success.
The last time I talked about this, it was about two weeks ago. At the time, RGIII had a stranglehold on the award, with Wilson and Luck duking it out for #2. Well, after two weeks, where are we?
Sando has the pertinent numbers for you. As you can see, thanks to RGIII’s injury situation, Wilson has had a chance to close the gap. On the one hand, that’s great news! You can’t win the ROY while missing a quarter of the season! Especially when that quarter is the final quarter. On the other hand, what does it say about how good RGIII is that he gave his competition a free week and Wilson’s numbers are STILL somewhat inferior? Look at the numbers, you can’t argue. Wilson has more passing touchdowns, but when you look at combined rushing & passing TDs, it’s tied. Yardage and rating is in RGIII’s favor. And you can’t argue that Wilson is any more important to his team’s success than RGIII (in spite of the victory in Cleveland with Cousins at the helm; Cleveland does stink, after all).
I do think, however, that Wilson has passed Luck ever-so-slightly. More Sando numbers here show you how they fared against the same opponents. Luck has total passing yards on lockdown, but those turnovers have to account for something! Maybe the Colts wouldn’t have to pass so much – thereby inflating Luck’s numbers – if Luck himself didn’t cough up the ball so much. Think about it!
Unfortunately, I still think the award is RGIII’s to lose. Of course, if he continues to miss games, I think that’s exactly what he’ll do. If Wilson can continue being his near-dominant self, I think he’ll steal enough votes away from the other two to seal the deal. Beating the 49ers this weekend is a must, though. It’s the last chance a national audience is going to see one of the Big Three rookie quarterbacks. Have an awesome game against an elite defense and that’ll be a lasting impression on the minds of voters.
As for the Defensive ROY, it certainly hasn’t gotten a lot of pub, but the Seahawks have two amazing candidates.
First, let’s look at some of the “competition”.
Among the D-Linemen drafted high, you’ve got Quinton Coples (4 sacks), Michael Brockers (4 sacks), Melvin Ingram (0.5 sacks), Whitney Mercilus (6 sacks), and Chandler Jones (6 sacks). Then, you’ve got 15th overall pick Bruce Irvin who has a whopping 8 sacks in a part time role. I don’t know the status of those other linemen, but I think it’s clear Bruce Irvin has been out-classing the other linemen drafted in the all-important sack catagory.
Truth be told, though, I don’t think any of those linemen make a dent in the race for D-ROY. Maybe if Irvin can get into double-digits, he’ll be in the top four or five, but I wouldn’t count on it.
Right now, you’re looking at a 3-man race. Casey Howard, cornerback, Green Bay (46 tackles, 6 INTs, 1 FF, 19 PD), Luke Kuechly, linebacker, Carolina (138 tackles, 1 INT, 1 sack, 4 PD), and Bobby Wagner, linebacker, Seattle (121 tackles, 3 INTs, 2 sacks, 4 PD). I don’t think Kuechly is giving up that tackle crown anytime soon (he’s currently 2nd in the NFL overall, behind only Chad Greenway with 140), and I’m not gonna lie to you, that’s a pretty huge number. Nearly leading the league as a rookie in tackles carries a lot of weight with me. Wagner is no slouch, obviously, as he currently stands at 9th in the NFL. To combat Kuechly’s cachet, you’ve got to fill up the stat sheet in other areas. Getting those two picks in that Arizona game obviously helps. Now, if he’s able to double that sack total in the next two games, and maybe get his hands on a couple more balls, I think Wagner could steal the award.
Like Wilson, how Wagner plays in front of the national audience this Sunday will go a long way. Stuff Frank Gore and strip him of the football: that’s going to open a lot of eyes that hadn’t yet glanced at this Seahawks defense.
Regardless of who wins, though, just the fact that we’re talking about THREE rookies in the same year up for the same award (on opposite sides of the ball, obvs) is pretty fucking amazing. I didn’t think there was any way for this front office to top their first two draft classes, but lo and behold, here we are!