Sure, some of you may be laughing right now, but don’t sleep on quarterback Russell Wilson.
After a slow start to his rookie season, he was firing on all cylinders deep into the playoffs. In two postseason appearances, he threw for 572 yards, his quarterback rating was an outstanding 102.4 and he completed 62.9 percent of his passes.
Those two fine performances were built off of an incredible regular season. Over the course of his freshman year in the NFL, he showed great pocket presence and kept turnovers to a minimum. In fact, he only turned the ball over 13 times total—10 were interceptions, and three were fumbles lost.
His final statistical line for the 2012 season was 26 passing touchdowns, 3,118 yards passing and a quarterback rating of 100. Additionally, he scored four rushing touchdowns while amassing 489 yards on the ground.
At the end of postseason play, Pro Football Focus (subscription required) ranked him as the fourth-best quarterback in the league.
All of his accomplishments from his rookie campaign will prove to be solid building blocks for a Year 2 MVP run. In 2013, Wilson will need to throw for more yards, more touchdowns and take fewer sacks outside the pocket.
There were times last season where he simply held onto the ball way too long. According to Pro Football Focus’ (subscription required) signature stats, Wilson, on average, held onto the ball for 4.18 seconds before taking a sack. Only Cam Newton, Jay Cutler and Robert Griffin III held on longer.
If Wilson can bring that number down and improve upon his passing statistics, he should have no problem pushing out some of the other elite quarterbacks in the NFL for the MVP award.