Seattle's Russell Wilson Outplays Patrick Mahomes and Enters MVP Race

Mike Freeman@@mikefreemanNFLNFL National Lead WriterDecember 24, 2018

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, right, greets Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes after an NFL football preseason game, Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 26-13. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

As Russell Wilson has always done, and as he will probably continue to do for many years to come, he once again has shut people the hell up.

On this night, featuring some of the most dazzling quarterback play of the season, Wilson outdid Patrick Mahomes—went throw for throw, run for run, score for score with the quarterback we're all so eager to anoint the MVP...and won.        

In a career of many splendid moments, this was one of his finest. In one fell swoop, he stared down a rising star, beat a Super Bowl contender and vaulted into the MVP race.

Will Wilson win the MVP award? Probably not. Does he deserve it? He just might.

The Seahawks are in the playoffs after a stunning, gorgeous and magnificent game from Wilson, who beat a stunning, gorgeous and magnificent Mahomes.

What was the key to the 38-31 win?

"It's no secret," Wilson said on NBC after the game, "it's hard work."

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 23:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks warms up before playing in the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at CenturyLink Field on December 23, 2018 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

That answer is typical, bland Wilson, whose hype has never matched his electric play.

For so long, his critics have talked about what Wilson can't do. Mostly, the Wilson haters always said he can't throw from the pocket, but he could and can.

On the other side, Mahomes has not lacked for hype, and he showed why with one of the most spectacular throws in recent NFL history. But there was Wilson, making his own magic. His timely scrambles moved the Seattle offense down the field. His perfect throws deep, especially to Doug Baldwin, were the kind of skilled passes that if Tom Brady or Drew Brees made them, we'd all slobber over our phones and televisions.

Wilson makes these types of touch passes all the time. He wins. He hustles. He busts his ass. He carries the Seahawks on his back. All the time. And in this instance, he beat one of the biggest stars on the planet.

The final stats for Mahomes: 273 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions, 103.4 rating.

The final stats for Wilson: 271 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions, 127.2 rating.

It's just what we've all come to expect from Wilson, whose rating entering the game was 111.6—amazingly the highest in a seven-year career in which he's topped 100 three previous times and never been below 92.6. His 34 touchdowns this season are also a career best (tied), as are his six interceptions.

And yet, he so often gets overlooked. And he might this year, too.

Maybe he will even for this game. At some point by the end of the day on Christmas Eve, you will have seen the unbelievable play by Mahomes referenced above, the one when he slung the football across his body on a 25-yard touchdown to Charcandrick West.

There are literally only a handful of quarterbacks in the near century-long history of the league who could make that pass. It's as if Mike Vick, Jim Palmer, Doug Flutie and Mister Fantastic were combined into one football player.

Mahomes' elbow looked like it was going to snap in half, but it didn't. It looked like there was no way he was going to complete the pass, but he did.

What Wilson did, though, in many ways was more impressive. He didn't make a singular better play than that one; he made a series of them. He did it with his legs, and he did it with some pinpoint throws.

With the score tied at 17, Wilson threw one of the most accurate passes of the season to Doug Baldwin for a 27-yard score. It was a special catch by Baldwin, but Wilson squeezed the ball in with Baldwin having less than a yard separation from the defender.

Wilson even made his own across-the-body throw.

Mahomes, at one point, looked like he was going to outplay Wilson. But, no, silly rabbit, we should have known better.

Very few quarterbacks ever outplay Wilson.

So, on a night when Mahomes got Mahomes'd by a guy whose been Mahomes-ing for years, we saw something else.

We watched Wilson leap into the MVP race. Actually, leap, throw, run his way into it.

Shutting people up along the way.

       

Mike Freeman covers the NFL for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter: @mikefreemanNFL.

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