Russell Wilson dominates Saints, makes case for NFL MVP on Monday Night Football

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If we knew then what we know now, we never would have doubted Russell Wilson.

You were wrong about Russell Wilson.

It's OK. We all were, really. Even the Seahawks passed on the Wisconsin quarterback twice before taking him off the board with the No. 75 overall pick in the third round of the 2012 draft.

It's a shame, too. Wilson's only crime as a prospect was his height. No quarterback could stand at 5'11 and compete with the best quarterbacks in the NFL. We didn't care about his compact throwing motion, rocket arm or uncanny ability to sense and avoid pressure in the pocket while keeping his eyes downfield. What does any of that matter? He's short, remember?

If we only knew then what we know now, maybe we wouldn't have been so shallow. Maybe we would have looked beyond the measuring stick and realized that a future star was sitting right in front of us. It's not like he was hiding. Wilson played for Wisconsin, albeit for only a season after transferring from N.C. State, where Mike Glennon took over for Wilson while he was pondering a professional baseball career. Wilson was in the spotlight.

Not only were his obvious passing tools on display in one of college football's biggest conferences, but so to was his charismatic personality and leadership qualities. His relentless attitude on the field was there, too. He attacked every area of the field with his arm and made defenses pay with his legs.

But when it came time to evaluate Wilson as an NFL prospect, he was too short. He didn't fit the mold of traditional pocket passer. That was the end of the story. Drew Brees, after all, was the only short quarterback to reach the coveted "elite status" in the NFL. Nobody considered that Wilson could succeed at a similar level. Nobody considered that in just his second season, Wilson would be better than Brees.

On Monday night, the Seahawks blew out the Saints, and Wilson outplayed Brees. It wasn't close. The Seahawks scored 34 points to the Saints' seven. Wilson threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns to Brees' 147 and one. Wilson even added 47 rushing yards to go with it. This was all against a Saints defense that came into the game ranked in the top five in yards per game.

At this point, Wilson has moved on from the 2012 NFL Draft class. By every measure, he's been better than Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and the other three quarterbacks taken ahead of him in that draft. It's true he has been put into a dream situation with one of the best defenses in the NFL to help him win games. But the defense has nothing to with Wilson's passer rating, which is the third best in the NFL over the last two seasons behind only Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers. He also is the only quarterback from the 2012 class averaging more than 8 yards per attempt for his career. You have to go back to 2010, when Wilson was at N.C. State, to find a Wilson-quarterbacked team that lost a game by more than seven points.

It's tough for people to admit it, but Wilson belongs in the argument with Manning, Brees and Tom Brady, not Luck, Griffin or other second-year quarterbacks. The problem is, he's not like those other quarterbacks. Even Brees can't claim to be like Wilson, who has the ability to be a productive rushing option in his offense and avoid enough hits to stay healthy. If he were four inches taller, he would have been a first-round pick, some say.

Every argument you can think of to knock Wilson has already been debunked by Kenneth Arthur of Field Gulls. He's better than every second-year quarterback in just about every statistical category. He's done it all with receivers that are no more spectacular than what others are dealing with and are, in fact, quite ordinary. He has Marshawn Lynch at his disposal in the backfield, but without Wilson's ability to run the read option, Lynch wouldn't be nearly as productive as he is. Wilson has even played behind a banged up offensive line for most of 2013.

Just face it, you were wrong about him. You didn't think a 5'11 quarterback would ever be considered one of the best in the NFL. You didn't think he would enter the league and help the Seahawks win 10 games by more than 15 points, a number only bested by Manning and the Broncos. And you certainly didn't think, out of all the talented quarterbacks in the 2013 class, that Wilson would be the one making a case to be the NFL's Most Valuable Player in just his second season.

But he's doing just that. It will be tough for him to overtake Manning, who has 4,125 passing yards and 41 touchdowns this season. Wilson has over 3,000 combined yards and 23 touchdowns, though. Not to mention, his team is 11-1.

You don't have to say he's better than Manning. You don't have to concede the MVP race to him, either. Just admit you were wrong about him. Admit you were wrong about Russell Wilson.

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