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NFL Unfiltered: Exodus, Russell Wilson and Kings

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Aaron Rodgers is well on his way to Canton.  Andrew Luck is the clear heir apparent and Tom Brady is as good as we’ve ever seen, despite the undisputed talents of the Patriots’ videographer and equipment staff.  

But in my view, Russell Wilson belongs among the NFL’s best quarterbacks and is as valuable as any player in the league.          Photo: sportsworldreport.com

Naturally, the naysayers point to the stifling Seahawks defense and say Wilson is merely along for the ride because his statistics don’t always measure up.  They say he only manages the game.  Some even go so far as to compare these Seahawks to the 2000 Baltimore Ravens.  

If you’re among them, you’re completely missing the point.  

Wilson and the Seahawks are not the Ravens reincarnate for two reasons: 1) that Ravens defense is vastly superior to coach Pete Carroll’s charge and 2) Wilson impacts every game he plays in a way that devastates his opponents and spurs on his teammates. Sunday’s NFC Championship game is just the latest example.     

Consider: in the midst of his worst game as a pro, Wilson actually reminded us who the Seahawks were before his arrival.  In fact, his play over the first 55 minutes showed the Packers were the better team as he did his best Tavaris Jackson imitation.  

But over the last five minutes plus overtime, Wilson found a way to walk on water both literally and figuratively.  He even included a Hail Mary that lead to an important 2-point conversion.  

That’s why Wilson is as good as any quarterback in the NFL.  And it is why the Seahawks should win Super Bowl XLIX.  

God had Moses and the Seahawks have Wilson.     


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THINGS THE PUNDITS CAN’T OR WON’T SAY: Championship game edition

-Luck is a pretty easy guy to cheer for.  You just hope someone in Indianapolis knows how to rate and acquire talent because barring a trade, the Colts won’t have a draft choice in the top-20 for at least a decade. And they need help everywhere.    

-Did you see the way referee Walt Anderson ran to Brady’s aid after he clumsily scampered for nine yards near the end of the first half?  Ol’ Walt ran to the pile as if Brady were his own son.  Or, perhaps his grandson.    

-Once again, the league proved the rules that govern quarterback protection aren’t applied as stringently to all signal-callers. The deliberate, and unsportsmanlike effort by the Packers’ Clay Matthews to injure Wilson, warrants a suspension. The Seahawks should have made a point to earhole Rodgers in retaliation.  Credit to them for not doing so.  

-FOX is as culpable as its business partner (the NFL) by not replaying the Matthews hit incessantly.  A shot like that on, say, Matt Ryan might have led to a criminal investigation and a diatribe by both Troy Aikman and Joe Buck.  

-Someone has to remind me again how important a “number one” receiver is.  All the guys widely regarded as the best in today’s NFL, have never played in a Super Bowl. In fact, Larry Fitzgerald is the last great receiver to play on the season’s last Sunday.  If you’re thinking I forgot about Reggie Wayne, Demaryius Thomas, Victor Cruz and Marques Colston, I didn’t.  I just don’t think they qualify.  

-Did the Packers see cornerback Richard Sherman essentially playing with one arm?  Based on their unwillingness to challenge him, they must not have.  

-Packers coach Mike McCarthy is an easy scapegoat, but the Packers’ collapse is another reminder of how little difference a coach really makes these days.  

-If you’re going to criticize McCarthy, the fair way to do it is to question why he won’t fully commit to running the football ALL the time.  He has a quarterbacking legend and does own a championship ring.  But his squad gets pushed around far too often, because they don’t really want to play football. McCarthy’s Andy Reid-like grid is why the Packers keep falling short.  

-Cardale Jones’ decision to return to Ohio State to compete for the starting quarterback spot, hurts the Eagles. He looks every bit as prepared as Marcus Mariota to run Chip Kelly’s offense.  

-If you really want to know how head coaches used to impact professional football games, YouTube the 1992 NFC Championship game.  It features the single gutsiest, winningest decision I’ve ever seen.  Late in that game, former Dallas Cowboys coaching legend Jimmy Johnson chose aggression (twice) when most coaches choose timidity. That is how you win playoff games, especially in a hostile environment. 


 

Earl Myers is a freelance writer from the Philadelphia area.  He closely follows North America's four major sports leagues but just about any sporting event gets his attention.  His goal is to provoke a little thought in his readers.

Contact Earl at emyersiii@hotmail.com

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Russell Wilson photo: sportsworldreport.com