At just 25-years of age and with a Super Bowl championship already under his belt after just two seasons in the NFL, Russell Wilson is already setting himself up for a run at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. There’s still a mountain of work to be done on his end before we can actually start calling him a future hall of famer, but for quarterbacks, the quickest way to get there is through championships, and in that regard, he’s off to a great start.
As important as championships are for quarterbacks, statistics are just as big of a deal. The NFL isn’t loaded with shoo-in hall of fame candidates. Still, we can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will both be inductees after they retire, and conveniently enough, they’re also both quarterbacks, making comparison somewhat simple.
Statistically, Wilson is right where he needs to be. Manning’s totals may far outpace Wilson’s, but Manning operated much of his career in Indianapolis with no running game to speak of. In his first two seasons starting for the Patriots, Brady threw for 6,607 yards, compared to Wilson’s 6,475. In addition to nearly equaling Brady’s yardage totals, Wilson has thrown more touchdowns (52 vs. 46) and fewer interceptions (19 vs. 26) than Brady. And oh-by-the-way, Wilson’s career average yards per attempt is higher than Brady’s career average.
In addition to being more than a competent young passer, Wilson has the ability to open up defenses using his legs, something Manning and Brady just don’t do. In a way, that may be his eventual downfall too. Should Wilson suffer an injury while scrambling, his mobility may be compromised, and much of his passing success comes outside the pocket.
If, however, Wilson is able to avoid injury throughout most of his career, it would appear that he’ll be able to make a legitimate run at the hall of fame. Right now, his statistics are on firm ground, and with one Super Bowl already under his belt, he has plenty of time to reach two, three or even more. While winning two Super Bowls may not guarantee entrance into the hall, one would certainly believe three would, and with the Seahawks looking like a strong team for years to come, he may have an opportunity to knock those out in somewhat short order.
In fact, Wilson’s greatest asset may not be his own talent. Statistics are a huge factor in determining what players are selected to enter the hall of fame, and as a quarterback, statistics are very fluid depending on the team that he is surrounded by. In Wilson’s case, the Seahawks are the best overall team in the league. There’s no glaring holes that need to be filled, and that gives Wilson a better opportunity week in and week out to win games with solid stats.
It’s way, way too early to even begin calling Wilson a future hall of famer. After two seasons, he’s the most promising young quarterback in the league, but we have to take his performances with a grain of salt as well. What if a team like the Jaguars would have drafted him? Would he even be on our radar? Wilson has a bright, long career still in front of him, and if his team remains solid around him, that career may have more Super Bowls yet to come and possibly an induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.