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April 14, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Monday links: ESPN calls Wilson Seattle’s best player

ESPN has finished its list of the top Seahawks players, concluding that quarterback Russell Wilson deserves the top honors.

Writes author Terry Blount:

For anyone else you want to name, you at least could make a reasonable argument that the team still would have won the Super Bowl without him.

But without Wilson? Not a chance. He led the team to its first Super Bowl championship in his second NFL season.

Wilson sometimes gets criticized for being just a game manager in an offense that emphasizes a power running game. Anyone who believes that hasn’t watched Wilson play much and hasn’t seen all the remarkable things he does.

I wouldn’t disagree with any of that. I did numerous interviews with out-of-town radio stations this year where the topic always turned to Wilson and usually fixated on his stats. But to just look at Wilson’s numbers was to miss all that he meant to the Seahawks in 2013, especially in working behind an injury-riddled offensive line — recall that Wilson was sacked 44 times, a pretty astonishing number for a team that was as dominant in every other way as the Seahawks, and tied the number of Seattle’s defensive sacks.

Wilson also worked with a receiving corps that was never quite what the team envisioned it would be with Percy Harvin missing all but one regular season game and Sidney Rice gone for the year at mid-season.

What the Seahawks want most in Wilson is to make the smart plays and take care of the ball. He now has a 52-19 touchdown-to-interception ratio, and is 6-1 in his career in the playoffs, including 3-0 last season.

And how is this for consistency? Wilson’s regular-season passer ratings are 100.0 and 101.2 — each the two best in Seattle history — and 101.0 and 101.6 in his two playoff runs, totaling five games.

That would be the second-best in NFL  history if Wilson had enough attempts (he needs 20 more to qualify) behind only the 104.8 of Bart Starr, who basically defined quarterbacking in the NFL playoffs.

As Blount states, while other players are hugely valuable, quarterbacks make it all go.

Consider Seattle’s challenge this season in attempting to become the ninth team in the Super Bowl era to repeat.

Here’s a list of the quarterbacks who have led teams to consecutive Super Bowl wins:

Bart Starr, Green Bay

Bob Griese, Miami

Terry Bradshaw, Pittsburgh,

Joe Montana, San Francisco

Troy Aikman, Dallas

John Elway, Denver

Tom Brady, New England

Hall of Famers (or will-be-soon Hall of Famers) all.

That’s the rarefied air Wilson has already begun to ascend to roughly 24 months after many observers wondered what the heck the Seahawks were doing taking him in the third round of the draft.

IN OTHER NEWS. …

— Nice story on J.R. Sweezy from his hometown newspaper.

Michael Robinson, who remains an unsigned free agent, getting ready to make a return visit to The Young and the Restless.

Matt Flynn, who two years ago at this time was projected as Seattle’s QB of the future, hoping for another chance with the New York Giants.

— Lots of good stuff here in Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback.

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