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Rookie QB rankings: Russell Wilson coming on strong

Gregg Rosenthal will watch every rookie quarterback snap all season long and rank their performance weekly based on that week's game only. Football is good.

In a normal season, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson would be the runaway pick for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. He'd be on the cover of magazines and start receiving commercial offers.

This is not a normal season.

Wilson hasn't received the attention given to Robert Griffin III or Andrew Luck, and he wasn't playing at their level early in the season. One of the treats of writing this weekly column has been getting to see Wilson's week-to-week improvement. He's a different player than he was in September. Give him a lot of credit for his development. And give the Seahawks' coaching staff credit for bringing him along.

This is the first time Wilson has ranked first, and it wasn't that close. Wilson completed a lot of difficult, tight-window throws throughout Sunday's win over the Chicago Bears. He orchestrated long touchdown drives with the game on the line. He made a poor throw and a poor read in the red zone early in the game, but he otherwise played an outstanding game.

The Seahawks have been understandably hesitant to use Wilson as a runner too much, but he repeatedly took advantage of his wheels on read-option plays against the Bears. It was a mature performance and ridiculously good on the last two drives.

Early in the season, the Seahawks were coaching around Wilson. In back-to-back weeks, Wilson has carried the offense.

The nation saw a fairly typical RG3 performance Monday night against the New York Giants. There were some electric runs. There were a lot of plays in which the Giants' defense looked confused, and RG3 strafed them on play-action passes. There was a little bit of magic and a little bit of luck.

Griffin actually was less accurate than usual, killing a few early drives with missed open throws. But Griffin, not Eli Manning, made all the crucial decisions and plays in the fourth quarter to win the game for the Redskins.

Luck threw an interception, down 12 points, with 6:40 to go. And the Colts still beat the Detroit Lions. He faced a fourth down inside his own 30-yard line, down 12 points, with under four minutes to go. And he found a way to win. Luck was fortunate that a potential interception was dropped during his wild comeback, but you have to give the kid huge credit for pulling off these amazing moments week after week.

We also have to knock him down the list for making a lot of mistakes in the first place against the Lions. It says a lot about Luck that one of his roughest games of the season proved to be his most memorable yet.

It's hard to argue with Foles' performance Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, when the Eagles scored 33 points, Foles averaged more than 7 yards per attempt and didn't throw an interception. Foles does a nice job moving in the pocket, and he looked much more comfortable than he did during his first two games. A month more of games like this would have the Eagles very excited about Foles' progress.

It's unfair he's ranked fifth. Weeden averaged more than 10 yards per attempt and directed his best drive of the year with a 94-yard march in the fourth quarter to put away the Oakland Raiders. Weeden also had a couple of interceptions and too many loose throws, which happens even in the positive weeks. Weeden now has three games over 300 yards.

Tannehill seems to be at the point of his rookie season when you aren't sure what you will get on a week-to-week basis. It happens. Last week was awesome. This week against the New England Patriots was rough. Tannehill just wasn't very accurate. I haven't seen him miss this many open receivers all season. Then again, he did have one of the sweeter rushing touchdowns of the season.

The less said about this performance against the New York Jets, the better. In hindsight, it almost wasn't fair that Ken Whisenhunt kept trotting out a helpless Lindley when the Cardinals' Week 1 starter, John Skelton, was healthy on the bench. Skelton will start this week.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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