We called Seattle Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson the new favorite to start in Week 1 for Pete Carroll's crew. Friday night's performance in a 44-14 preseason victory should seal the deal.
Wilson, a third-round draft pick out of Wisconsin, was excellent once again, leading the Seahawks to 30 points against the Kansas City Chiefs' first-team defense in less than 35 minutes of action. Wilson then stayed in against the Chiefs' reserves, leading the Seahawks to another touchdown drive while playing with the rest of the Seahawks' backups. Carroll wanted to get Wilson as much work as possible.
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Wilson completed 13 of 19 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed twice for 58 yards in a performance that could make him the record fifth rookie starting quarterback to start this season.
The rushing ability should break the tie for Wilson over Matt Flynn, who sat out Friday night with a sore elbow.
Wilson has shown occasional inaccuracy on throws down the field and he took a few sacks, but he has made terrific decisions overall. He completed four plays over 20 yards, including a gorgeous 32-yard toss to Braylon Edwards and a 40-yard play to Terrell Owens.
It was a great game by Wilson, and yet it somehow felt unremarkable. It felt like we were watching a veteran having a nice tune-up before the season. It's not hard to see why Carroll loves this kid so much. We're starting to love the kid, too.
We had the Seahawks penciled in as a surprise winner of the NFC West before Wilson emerged in camp. That pick isn't going to change.