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Ranking Russell’s Performances

September 28, 2009
I was thinking back on the Pitt game, wondering where Russell Wilson’s performance — where he racked up 413 total yards and threw for four scores — ranked among his best performances to date.

The conclusion I came to is that Saturday may have been the most complete football game played in his young career.

In my mind, his top three games are the 2008 Miami game, the 2008 UNC game and the Pitt game. The ECU game was a solid game as well, and is worthy being included in the top three discussion.

When I force myself to slot them, here’s how I rank them:

3. 2008 UNC: I realize the final score, and I realize that Russell made the Heel defenders look silly at times, but this one didn’t make the top slot on the list because the game was decided more by turnovers than Russell’s incredible play.

2. 2008 Miami: This was Russell’s most dazzling rushing performance. His 58 official rushing yards aren’t a true gauge of his total rushing stats…add back in the 35 yards surrendered through five sacks and it’s a more representative total of 93 yards. His 29-yard touchdown was awe inspiring as he spanned sideline to sideline. The deceptively quick Wilson left Miami defenders haplessly diving for his ankles. Wilson only threw for 220 yards and two scores, but his rushing and juking ability cemented his place as a phenomenal talent in the league.

1. Pitt: I know it’s only been a few days so it’s fresher in my mind, but this was Wilson’s most complete game from start to finish. He made plays with his feet (the HUGE 4th and 12 conversion) and plays with his arm (Jarvis Williams’ touchdown catch and his 3rd down conversion toss over the middle in the face of Pitt’s blitz). Wilson showed his complete repertoire and regained that confidence to tuck and run the instant it called for it, unlike the hesitancy he showed in the South Carolina game. This was a pure clinic from start to finish.

I may be wrong, and I want to hear your thoughts on the matter.

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