Jan 6, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) rolls out on a pass play during the second half of the NFC Wild Card playoff game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. The Seahawks won 24-14. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Who's The Better QB, Russell Wilson Or Cam Newton?


I was procrastinating a bit today on NFL.com when I ran across this video where LaDainian Tomlinson and Brian Baldinger were debating which QB they’d rather start a franchise with: Russell Wilson or Cam Newton. Both concluded they’d rather have Newton, which makes absolutely no sense to me.

Lets take a look at some of the important numbers from 2012 that we use to evaluate QBs. You’ll want to note that Newton was in his 2nd year, while Wilson was still a rookie.

Wilson Newton
QB Rating 100.0 86.2
Comp % 64.1 57.7
Yards/Attempt 7.93 7.98
TDs 29 19
Ints 10 12
Red Zone Rating 107.5 68.8
4th Quarter Rating 102.7 94.8

As you can see, Wilson is clearly better in every important measure but one, and in that one, they two players are equal.

Dec 22, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) looks to pass in the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

None of that touches on the intangibles, that also tilts things in Wilson’s favor.  While Wilson is known as one of the league’s hardest workers, Newton is is known for expecting his athleticism to get him out of trouble. On top of that, while Wilson is is a natural leader who raises the play of everyone around him, Newton is known to pout whenever things don’t go his way.

Now, I know I’m a Russell Wilson homer. I make no attempt to hide that. I know there are going to be Carolina Panther fans who think I’m crazy, but that’s ok. There is simply no part of playing QB in which Newton is better than Wilson. Not one.

I just don’t see any grounds that someone might use to take Newton over Wilson. I guess there are those who might still knock Wilson because of his height, but hasn’t he already shown that isn’t a problem?

At this point in their development, Russell Wilson is clearly the better QB, and I just don’t see how anyone could disagree.

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Tags: Cam Newton Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks

  • Ben Rhodes

    Because Wilson has a better team, a better offensive line, better wide recievers, and a better defense to hold leads.

    • Hawk_Eye

      I think the quarterback makes the players around him better. Look at Manning, Brees and Brady. Tell me they don’t make their receivers and offense better.

    • 12thMan_Rising

      Wilson’s O-line struggled for most of 2012, and the receivers were so good that the team felt the need to spend there 1st and 4th round picks on the position. Lets not overstate the talent around Wilson.

      • Ben Rhodes

        The falcons had a good set of talent when they gave up a lot of picks to move up ad get Julio to add more explosiveness to the offense, I don’t think the Seahawks were in satisfied with the WR corps, just wanted to make it better.

    • Jeff W.

      Ben that Defense held some leads but blew four BIG games where Russel Wilson made what would have been a fourth quarter comeback. The three regular season games would have given the Hawks a 14-2 record. Home field in the playoffs and most likely a super bowl.

  • rigo ramirez

    Everyone always says ” Wilson has a better team around him”. Tavaris Jackson had the same team but did nothing. The difference was the the qb. Wilson beat Newton, Griffin, and Kaeprnick head to head last year. What else do you need to show he is a better qb. ?

    • 12thMan_Rising

      I’m not a fan of comparing QBs by wins, especially “head to head.” I mean, the players are never on the field at the same time, so i just don’t see how that’s a meaningful measure of their play.

      But you are completely correct about Jackson vs Wilson. The team was mostly the same, yet managed 4 more wins against a tougher schedule. Wilson made that much of a difference.

  • jimpassi

    thats kind of a unfair question cam had a slump last year
    russ mite have one this year i hope not but it’s not uncommon for second year Qb to have a slump. i think russ will do better this year than last but ya never know till it’s here. i am sure cam is a hard worker. he’s a good lookin kid
    all the players are hard workers or they leave the field.some of the hard workers dont make the team there playing for & have to go back home too try something else. some are lucky to get on pratice squad when they cut down to 54 players
    i would like it to be 56-7-8 that would give more depth. but it works ok with 54
    if a injury they can get another player next day from squad

    • 12thMan_Rising

      One of the things I’ve been campaigning for over the last few years is expanded rosters. I’l like to see practice squads go from 8 to 10, game day rosters go from 45 to 48, and rosters go from 53 to at least 55. This benefits everyone, and I just can’t imagine why it didn’t happen with the newest CBA.

  • Bpurd

    The best measurement would be to use Cam rookie season against Wilson’s.

    • 12thMan_Rising

      That shouldn’t be too tough to put together. I’ll dig up those stats and post an update in the next day or so.

  • Tony

    As a badgers fan I was ecstatic to see Wilson transfer here and he elevated a decent team into a national title contender, also a diehard Seahawks fan we had to suffer through the hasselback years and once Wilson stepped in he elevated the team from a .500 team to a possible Super Bowl contender. The kid has alot more talent around him as far as o line I would say but outside of that the assets on offense and defense are the same. With newton v Wilson I see favre v Rodgers…one makes plays happen but also commits alot of stupid plays and the other just dissects a defense and makes drives. Both are good but Wilson understands the game better I believe and is much smarter with the ball

    • SkeleTony X

      Agree about Hasselbeck. People tend to forget just how many games he himself personally lost with his boneheaded INTs thrown in OT or late in the 4th. Was very rare that his performance would be in line with the rest of the team’s to enable us to beat someone up. I am so glad he and Holmgren are gone.

      • Hawkman54

        Just remember why the team got so bad- it wasn’t Holmgren or Hasselbeck to blame BUT Tim Ruskell that ran the team into the ground.

    • Hawkman54

      Couldn’t disagree more about Hasselbeck. He was literally trying to survive play by play because the O-line had gotten so terrible. All he did was almost be the only player that had any skill left on the team to try and get a win!

  • Bruce McDermott

    To me, what was most nuts was Baldinger, appearing on the Bob and Groz show, asserting the same preference for Newton, but admitting that Wilson had the edge in “leadership and composure”. NO great QB lacks those things. Period. And he admits that Newton does. And the chances that he develops them to the right level are not a sure thing, to put it mildly.

    This is yet another example of even experts focusing on differences in tools and physical measurables (which are not as different as he thinks, in any event–Wilson is a superb athlete ) and ignoring actual performance differences. I can flat out guarantee that if Wilson were 6′ 3″ and had been drafted #1 overall, with these stats from both QBs from last year Baldinger would be singing a different tune.

  • SkeleTony X

    Newton is probably the faster and more athletic and powerful runner. But I give the edge to Wilson as well.

    • 12thMan_Rising

      You’re right about Newton being a better runner, but success as an NFL QB is entirely based on his passing ability. Any running talents are nice, but they don’t dictate the success the QB will have.

  • Wyatt Converse

    Here Here!!

  • Hawkman54

    Amen- I wish you would actually expand your site and articles- I go to BR occaisionally, But the Idiots that either Troll or some that say they are fans but do nothing but bash their own team ( so they say). It is breath of fresh air to read your stories and the fans comments. Thank you