Russell Wilson vs the Cardinals: a full season’s performance

The Seahawks face the Cardinals for the fifteenth time in Russell Wilson’s career today. This is what a full season against them looks like.

I don’t think I have to sell you on the greatness of Russell Wilson. There should be no doubt he’s on pace to be one of the league’s best ever. He’s been my game MVP twice already, and he could easily be the MVP in most games. With today’s game, let’s look at how Wilson’s performance against the Cardinals stacks up compared to his overall career.

First, let’s establish our baseline for an average DangeRuss season. Wilson has now played 115 games. I could cheat and not count the three games this season, but I’m going full mathy and including them. He’s averaged 302 completions on 468 attempts for 3,690 yards. In a typical season, Wilson throws 28 touchdowns and just 9 interceptions. Actually it’s 8.77 picks per season, but we’re rounding to make this a bit more realistic.

Wilson’s averages all stay the same, of course. He completes 64.5 percent of his passes, throws three times as many TDs as picks, and has a passer rating of 100.9. On the downside, he gets sacked 43 times a season. His won-loss record averages to 11-5. If you ask me, that’s a pretty darn good player.

Russell Wilson is still pretty good vs Arizona

So how does DangeRuss stack up when he faces the Cardinals? Zona fans may not be too surprised, but he’s actually a bit worse against Arizona. Not drastically so, as you’ll see, but he does fall off a bit. I’ve pro-rated his actual stats to a 16-game season because we’re not talking about Jim Zorn here. You can see his actual numbers in his head-head stats here.

Over a 16 game season, Russell Wilson versus the Cardinals would look like this. He would have 283 completions on 464 attempts. He’d roll up 3,416 yards, 25 touchdowns, and 6 picks. That’s fewer yards and touchdowns, but also fewer interceptions than his average game. His completion percentage drops from 64.5 percent to 61.1 percent. It isn’t a huge difference, but it’s enough to drop his passer rating from 100.9 to 96.6. Arizona would also sack him 51 times over 16 games.

So that plays out as a somewhat tougher career for Wilson, assuming the Seahawks played no one but the Cardinals. Since his legs are a big part of his game, we can’t skip that. Over his career, Wilson has run 92 times for 519 yards and 2.5 touchdowns. Sorry, no rounding on the last one. He’s also fumbled 10 times. In his Cardinals “season”, Wilson would have 86 carries for 488 yards and one score. He’d also have 15 fumbles. Again, it’s tougher going against Arizona.

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So breaking it all down, Wilson should complete 18 of 29 passes for 214 yards. He’ll throw two touchdowns and no picks. That’s really rounding; the average would be 1.56 TDs and .38 INTs. The real takeaway is that he still averages four touchdown passes for every interception. In reality, Wilson is 5-1-1 when the Hawks visit the Cards. He’s thrown 11 touchdowns to just one pick in Arizona. They play Wilson tougher than most teams, but I still like his record. I definitely like the odds for Russell Wilson in this game.

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