Seahawks vs Dolphins: Deeper look at Russell Wilson and Ryan Fitzpatrick

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 02: Ryan Fitzpatrick (now with the Dolphins) and Russell Wilson of the Seahawks. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 02: Ryan Fitzpatrick (now with the Dolphins) and Russell Wilson of the Seahawks. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

When the Seahawks and Dolphins face off Sunday, we’ll see two of the game’s best QBs. That depends on which version of Fitzgerald shows up, of course.

The Seahawks boast one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks ever in Russell Wilson. He’s clearly the early leader for league MVP. That tends to happen when you’ve thrown for 14 touchdowns versus one interception. Nevertheless, I can’t say he’ll absolutely be the better QB on the field Sunday. In any given game, Ryan Fitzpatrick can be just as good as Wilson. The difference is that number 3 is far more often DangeRuss than number 14 is FitzMagic.

Let’s take a deeper dive into the numbers, shall we? When Fitzpatrick is on, he’s a top-five QB. I’ll use passer rating as a broadly acceptable yardstick of performance. Fitzy has 39 games in his career with a passer rating over 100. He also has 33 games with a passer rating below 60. I didn’t count games in which he had ten or fewer attempts. You can add three more games to both columns if you want to include 2-2 and 0-1 outings; I don’t.

In those 39 100-plus games, FitzMagic led his team to a 27-12 record. That’s a .692 winning percentage. Per 16 games, that’s an 11-5 season, and you’re in the playoffs. When he was FitzTragic and had a sub-60 point rating, his teams were an astounding 1-32. Listen, I know it’s hard to win when your quarterback has a bad game, but one out of 33 games is utter trash. The single win was a 16-13 win over the Jets, in which Fitzy threw for 116 yards, one score, and one pick. Yeah, that seems pretty bad.


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So let’s take a look at the same numbers for Mr. Russell Carrington Wilson. DangeRuss has an incredible 68 games at or above the magic number of 100. I will admit, he was limited a few times, as he has nine games below a passer rating of 60. When Wilson goes over 100, the Seahawks are a mere 58-10. That’s a .853 winning percentage. In a 16 game season, that’s closer to 14 wins than it is to 13. When Russ isn’t cooking as well as usual, the Hawks are 3-6. That tells me he still finds ways to win, and that he has a great team around him as well.

Over their careers, obviously, Russell Wilson has the edge in big performances. As noted, he’s hit 100 or above in 68 of 131 games, or 52 percent of every contest. He’s played poorly in just nine of those career outings, for a minuscule 6.8 percent of all games. To be even more mathy, DangeRuss is more than seven times as likely to have a great game as a bad one. In an average season, Wilson will have eight great games and just one bad showing.

As for Fitzgerald, he’s had big games 39 of 159 times. That’s just 24.5 percent of all his games. He’s played poorly in 33 of those contests, or 20.7 percent of the time. Basically, Fitzy is great a fourth of the time and awful a fifth of the time. Over a full season, you can expect Fitzgerald to have four great games and three bad outings.

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Listen, I like Ryan Fitzgerald a lot. He’s bright, he’s funny, and he’s a terrific team player. He just isn’t the most consistent guy around. As for this Sunday, I think we’ll see a bit of the FitzTragic version this week. I certainly expect Russell Wilson to win the quarterback duel. Yeah, I’m going way out on a limb with that prediction, I know.