Russell Wilson, who will face the Ravens on Sunday, has many similarities with injured Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.
While Flacco is recovering from knee surgery, Wilson is leading the Seahawks (7-5) on a late-season surge that could have them playoff bound again. While their playing styles are dramatically different, Flacco and Wilson share similar traits, such as:
Flacco has been on six playoff teams in his eight years with the Ravens. He capped the 2012 season with a brilliant postseason and a Super Bowl MVP.
Wilson has won a Super Bowl, came close to winning another, and has made the playoffs every season since entering the NFL in 2012.
“He has obviously done a great job from the first moment he set foot in the National Football League,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of Wilson on Wednesday.
Flacco parlayed his Super Bowl success into a six-year $120.6 million contract, one that will have to be adjusted during the offseason to give the Ravens more salary cap flexibility.
Wilson signed a four-year, $87.6 million contract extension in August, which has forced the Seahawks to make some tough roster decisions. However, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll knows Wilson is worth it.
“Every year you make difficult decisions at the end of the season,” Carroll said during a conference call Wednesday. “We were in a situation when Russell was young, where he was on our team, we were able to – on his rookie contract- maneuver in some regards. We knew this was coming the whole time, so it’s not something that surprised us or caught us off guard.”
Before his season-ending knee injury last month, Flacco had started 122 straight games. Wilson will be making his 61st consecutive start Sunday without missing a game. Wilson’s elusiveness helps him stay healthy, but it’s not like Wilson doesn’t get hit. Wilson and Alex Smith of the 49ers have been sacked more times (38) than any quarterbacks in the National Football League. However, Wilson has answered the bell every week.
The Ravens wish they could put Flacco in the lineup Sunday. Instead, they will start either Matt Schaub or Jimmy Clausen.
However, Wilson will be lineup Sunday for Seattle. And for the Ravens, that could be a major problem.