We argued six days ago the Seattle Seahawks rookie quarterback was being overlooked. That shouldn't be a problem from here on out.
Give Seahawks coach Pete Carroll credit. He was serious about this quarterback competition. Wilson won it fair and square, looking sensational in his first start Friday night against the Kansas City Chiefs, completing 13 of 19 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns.
Deadbeats said Wilson was too small, too short, too everything, but he plays above his 5-foot-11 frame, with a high release that finds receivers all over the field. He befuddled the Chiefs with deep strikes to (the now fallen) Terrell Owens and (possible starter) Braylon Edwards. He can run, too. Against K.C., he could do everything.
Wilson sits atop our rookie quarterback rankings, a proposition that would have sounded like rambling madness a month ago.
None of this is what Matt Flynn envisioned when he signed up for the Seattle gig, but it's why the preseason must be played out. Russell Wilson is our Quarterback of the Week. Let's plow through the rest of the hardware:
Drive of the week
Not a fun evening for the Buffalo Bills. After Ben Roethlisberger's**epic 98-yard march** put the Pittsburgh Steelers ahead 14-7 at halftime, Buffalo allowed another 24 points in the second half en route to a 38-7 drubbing. The score reads like a jailbreak. It wasn't that bad, but Big Ben went otherworldly before throwing a 6-yard scoring strike to Antonio Brown to end the half. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley's been portrayed as a ponderous Steel City buzzkill. Absurd. He threw the ball all over the place with the Arizona Cardinals and he's got one of the game's best in Roethlisberger.
Young Guns 2
We've mentioned Wilson; now to Nick Foles. We saw outstanding quarterback play from the Philadelphia Eagles rookie, who made mincemeat out of the Cleveland Browns' defense and outplayed counterpart Brandon Weeden. Foles impressed us by rebounding from an early interception to lead the Eagles on three scoring drives, throwing for 146 yards and two touchdowns along the way. Nick Foles fever is sweeping the countryside hard. Brood on it.
He said it
"Looks like we're saving all our touchdowns for the regular season." -- A totally unfunny Mark Sanchez, to NBC's Michele Tafoya, as the New York Jets treated their long-suffering fan base to yet another milquetoast sideshow Sunday night.
Coach of the week
This post is tilting Seahawks-heavy. Sorry about that, but Pete Carroll gets our vote. No. 1, because of the quarterback announcement. No. 2, because along with general manager John Schneider, Carroll has created competition all over the field. Seniority, greenbacks, perceived status are all tossed into the grinder. The Seahawks have become a wild, competitive team, and it didn't take long. I know Gregg Rosenthal sees them as an upset special in the NFC West. I have to agree. Seattle will make the playoffs this season, and Carroll's blueprint is going to be a hot ticket a year from now.
Front-office dude of the week
Any general manager who can pull off a trade while the owner live-tweets epic madness to scores of zombie followers gets our vote. Ryan Grigson, that means you. The Vontae Davis trade is a weird one, but it says a lot about the Colts and how they view themselves. The fans should be happy. Your owner wants to win -- today. He's hired people, like Grigson, who share his vision. All those who casually picked this team to end up as the worst in football might be sorry. By the way, Irsay couldn't care less: "If u don't like it," he tweeted Sunday, "buy ur own team and try to make the playoffs 9 seasons n a row n put together 7 straight 12 win seasons n a row as Owner!" BANG.
On our radar, Offense
Mike Shanahan's happy place is behind the wheel of a clown-car filled with 37 mid-tier running backs. This vehicle just pulled over and picked up Alfred Morris. Fantasy drones: You've been warned.
On our radar, Defense
A moment of silence for Woodcreek High School in Roseville, Calif., after their varsity football team was roasted on Friday by Folsom High's Jake Browning, a sophomore quarterback who -- in his debut -- threw for 686 yards and 10 touchdowns in a 68-28 season-opening frolic. CUT TO: Ken Whisenhunt on Line 4.
The Dalton Trophy
How easily we forget Andy Dalton's terrible preseason from a year ago. He didn't have the benefit of an offseason, and it showed. Dalton appeared overwhelmed against the vanilla defensive fronts and his physical gifts appeared marginal. The critics flocked.
By season's end, he was widely accepted as rookie of the year material. Dalton's leadership and confidence kicked in and A.J. Green didn't hurt.
Twenty years ago -- honestly, five years ago -- there was less heat on a newbie passer to sparkle this early. Today's news cycle and heavy over-analysis drop these kids into a fishbowl. Every pass, every drive is picked apart. Mainly because of our hunger for new stars in a game we can't get enough of.
Next week we'll hand out our Dalton Trophy, to the quarterback who didn't wow us, but just might by season's end.