Seahawks are passing through gauntlet of NFL’s top-rated QBs

Rivers and Manning

Plenty has been made of the fact that Russell Wilson is undefeated against the best quarterbacks in the league over his first two-plus seasons: Aaron Rodgers (twice), Drew Brees (twice), Peyton Manning, Tom Brady.

But who is largely responsible for him beating those quarterbacks? Seattle’s defense, of course.

The Hawks, who beat Brees, Colin Kaepernick and Manning last postseason as they claimed the first Super Bowl title in franchise history, face a trio of the best QBs to start this season as well: Rodgers, Philip Rivers and Manning.

Rodgers, Manning and Rivers are the three top-rated active quarterbacks in the NFL (Brady and Brees are fourth and sixth), and they are 1-2-4 in NFL history (Steve Young ranks third, ahead of Rivers). These guys are so good they basically run their offenses, calling plays in their fast-paced, no-huddle schemes.

If you look at it from what we saw last week, this week and next week against Denver, we’re seeing very similar expertise,” coach Pete Carroll said. “The guys really understand the game to such great depth that their coaches have recognized that and given them the opportunity to run the game at the line of scrimmage.

“They get to utilize their strengths by seeing what they want to see, changing what they need to change,” Carroll said, “so I think we’re as challenged as you can get by the level of play by these guys. There is no drop-off and it’s amazing that we see three terrific quarterbacks right in a row.”

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San Diego conjures lots of memories for Wilson

Rivers, Wilson and Qualcomm
Philip Rivers and Harrison Wilson III, father of Russell Wilson (Getty and Dartmouth Athletics)

As the Seahawks get set to play their first real game in San Diego since 2002 — the year they returned to the NFC West after 25 years in the AFC West with the Chargers — it’s almost like homecoming weekend for Russell Wilson, too.

Seattle’s third-year quarterback is heading back to the place where his dad flirted with an NFL career, and he also will be facing the quarterback who set the standard at North Carolina State a few years before Wilson shot to stardom there.

“For me,” Wilson said, “it’s a special thing to get to go back there to Qualcomm Stadium and play in that stadium.”

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