Russell Wilson could join an exclusive quarterback club when the Seattle Seahawks welcome NFC western rivals San Francisco 49ers on Sunday afternoon.
Wilson has scored 249 touchdowns in his career to date and, with 250 touchdown passes in his first nine NFL seasons, would become only the third quarterback in NFL history if he were to throw for at least one TD on Sunday.
It would be a significant milestone for Wilson, as only two-time Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning and Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino have broken the 250 touchdown barrier in their first nine seasons in the league. Manning threw 275 passes in his first nine years with the Indianapolis Colts, while Marino scored 266 touchdowns in his first nine seasons with the Miami Dolphins.
A win on Sunday would strengthen Seattle’s control of NFC West – the Seahawks lead the league 5-1, with the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams 5-2 and the 49ers 4-3 – and Wilson would equal Manning’s 92 passes with a quarterback in his first nine seasons in NFL history, the most regular season wins in the league.
Wilson currently has 100 career wins between the regular season and the playoffs, and a win against the 49ers would tie him to Tom Brady for the most quarterback wins in his first nine seasons in NFL history when you combine the regular season and playoff games.
The Seahawks’ quarterback also needs three touchdowns to become the only player in NFL history besides Manning to score at least 25 touchdown passes in seven of his first nine seasons in the league. Since joining the league in 2012, Wilson has only missed at least 25 touchdowns in the 2014 and 2016 seasons and has scored at least 30 touchdowns in the last three consecutive seasons.
Wilson is well on the way to destroying his 34 touchdown passes this season as the Seahawks have turned away from the running game that has been their calling card for years and, to use a familiar chorus from the early weeks of the season, have had to “boil soot”.
The impact of Seattle’s newfound philosophy on the quarterback is frightening.
Wilson leads the league with 22 touchdown passes and a passer-by rating of 119.5 so far this season through six games, scoring 58 touchdowns in 16 games.
This would break the NFL’s single season record of 55, which Manning set in 2013 in his second season with the Denver Broncos.
But Wilson was uncharacteristically headstrong, as the Seahawks’ perfect start to the season ended with a 37-34 overtime defeat to Cardinals on Sunday night football.
The Seahawks’ quarterback threw 388 yards and three touchdowns for a season high, but only threw three interceptions for the fourth time in nine seasons. It was the first time since week 1 of the 2018 season that the Super Bowl XLVIII had thrown several interceptions in a regular season game.
The third interception on his night with just over a minute left in overtime allowed the Cardinals to score the winning goal that Zane Gonzalez duly converted to seal the game for Arizona.
On Sunday, the Seahawks face another league rival when the 49ers visit Seattle.
San Francisco secured the top spot in the NFC overall with a 26-21 win in Seattle in week 17 of last season, but Wilson has scored a remarkable success against the 49ers and has been 13-3 up against them since joining the NFL.
In eight career starts in his home game against San Francisco, he has scored 17 touchdowns and only three interceptions to score 106.6.
The 49ers bring up the rear of the NFC West with a 4-3 record, while the Seahawks lead the league 5-1, half a game ahead of the Cardinals and the Los Angeles Rams.