A few days after a brilliant performance in the Seahawks' seasons-opening win, Russell Wilson unambiguously declared his lofty career goals.
"I come to play this game to be the best in the world," Wilson said. "That's just the bottom line. I don't wake up trying to be anything different… I want to be remembered, and I want to be able to leave a legacy that people can't ever forget."
When it comes to legacies, Wilson is still building his and will for years to come, but the first three games of this season have shown that, right now in 2020, nobody is playing the game better.
And after a record-setting start to his season, Wilson has been named the NFC Player of the Month for September. The choice of Wilson was an obvious one seeing as he won NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors for two of the three weeks this season, and because he's doing things never before accomplished by a quarterback.
In helping lead the Seahawks to a 3-0 start, Wilson has thrown a league-high 14 touchdown passes, the most ever in the first three games of a season. If he can throw three more against Miami this week, Wilson would also own the best four-game start for touchdown passes, passing Peyton Manning's 2013 mark of 16. Wilson's three straight games with four or more touchdown passes to start a season are a first in NFL history, and he is one of just five quarterbacks to throw five or more touchdown passes in consecutive games.
Wilson also leads the NFL in passer rating (139.0) and is second in completion percentage (76.7) and is third in average yards-per-attempt at 9.0. Wilson is also throwing a touchdown on 13.6 percent of every pass attempt, the highest mark in the league by a comically high margin. Second on that list is Buffalo's Josh Allen at 8.8 percent, meaning the 4.8-percent gap between Wilson and second place in touchdown percentage is the same as the gap between second-place Allen and 22nd-place Dwayne Haskins. And in Sunday's win over Dallas, Wilson led his 33 game-winning drive in the fourth quarter or overtime, postseason included, the most in the NFL since he came into the league in 2012.
And while Wilson hasn't run often to start his ninth season, he's making the most of it when he does, gaining 90 yards on 14 carries, good for a 6.4 yards-per-carry average that is his best since 2014. Most importantly, Wilson is picking his spots well when it comes to running, turning six of those 14 rush attempts into first downs.
As Patriots coach Bill Belichick put it ahead of his team's game against Seattle, "He's more than a good quarterback; he's one of the top players in the league, and has been for his entire career. He's just a tremendous player, obviously tremendous person. He's just really good at everything. You have to defend the whole field with him. He's very dangerous in the pocket, out of the pocket, great deep ball passer, excellent vision, super competitive, hard to tackle. He's a great football player, and there's nobody I have more—I mean I respect a lot of players, all the players really—but he's certainly at the top of the list of people we compete against. He's really tough.
This year, like every year, Wilson's accuracy and touch throwing deep have been a big part of his success. Of those 14 touchdown passes, eight were what the Seahawks define as explosive passes (16-plus yards), and five were 29 yards or longer, a total that doesn't include the perfect deep pass he threw to DK Metcalf last week for a 62-yard gain before Metcalf fumbled at the 1-yard line.
"Russell is just a master at it," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said of Wilson's deep ball. "I don't think he's any better at it than it used to be; he has always been great at it. This has just been a stat for him that he's owned for years. Great awareness and sense and spatial savvy and all of that to create it, and then obviously the great physicals.
"It's a spectacle when he plays. I've had as much fun watching it as you guys, and I hope there's a bunch more."
This is Wilson's first time taking home Player of the Month honors—he has been named Player of the Week a franchise-best 11 times—and he is the first Seahawk to do so since 2018 when punter Michael Dickson and running back Chris Carson were honored in November and December.
Check out photos of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson from throughout the first nine seasons of his career.