Russell Wilson's focus remains on Jesus during historic five-game stretch

by Lee Warren, Newswriter |
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson throws a pass in the second quarter against the Baltimore Ravens on Dec. 13. | Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY Sports

SEATTLE (CHRISTIAN EXAMINER) — Before last Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson tweeted the text of John 3:30: "He must increase, but I must decrease."

"He must increase, but I must decrease."

The tweet came as the media focuses on his record-breaking run of five straight games and counting with at least three touchdowns and no interceptions. Over those five games, he has tossed 19 touchdowns with no interceptions — including completing 21 of 30 passes for 249 yards and three touchdowns this past Sunday in a 30-13 win over the Browns.

Monday morning, he tweeted John 3:30 again. In fact, he's been tweeting that same verse every day going back to Sept. 8 — the day he declared it to be his Bible verse of the year (season).

This is his fourth season in the league, and so far it has been his best — in spite of the fact that he has already led the Seahawks to a win over Denver in Super Bowl XLVIII (2014). In 14 games this season, he's thrown for more touchdowns (29) and yards (3,538) than in his three previous seasons. He also has a higher passer rating.

But not everybody is convinced he's a top-tier quarterback. When meeting with the press before the game last week, Cleveland head coach Mike Pettine gave the Seahawks bulletin board material when asked about Wilson's ability.

"Would you put him there with the guys that can transcend their supporting cast?" Pettine said. "The (Tom) Bradys, whether it's Aaron Rodgers, (Drew) Brees, (Ben) Roethlisberger, the ones that you would consider the two, three, four elite guys? No. But he's certainly played himself into that next tier."

After the Cleveland game, Wilson had the highest passer rating in the NFL at 111.4. He's ahead of Brady (who is fourth at 103.8), Rodgers (12th at 95.2), Brees (7th at 97.9) and Roethlisberger (tenth at 96.4).

Cleveland quarterback Johnny Manziel didn't seem to agree with his coach regarding Wilson. After the Seahawks routed his team, the former Heisman tropy winner weighed in on the topic.

"In my opinion, I think Russell is a top-tier guy," Manziel said. "He has 20 touchdowns and no interceptions, or shoot maybe even more, over the last five games. Find another guy around the league that's doing that. There's not many of them. There's not five or 10, I know that."

He gave Wilson credit for one more touchdown that he has actually thrown during that stretch, but his point was well taken.

Wilson didn't seem fazed by Pettine's comments.

"Yeah, I heard about it," Wilson said. "It's not my focus. Never really has been. Never will be. I always tell you guys I ignore the noise. Ultimately, it comes down to winning."

He stays on point on social media, too — often finding ways to express his faith or sharing pictures of his visits to children who are hospitalized.

In the documentary, "The Making of a Champion," Wilson spoke about how he became a Christian at the age of 14 after having a dream in which he says Jesus appeared to him in his room and said, "Hey, you need to find out more about me." Wilson says he went to church the next Sunday and got saved.

His mother, Tammy, has seen the difference his faith has made in his life. She says when he doesn't know what to do, he reads his Bible.

"I always will say to him, Russell, this is something you need to talk to the Lord about and you need to pray about and you need to be willing to listen to what He tells you," she said.