Dirty Dining

Wilson winning over owners
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Guess who leads all rookie quarterbacks in passing touchdowns.

If you said Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III; those are good guesses, but wrong. And if you said Ryan Lindley, you might want to make like Champ Kind of "Anchorman" and sit the next couple of plays out. The correct answer is the guy who went 75th overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks.

Wilson won Seahawks coach Pete Carroll's favor in the preseason with some electric multi-purpose skills, but he's taken a little longer to win over fantasy owners.

Through five games, Wilson had a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 5-5. He only eclipsed 160 passing yards once in those five games despite going 3-2.

Then, as quickly as he came to be Seattle's starter, Wilson emerged as a fantasy force. He threw for 293 yards and three touchdowns in a comeback victory over New England in Week 6, and after a dud on a Thursday night versus San Francisco, he's put together five straight multi-touchdown games.

How he reached No. 5 Sunday at Chicago was nothing short of extraordinary. The Seahawks were 1-5 on the road coming into the game and were well on their way to 1-6, down 14-10 with 3:40 left and the ball on their own 3-yard line.

Wilson had 178 passing yards on 14-of-25 with zero touchdowns and 24 rushing yards at the time, but he engineered a John Elway-esque drive to put his team ahead, completing 6-of-9 for 77 yards and running twice for 19 yards.

After Seattle drew a 10-yard penalty to set up third-and-14 with 1:41 left, Wilson completed four straight passes, including a 27-yarder to Sidney Rice with 0:43 seconds left and a 14-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate 19 seconds later.

Fortunately for fantasy owners, Wilson got a chance for more when his defense broke down, allowing Bears QB Jay Cutler to hit Brandon Marshall for a 56-yard gain with 20 seconds left, which led to a Robbie Gould 46-yard game-tying field goal as time expired.

The Bears would never get the ball back.

Wilson took over on the 20-yard line to start overtime and piloted another tremendous drive, completing 3-of-3 and rushing three times for 28 yards. On third-and-10 in field goal range, Wilson didn't settle for three. He found Doug Baldwin for 12 yards to set up a 13-yard touchdown to Sidney Rice to steal a win from the vaunted Chicago defense.

On the final two drives of the game, Wilson ran for 47 yards and completed 9- of-12 for 115 yards with two touchdowns. He was perfect on his final eight passes of the game.

Wilson has 19 passing scores, two better than Luck and three better than RGIII. While Wilson isn't yet in the same fantasy class as those two, he's definitely on the rise.

Wilson has a tough schedule over the next three weeks with the fantasy playoffs set to begin in most leagues -- Seattle faces Arizona, Buffalo and San Francisco, in that order. The defenses of Arizona and San Francisco carry a reputation, and Buffalo's Swiss cheese unit has actually patched the holes recently, allowing just three passing touchdowns over the last three games.

Still, if fantasy owners want to roll with the hot hand, there aren't many players with a higher mercury reading than Russell Wilson right now.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at tharrigan@sportsnetwork.com.

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