Russell Wilson is enjoying a resurgent season in 2023. The Denver Broncos quarterback boasts the NFL's best touchdown-to-turnover margin with 19 scores and just four picks, putting him just shy of a 5-1 ratio. Wilson is playing some of the most efficient football in the NFL, completing a career-high 69 percent of his passes this year, just 1.2 percent behind Dallas' Dak Prescott for the best mark in the NFL.
Of the 27 quarterbacks with at least 250 passing attempts this season, Wilson's four interceptions tie him with Kenny Pickett and Derek Carr for the fewest in the NFL. Russ' strong play begs the question: How many NFL quarterbacks are playing better than Russ this year? Let's take a look.
First, here are Russell Wilson's stats, via ESPN: 69% completion, 2,065 yards, 19 touchdowns, four interceptions, 232 rush yards, 104.3 quarterback rating, and a 50.6 QBR.
Definitively better: Lamar Jackson (BAL), Dak Prescott (DAL), Justin Herbert (LA), CJ Stroud (HOU), Brock Purdy (SF)
Only about five quarterbacks are definitively playing better football than Russell Wilson so far in 2023: Lamar, Dak, Stroud, Herbert, and Purdy. Lamar is a magic playmaker, who has rushed for just under 50 yards per game, thrown for around 220 yards per game, and is averaging around 1.5 total touchdowns a game. Lamar has posted a 100.1 QB rating and a 61.9 QBR. Lamar's passing numbers are very similar to Russ', but he has Russ in the running aspect.
Dak, on the other hand, leads the league in passing touchdowns, has only two more interceptions than Russ, and has a QBR of 75.8, second-best in the league. Dak is also averaging about 60 more yards per game through the air than Russ.
Justin Herbert is playing some of the best football of his career. The rest of his offense, however, is not. Herbert has lost some heartbreakers, and seen disappointing play from his skill positions, but is balling nonetheless. Herbert is averaging 260 yards a game, has thrown for 19 touchdowns, and just five giveaways. Herbert, however, is trouncing Russ in QBR by a measure of 71.7 to 50.6 but trails Russ in QB rating. The difference in yardage and QBR is too tall to overcome, however.
CJ Stroud is the leader in the clubhouse for Rookie of the Year, and before his stinker last week, was having probably the best season of any AFC quarterback. Stroud's rating of 99.3, QBR of 60.6, and near 300 yards per game are incredible numbers for a rookie, to go along with 17 touchdowns and five interceptions. However, it is hard to look at this without looking at his numbers before his most recent game last week. Stroud, who needed three interceptions in one game to reach five on the year, is still playing better football than Russell Wilson.
Brock Purdy should be the NFL MVP if the season ended tomorrow. Through 11 games, Purdy has 19 touchdowns, just six interceptions, leads one of the NFL's most prolific offenses, and leads the league in QB rating, QBR, and completion percentage. Purdy has been the best quarterback in football, and if not for anything else, is in the perfect system for himself in San Francisco. Purdy is playing better quarterback than any other quarterback and is currently putting up the 15th-best season in NFL history by completion percentage.