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Odds of Russell Wilson Breaking Peyton Manning’s Single-Season Passing Record

Russell Wilson under center.
Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks has 14 touchdown passes through three games. Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire.
  • Russell Wilson has thrown for 14 touchdown passes through three games this season, which is an NFL record in the first three games
  • Wilson is currently on pace for 75 touchdown passes
  • Can he break Peyton Manning’s single-season record of 55 touchdown passes?

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has had an incredible start to the 2020 NFL season. As a matter of fact, no quarterback has ever done what he’s done through three games, which is throw for 14 touchdowns in his first three contests. While he’s on pace to break Peyton Manning’s touchdown record from 2013, is he a good bet to do so? Let’s take a closer look at this prop.

Odds Russell Wilson Breaks Peyton Manning’s Single-Season Touchdown Record

Result Odds
Yes (56 or More) +400
No (55 or Less) -700

Odds as of Sept. 30th

Wilson Has Been on a Tear

All offseason, we heard that the Seahawks were going to “let Russ cook”. In other words, they were going to focus less on their running game and allow Wilson to drop back with much more frequency and air it out. So far, that’s exactly what we’ve seen from the Seahawks. Wilson averaged 32.3 pass attempts per game last season. He’s at 34.3 this season.

What’s more impressive is what he’s done with those attempts as Wilson is completing 76.7% of his passes, which is a huge jump over his career average of 64.8%. He’s averaging 9.0 yards per attempt – up a full yard over last season – and has already connected on 14 touchdowns in three games. That puts him on pace for a whopping 75 this season.

Seahawks Schedule Isn’t All That Bad

The Seahawks have picked up wins in each of their first three games but it’s worth noting the level of competition – especially on defense. The Seahawks have faced the Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys. The Patriots league-leading pass defense from last season has fallen to 11th overall while the Falcons and Cowboys rank 28th and 31st.

Wilson is going to get a couple of more easy matchups in the coming weeks as he’s going to face a Miami Dolphins pass defense that ranks 25th in the NFL and the Minnesota Vikings, who rank 30th. However, after that, things start to ramp up for the Seahawks and that’s when we can a dip.

Although Wilson has yet to play a divisional game, the schedule looks like a breeze, for the most part. There are still contests against the Philadelphia Eagles, who are 0-2-1, the Washington Football Team and both the New York Jets and Giants. Beyond that, the defenses in the division aren’t all that bad.

Maybe Wilson actually has a path to break this record. Below are Wilson’s stats through the first three games of 2020, compared to Manning’s through the same timeframe of 2013.

Russell Wilson vs Peyton Manning Statistical Comparison

Wilson
VS
Manning

14 Passing Touchdowns Through 3 Games 12
4.7 Average Passing Touchdowns Per Game 3.4
74.7 On Pace For/Finished With 55

What’s the Best Bet?

There’s no question that the Seahawks offense is cooking but expect Wilson to taper off a little bit. He’ll push for 50 touchdown passes but he won’t end up breaking Peyton’s record. The reality is that once the weather starts to get cold and rainy, it will impact Wilson and this passing game.

Wilson has had an incredible start to the season but he still needs to average more than three touchdown passes per game the rest of the way just to match the record. One or two bad games, an injury or various other factors could easily derail this. Don’t expect him to break Manning’s record.

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