Florio: Russell Wilson is a ‘mini-Peyton Manning’

NBC Sports
NBC on Yahoo Sports

There's no denying who the more accomplished of the two quarterbacks playing in Super Bowl XLVIII is, as Peyton Manning puts his nearly 65,000 passing yards, 491 touchdown passes, Super Bowl XLI victory and three MVP's to the test against Russell Wilson's 6,500 yards and 52 touchdown passes. But while Manning's 15 years of experience dwarf Wilson's two, Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio says it's easy to see why many consider Wilson a "mini-Peyton Manning."

Wilson won't ever compare to Manning in size or arm strength, but in the way he prepares for his opponent and makes a commitment to getting better every day -- in- or out-of-season -- is much like Manning was in his early years, says Florio.

"Russell Wilson is already on the short list of quarterbacks who fully embrace the realities of the job," Florio told Mark Schanowski on SportsNet Central. "It's a 12-month-a-year, 365-days-a-year obsession. He'll probably be studying film of Super Bowl XLVIII on the flight home to Seattle."

But before Wilson even comes close to thinking about a potential Hall-of-Fame career, Manning is the one to dissect on an all-time scale. The numbers speak for themselves, but he's had his fair share of postseason struggles and, according to Florio, would come closer to cementing his legacy with a win in Newark over the Seahawks on Sunday.

"If he could win a couple more (Super Bowls) then maybe it makes it easier to point to Peyton Manning as the greatest quarterback of all-time," Florio said. "Right now it's easy to make an argument on behalf of multiple different guys, whether that's Dan Marino, Tom Brady, Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw, John Unitas, Brett Favre, John Elway. There are plenty of guys you could say, 'Here's why this guy is the greatest of all-time.'"

Florio also believes that if Manning were to win Sunday and then win another Super Bowl in 2015 -- like fellow Bronco great John Elway did -- Manning would end his illustrious career on the highest of notes: two Super Bowl wins (like Elway did, too).

"I think if he would go back-to-back, two Super Bowls," said Florio, "I think maybe that's the point where we would see him walk off into the sunset."

-- Mark Strotman, CSNChicago.com

What to Read Next