With the emergence of young superstar quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson, some have forgotten just how talented Russell Wilson is.
That’s the point New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick argued Thursday as his team prepared for a Sunday night matchup with Wilson’s Seattle Seahawks.
Belichick raved about the Seahawks signal-caller, whom he said has become underrated in recent years.
“This guy is a tremendous player,” Belichick said in a video conference. “Honestly, I think he’s, in a way, maybe underrated by the media or the fans. I don’t know, but I don’t really see anybody better than this player. He can do everything. He’s got, obviously, great leadership, play-making skills. He plays very well in the most critical situations in the game with his decision-making, running, passing.
“His passing numbers are extraordinary. You can put him up against anybody since he’s been in the league — literally anybody — in any category, really.”
Wilson has started every game for Seattle since he entered the NFL in 2012, piloting the Seahawks to double-digit wins in seven of his first eight seasons.
In 2019, Wilson completed 66.1% of his passes with 31 touchdowns and five interceptions, earning the second-highest passing grade on Pro Football Focus behind Ryan Tannehill.
“His winning percentage is impressive,” Belichick said. “He’s there for every game. He’s never missed a game. He’s got a great ability to do the right thing at the right time. He has tremendous vision and sees the field extremely well. I don’t think there’s a better deep-ball passer in the league in terms of decision-making and accuracy.
“He attacks — literally every inch of the field, you have to defend with him. The deep balls, the sidelines, his scrambles, his ability to get the ball to his playmakers in space, and then you have to try to tackle them, which is very difficult, too.”
Wilson shredded the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1, completing 31 of 35 passes for 322 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. The Seahawks cruised to a 38-25 win, and Wilson was voted NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
Top receivers Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf combined for 182 yards on 12 catches against Atlanta, including a 20-yarder, a 37-yarder and a 38-yard touchdown.
“Lockett has led the league in all-purpose yards,” Belichick said. “Russ has got 4,000 yards rushing, 30,000 yards passing. Lockett has been a go-to guy for them in all phases of the game — return game and offensively. Metcalf. Now they’ve got (tight end Greg) Olsen. (Running back Chris) Carson probably runs as hard as anybody in the league. There are a lot of weapons there, and I could go on and on. …
“They have a lot of good players that are hard to handle when you put them all together, and it’s all orchestrated by Wilson. They’re very, very hard to defend.”
The Patriots defeated the Miami Dolphins 21-11 in their season opener, intercepting three Ryan Fitzpatrick passes and allowing just one touchdown.