Is Bill Belichick a secret member of the Let Russ Cook club?
Ahead of Sunday night's matchup between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, Belichick sang a hymn of praise about Russell Wilson.
"Honestly, I think he's in a way underrated by the media and the fans, but I don't see anybody better than this player," Belichick said, via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe.
Wilson's accolades match the hype. The signal-caller is a seven-time Pro Bowler, a Super Bowl champion, a second-team All-Pro QB in 2019, the NFL's passer-rating leader in 2015, the TD leader in 2017, and has nearly as many escape ticks as Houdini.
Despite being one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, Wilson still doesn't get the accolades some of his counterparts receive. No MVP votes in any of his eight seasons? Even Bobby Wagner got one.
Sporting the prettiest deep ball in the NFL, Wilson has the most completions (132), pass TD (44), and pass yards (4,496) on deep passes since 2016. Seahawks receivers: 32 deep receptions in 2019 (most in NFL).
The excuse has always been that the QB has been held back by the type of offense Pete Carroll prefers in Seattle. The run, run, ask Wilson to perform magic system has worked out pretty well thus far. The Seahawks have generated double-digit wins in all but one year with Wilson at the helm.
Still, there seems to be more potential if the Seahawks would cut Wilson loose. Week 1 was a microcosm of what Seattle's offense could look like with Wilson cookin'. Mr. Unlimited completed 31 of 35 passes (88.6 percent) for 322 yards, four TDs, and a passer rating of 143.1.
While Carroll insisted that he plans to get the ground game going, and Week 1 was more a matchup situation than a trend, perhaps he should heed Belichick's praise and cut Wilson loose more.
It's not hard to see where Belichick's admiration comes from. In two regular-season games versus the Pats, Wilson has thrown for 641 yards and six TDs -- Seattle won both. In the Super Bowl XLIX tilt won by New England on Malcolm Butler's last-second INT, Wilson threw for 247 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, ran for another 39 yards, and put Seattle on the doorstep of the win. Wilson's 10.4 yards per pass attempt and 124.0 passer rating are both first among 26 QBs with 75-plus pass attempts versus New England since 2012.
Sunday night, the fourth meeting between Belichick and Wilson takes flight. Hopefully, it's as thrilling as the previous ones.