Not long after finishing his morning boxing workout, CBSSports.com senior NFL columnist Pete Prisco dropped by CBS Sports Radio to spar with Brian Jones about a familiar topic: Russell Wilson.
Jones has believed for quite some time that Wilson is an elite quarterback. Prisco, however, has never been willing to go that far. Prisco gave Wilson props for overcoming two early interceptions against Carolina, including a pick-six, and rallying Seattle from a 31-0 deficit on Sunday.
But for him, the fact remains: Wilson is a good quarterback, not a great one.
“Look, he’s grown up as a pocket passer,” Prisco said on Gio and Jones. “I’m going to give him a lot of credit for that. And you know what? He had to. That’s all I wanted to see – for him to stand in the pocket and make plays.”
He did. Wilson finished 31-of-48 for 366 yards, three touchdowns and two picks in the 31-24 loss to Carolina. He also led Seattle in rushing with three carries for 32 yards.
So yeah, Wilson responded well.
“But every Russell Wilson backer out there, including yourself, has an excuse for him,” Prisco said. “He got hit and the ball was intercepted for a touchdown (in the first quarter). ‘Oh, well look at the pressure.’ There’s always and excuse for him. The guy’s a good player. He’s a really good player. Nobody ever said he wasn’t. But I think there’s a race to make him one of the top three quarterbacks in the league, and he isn’t that.”
Wilson, 27, has never missed an NFL game. This year, he had career-highs in completions (329), attempts (483), completion percentage (68.1), passing yards (4,024), and touchdowns (34) – all while throwing just eight interceptions.
Jones called it the best season of Wilson’s career.
“Oh, there’s no question” Prisco said. “And you know what? They gave him the football. The worst thing that happened to the Seahawks was Marshawn Lynch coming back. Then they thought they had to go back to what they were. They turned it over to Russell Wilson in the last half of the season and he had a great season. You got to give him credit for it.”
Wilson had 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions through Seattle’s first nine games. He had 24 touchdowns and one interception in the final seven.
“I applaud him,” Prisco said. “I still don’t think he’s as good as everybody else thinks he is. I think he’s a really good quarterback. I don’t think he’s a great quarterback. But he’s made big strides as a pocket passer.”