Columnist who thought Russell Wilson 'wasn't great' sort of apologizes

SEATTLE -- A New York sports columnist may owe Russell Wilson an apology after Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson's performance against the Jets team he covers. 

New York Daily News writer Manish Mehta predicted Friday the New York Jets would pretty much own Wilson, given that A) Wilson was going to be playing on a sprained left knee and a sprained right ankle, and; B) he didn't think Wilson was that good in the first place.

The piece was titled Even before getting hurt, Russell Wilson wasn't great; Jets have nothing to fear.

Now to give some benefit of the doubt, Wilson could have been in trouble Sunday playing on two bad wheels behind a much-maligned offensive line. Nobody was going to suggest he was going to be his same old mobile self. But the criticism went beyond just Wilson's inability to use his legs.


Among some of his more interesting thoughts:

"Wilson isn’t nearly as awesome as his Puget Sound loyalists believe, so it’s ludicrous to think that he’ll be able to hobble into MetLife Stadium on a gimpy left knee and right ankle on Sunday and have his way with the Jets," wrote Mehta.

The funny part of this is that knowledge of his awesomeness on the field goes beyond the Puget Sound. Wilson was statistically the top-rated quarterback in the NFL last season -- much of that success coming during his late season surge after the Seahawks lost their top two running backs and Pro Bowl tight end to injuries. Numbers don't lie.

"Wilson, whose effectiveness is rooted in his mobility, is ordinary if he doesn’t pose a viable run-pass threat," wrote Mehta.

Wilson was not a run threat Sunday, and the Jets knew it going into the game. He ended up with five carries for minus-5 yards and was sacked twice. But this -- what was the word? Oh yes. This "ordinary" quarterback was 23-of-32 for 309 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions for a quarterback rating of 133.5 (158.3 is perfect).

"(Bringing him down) should be much easier given Wilson’s current health situation and a suspect offensive line. It makes you wonder whether Carroll should shut him down with a Week 5 bye on the horizon. (Editor’s Note: He should)," wrote Mehta.

Maybe what Mehta secretly meant by that last line was "Editor's Note: We hope so."

And give a boatload of credit to Seattle's much-maligned offensive line. With rookie Germain Ifedi finally starting, they did a great job -- against a stout defensive line -- of protecting Wilson knowing he wasn't going to be very mobile.

Add three interceptions by the Seahawks defense of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and Seattle won 27-17 to move to 3-1 while the Jets fell to 1-3.

Mehta had to eat his words, and he did so Sunday afternoon. Albeit, it appeared he blamed the Jets more than he credited Wilson in a piece titled Jets dig themselves in deep hole with embarrassing loss to Seahawks.

"They should be embarrassed after a one-legged quarterback took a supposedly elite defense to the woodshed," wrote Mehta. "They should be ashamed of an offense that laid another egg."

"Russell Wilson sliced up this supposedly quality defense on one freakin' leg," he added. "The dual-threat Seattle signal caller was visibly hindered by his sprained MCL suffered last week. So, he beat the Jets with a bulky knee brace and a bulky brain."

Mehta did kind of give an apology to Wilson on Twitter Monday, but it was for calling him a one-legged QB.
 

Perhaps Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said it best at his postgame press conference.

"What I'd say is all those guys that say he can't throw from the pocket don't know what they're talking about," Carroll said. "And that's just something they must have said a long time ago and they're still defending, because he can throw it from anywhere. It doesn't matter."

(Kudos to 710 ESPN Seattle's Danny O'Neil for first spotting this).

Copyright 2016 KING


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