One of the biggest storylines surrounding the Eagles this offseason will be centered around Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson. He reportedly wants to test the waters this offseason and the Eagles could be a solid landing spot for Wilson to waive his no-trade clause.
As is the case with any quarterback discussion in this city, the narrative has swung widely in both directions. Some are open to a trade and are willing to give up whatever it takes to make it happen.
On the other side of the coin, we have the ‘Russell Wilson is cooked’ narrative, which is equally as laughable. Here’s a look at his stats at face value:
- 25 passing touchdowns
- 6 interceptions
- 64.8 completion percentage
- 103.1 passer rating
- 54.7 QBR
- 1.5 interceptions percentage (tied for career high)
- 6.3 touchdown percentage
On the surface, those are fine numbers, but not great enough to convince every Eagles fan that Wilson is still a top-10 quarterback in the NFL. So, let’s take a deeper look at the numbers.
Wilson suffered an injury to the middle finger on his throwing hand during Seattle’s Week 5 loss to Los Angeles. Prior to that injury, he was on pace to be in the MVP discussion. Through the first five weeks of the season, Wilson accumulated 10 touchdowns to just one interception, while completing 72 percent of his passes and posting a passer rating of 125.3. He was averaging 9.57 yards per attempt, so his high completion percentage wasn’t a product of dinking and dunking.
He also had some signature plays during those first five games, like this gem against San Francisco in Week 4:
Russ also showcased his arm throughout the first five games, like this bomb to Tyler Lockett in the waning seconds of the first half against Indianapolis:
In short, Russ was cooking through the first five games of the season and looked just as good as he’s ever been.
When Wilson suffered his injury, the timetable for return was set at roughly 6-8 weeks. But, Wilson got the surgery and was back on the field after three weeks missed. It was the only three games he’s missed in his entire career, including playoffs.
Once he returned to the lineup, it was clear that his finger wasn’t fully healed and the stats reflect that. In the first two games back, Wilson didn’t have a single touchdown and threw two interceptions. He completed just 51.2 percent of his passes and posted a passer rating of 55.6. This is where the ‘Russ is cooked’ narrative stems from.
After those two clunkers, Wilson went on to throw 15 touchdowns to just three interceptions, completing 64.5 percent of his passes and posting a passer rating of 104.7. The team went 4-3 over those final seven games, and two of those wins came against playoff teams, Arizona and San Francisco.
For those who believe Wilson’s finger injury is going to hinder his play long-term, there isn’t much evidence to support that. Yeah, he played poorly while still recovering from surgery, but he got right back to elite play after that.
There are several debates worth having over a potential Russell Wilson trade. How much is too much to give up, are the Eagles good enough to warrant moving a lot of capital to acquire a 34-year-old quarterback, etc. But the one argument that no one should pay any mind to, is the ‘Russ is cooked’ narrative. It’s simply not true and there’s no clear evidence of it.