The reviews are in: Russell Wilson is really, really good.
Wilson and the Seahawks' comeback fell short thanks to a last-second field goal to give the Falcons a 30-28 victory, but that didn't change what Wilson showed this season as a third-round draft pick.
"Our future is as bright as our quarterback's future," defensive end Red Bryant said. "And that means it's pretty bright. He did a tremendous job. As a rookie, to come in and be able to demand that kind of respect from older men like myself and (nose tackle Brandon) Mebane and Clem (defensive end Chris Clemons), it speaks volumes for the future of the Seahawks.
With names like Luck and RGIII being thrown out as the best quarterbacks in the rookie class before the season even started, Wilson proved himself to be on the same stage. Wilson completed 64 percent of his passes for 3,118 yards and 26 touchdowns this season. He had just 10 interceptions.
The poise of the rookie in the playoffs said enough about the former Wisconsin quarterback. He threw for 385 yards against the Falcons and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 60 yards and a score to help his team climb out of a 20-0 hole at halftime.
"Everybody in this building and everybody that follows us has realized what kind of player Russell is," Carroll said. "And he's just getting started, just getting started. We could talk about Russell forever because there's so much to talk about.
"But it's not just his way of going about it; it's his ability to play on game day. He's got so many characteristics that are so positive. But put him out on the field on game day and he's a baller. He's a real football player that nothing fazes him and he can function in any setting."
Wilson also had to deal with pressure behind him. A month before the Seahawks drafted Wilson, the team signed free agent quarterback Matt Flynn to a three-year, $26 million contract. The dollars alone signaled Flynn would be the team's starting quarterback, but it was Wilson's job from day one.
With Wilson's success, Flynn could be traded to a team that could use a new quarterback.