Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published November 9, 2014 at 8:19 PM | Page modified November 9, 2014 at 9:41 PM

  • Share:
             
  • Comments
  • Print

What’s wrong with Seahawks’ Russell Wilson? Nothing the Seahawks can’t deal with

Without question, the Seahawks need the accurate and efficient Russell Wilson to resurface this week and stick around for the rest of the season. But if his slump is temporary, it’s a blessing in disguise because the Seahawks have gotten back to their run-first roots.


Times staff columnist

Russell Wilson by the numbers

107 Rushing yards for Wilson on Sunday.

3 100-yard rushing games for Wilson this season. He gained 106 against the Rams and 122 against Washington last month.

1 Rushing touchdown for Wilson on Sunday. He has four this season.

advertising

What’s wrong with Russell Wilson?

That’s what you’re wondering again, after another Seahawks victory.

For the first time in his young NFL career, Wilson has failed to post a passer rating of at least 80 in three consecutive games. But the Seahawks have won all three.

For the first time in his young NFL career, Wilson has had back-to-back games with a passer rating less than 65. But the Seahawks have won both games.

And for the first time in a year, Wilson threw two interceptions in a game Sunday. But that didn’t stop the Seahawks from beating the New York Giants 38-17 at CenturyLink Field.

What’s wrong with Russell Wilson?

And if the Seahawks are going to win with him playing poorly, how much should you care?

A victim of his own consistency and excellence, Wilson induces panic whenever he strays from his trademark efficiency. He ran for 107 yards and threw a beautiful 60-yard pass to spark a Seattle offense that scored 24 consecutive points in the second half. For many quarterbacks, that would be enough to disregard any struggles. But this is Russell Wilson.

This is a 25-year-old franchise quarterback who already has a Super Bowl ring. This is the only quarterback in league history to start his career with 100-plus passer ratings in back-to-back seasons.

When Wilson struggles, even for one game, it’s a surprise and a weeklong topic of discussion. Now that he’s in a slump, heads are about to explode across this Russell-loving region.

Without question, the Seahawks need the accurate and efficient Wilson to resurface this week and stick around for the rest of the season. Starting with a trip to Kansas City on Sunday, the Seahawks have a tough final seven games, one of the most difficult remaining schedules in the NFL. They’ll need to play their best football during this span, and despite still having some major injury issues, it appears the Seahawks are ready to do so.

If Wilson’s struggles prove to be temporary, then perhaps the slump will go down as a blessing in disguise. The Seahawks have gotten back to their run-first roots out of necessity. Marshawn Lynch is happy and thriving. Backups Robert Turbin and Christine Michael are getting touches. Wilson is a major factor running the football, and the Seahawks have as diverse a run game as you’ll find in the NFL.

As defenses adjust, it should make it easier for the Seahawks to pass. Their issues the past three weeks have included more than just Wilson’s uncharacteristic inaccuracy. Pass protection remains Seattle’s biggest weakness, especially with an offensive line that isn’t yet at full strength. The receiving corps isn’t as dynamic without Percy Harvin. Tight end Zach Miller’s absence has been felt, too.

Wilson won’t admit it, but he seems to be pressing. Sunday, he aimed a few throws and played too careful. The obvious example was his second interception, in which he lofted an off-target pass to Doug Baldwin that Giants cornerback Quintin Demps snatched with ease.

At his best, Wilson is the rare quarterback who understands how to stay aggressive without being reckless. In this game, he was both passive and reckless.

“You’re going to have some bad plays in there,” said Wilson, who completed 10 of 17 passes for 172 yards with no passing touchdowns, two interceptions and a 53.7 passer rating. “We had two bad plays today.”

But midway through the third quarter, Wilson provided a reminder of his worth. He dropped back to pass, danced to avoid middle linebacker Jameel McClain, stepped up as defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul ran past him, eluded defensive end Robert Ayers Jr. and zoomed to his right to release a pass before Damontre Moore dived at his feet. The pass, his best of the game, kept sailing until it reached wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, who easily beat linebacker Jacquian Williams for a 60-yard reception.

Even on his worst days, Wilson can ignite his team. He used his improvisational brilliance to find Kearse on that broken play. And he rushed for 107 yards and a touchdown, his third triple-digit rushing performance of the season. It’s only the fourth time since 1961 that a quarterback has had three 100-yard rushing games in a season.

With Lynch rumbling for 140 yards and four touchdowns, with the Seahawks setting a franchise record with 350 rushing yards, Wilson did just enough to assist. Just like during the game-winning drive at Carolina three weeks ago, Wilson manufactures ways to help his team win.

“Russell throws some picks, but he comes back at you,” safety Earl Thomas said. “That’s what competitors do. That’s what winners do.”

Said Wilson: “You learn from it. I think that you have to be able to adjust. I always use the baseball analogy; that’s the only other thing I know. Sometimes you strike out, but you get up again, and you keep swinging.”

What’s wrong with Russell Wilson?

Nothing that he can’t figure out. But he has some work to do.

What if the playoffs started today?
Seattle would return to the postseason, but barely.
Top 2 AFC teamsSeedW-L
Patriots17-2
Broncos27-2
Top 2 NFC teamsSeedW-L
Cardinals18-1
Lions27-2
Other AFC playoff teamsSeedW-L
Colts36-3
Browns46-3
Chiefs56-3
Bengals65-3-1
Other NFC playoff teamsSeedW-L
Eagles36-2
Saints44-5
Cowboys57-3
Seahawks66-3
Source: nfl.com


Four weeks for 99 cents of unlimited digital access to The Seattle Times. Try it now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Relive the magic

Relive the magic

Shop for unique souvenirs highlighting great sports moments in Seattle history.

Advertising

About Jerry Brewer

Jerry Brewer offers a unique perspective on the world of sports.
jbrewer@seattletimes.com | 206-464-2277

Advertising


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►