Don’t blame Russell Wilson for Seattle’s week 4 loss. Wilson is getting a lot of the blame for the lack-luster performance of the Seahawks vs the Rams, even though he went 17 for 25 (68 percent) for 160 yards. Some things did go wrong though, so let’s take a deep breath and consider what Russell Wilson didn’t do.
Russell Wilson doesn’t play defense. Though the defense played well in spurts, it couldn’t seem to get off the field.
Wilson didn’t decide to start the second half with an on-side kick attempt, which failed and put the Rams on a short field which led to 7 points.
Wilson didn’t slip and fall down on a critical play at the Rams 25 yard line in the final minutes of the game resulting in an easy pick for the Rams.
Wilson didn’t have the ball in his hands only to let it slip out and into a defender’s hands.
Wilson didn’t fail to get pressure on Sam Bradford on critical downs, especially on five 3rd and long situations that the Rams converted for first downs.
Russell Wilson didn’t forget the snap count or commit 2 personal fouls and put his team in 3rd and long at critical points in the game like Breno Giacomini did. My high school coach would have had us running lines all practice for a bonehead move like that.
Wilson didn’t get caught napping on a trick field goal try which left a wide open receiver in the end zone. (Carroll was calling for a time out on the play but the “real” officials failed to see him in time).
Add to the above that unless the Seahawks had stopped every St. Louis drive outside the 40 yard line, they were going to get 3 points out of it with their “secret weapon” kicker Greg Zuerlein. I submit that ANY team that can make a near guaranteed field goal from 60 yards out is going to win close games. Having a weapon like that changes the game indoors. Zuerlein shortens the field for the Rams by 30 yards, and as a 6th round pick is a brilliant bit of scouting from the Rams staff. Indoors, he’s deadly. When these teams play in Seattle, pray for a wind storm.
As expected the team did seem to have somewhat of a let down from last week. Not a bad one, but the defense just didn’t seem to have the ferocity it had in the previous two weeks. That translated into Sam Bradford having plenty of time to find his favorite target Sammy Amendola numerous times on slants and a couple of other long completions over Seattle defenders. One would have thought Seattle could have figured out what to do about Amendola at half time, but no remedy came in the second half.
The running game for Seattle was good, actually above average at 179 yards with both Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin getting good yardage for average. But pass blocking was another story. Wilson was rushed or flushed out of the pocket numerous times, and had a throw tipped once for an interception. And before we start saying Wilson is too short, let’s realize Wilson has fewer tips than most other QB’s in the league right now. That’s partly because he doesn’t throw as much, but partly because his height is not a factor.
If you are looking for the primary reasons the Hawks lost this week it’s third down and red zone efficiency. This is still a problem which Seattle must get worked out sooner than later. With this close to the cuff, low-risk offense, trips to the red zone are not to be squandered. They simply have to come away with more touchdowns after multiple trips into the red zone, and cut out the mental mistakes which led to far to many 3rd and long situations. Both things are fixable, but as the season progresses these trends can get hard to shake if they get into the player’s heads. I would expect the coaching staff to continue to heavily concentrate on those two items.
Impatient Seahawks fans have to realize that building a quarterback in the NFL is not a simple process, but it is a “Process”. Carroll has been clear about the fact that he’s not asking a lot of Wilson at this stage in his development. He’s not asking his rookie to be Drew Breese and shoulder the load for the whole team. Carroll is asking him to take care of the ball, make some short but safe passes, and hand the ball to Lynch. Carroll has said Wilson is his starter for week 5, and it’s absolutely the right call. To use an automotive analogy, When you run out of gas, you don’t put air in the tires. Caroll changing Wilson because of bad execution by other players makes no sense, and would hurt the confidence of his young starter. I’m glad to see Pete Carroll sticking with Russell Wilson. We should too.