Through four games this NFL season the Seahawks have shown their ability to win any which way they can. Whether it’s a defensive struggle on the road or a blow out at home, Seattle has been able to attack opposing teams in what ever fashion they need to be successful. Perhaps their adaptive nature is a reflection of their young leader at quarterback.
If you just look at the stat sheet you probably wouldn’t be blown away by Russell Wilson’s performance thus far this season. Sure, he threw for 320 yards against Carolina and he had a wonderful four touchdown day against Jacksonville, but for the most part Seattle’s passing attack has been average up to this point (I don’t like writing that anymore than you like reading it).
However, anyone who has seen a game this season can immediately see what Russell Wilson’s contribution has been to the Seahawks 4-0 start. He has gladly taken what defenses are willing to hand out. When defenses stuff the run, he throws over their heads. And when defenses sink into coverage, he’s more than happy to slice them up with his legs.
The Seahawks games against Carolina and Houston are the best examples of Russell Wilson’s ability to adapt (sorry San Francisco and Jacksonville, you were blown out).
Coming into the season, the Seahawks run game was expected to be it’s strength. So it came as no surprise that they looked to establish the run in Week 1 against Carolina. What did come as a surprise was the ability of the Panthers young defense to stifle the Seahawks rush attack (Beast Mode only had 43 yards on the day). When the run game faltered, Wilson was prepared at a moment’s notice to alter the game plan in Seattle’s favor by igniting the passing game. He hit eight different receivers on his way to a 3oo+ yard day. That might not have been the plan, but Russell Wilson did what was needed.
Now let’s fast forward to last Sunday’s game against Houston. I can’t tell you what the turf tastes like at Reliant Stadium but I’m sure Russell Wilson could give you a very detailed explanation after the five sacks he took in the game. Shaky pass protection prevented Seattle from finding any real success through the air. That’s what happens when three of your starting lineman are injured and you take on a defensive front that features J.J. Watt.
So what happened when the Seahawks found themselves in a 20-3 hole at halftime? Once again, Russell Wilson was able to change the game plan and dust off his running shoes (or cleats). When the game ended, Wilson had 77 yards on the ground, including a game saving run on third down in the red zone during the fourth quarter.
Russell Wilson’s ability to adapt in the moment makes him incredibly difficult to scheme for. Imagine being a defensive coordinator trying to take away one aspect of Wilson’s game knowing he’ll just switch to something else when the time calls for it.
I have no idea what Russell Wilson and the Seahawks will have to do to win in Indianapolis, but hopefully we’ll find out this Sunday.