Seahawks Week Three Position Spotlight: Quarterback


In my second position spotlight, I look at the quarterback position. Russell Wilson has had a down year so far, but he needs to be flawless in order for the Seattle Seahawks offense to return to form this season.

The offensive line was horrible yet again, but for the sake of change, we look at the Seahawks quarterbacks and how they can improve heading into next week. 

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is an elite NFL quarterback. His unique mobility, creativity, arm strength, football IQ and work ethic set him apart from many of the NFL’s premier passers. It also doesn’t hurt that Wilson’s been extremely durable. In 76 career games (including postseason), Wilson has never even missed a down. In fact, until his ankle injury, Wilson never missed a practice snap. With promising teams like Dallas, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Minnesota derailed after a quarterback injury, it’s been fantastic to never have to worry about Wilson going to down.

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Unfortunately, Wilson’s luck ran out against Miami after Ndamukong Suh accidentally stepped on his ankle. While Wilson remained in the game, his long-term status was unclear. Wilson proved his devotion by miraculously suiting up against Los Angeles.

His level of play, however, dipped. Unable to set up a solid base, his mechanics were off. While he made some nice throws when needed, his accuracy and depth were off. He went 22/35 for 254 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. His NFL leading streak of 17 straight games with a touchdown was broken. He wasn’t himself. However, he says he is feeling better this week. He’ll be hungry and ready to roll against San Francisco.

Not only is Wilson a factor in the passing game, but he’s incredibly useful in the run game. His improvisational ability keeps defensive ends and linebackers honest. The possibility of the run opens up passing lanes. In addition, the zone read usually opens up the run game.

With Wilson no longer a running threat, teams can load the box and make Wilson beat them with his arm. That’s why Thomas Rawls ran for -7 yards on seven carries. With defenses no longer worried about Wilson pulling the ball and taking off, they can zero in on Rawls. A healthy Wilson is capable of beating defenses in the pocket. A hobbled and inaccurate Wilson? Not so much.

As for an insurance plan, they’ve always had a steady veteran presence and coin toss extraordinaire Tarvaris Jackson behind Wilson. While Jackson wouldn’t lead Seattle to the Super Bowl, he knew the system and could limit mistakes. After they opted not to bring him back, Seattle decided to start over, signing TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin as an undrafted free agent.

Fresh off a decorated college career in a spread offense, he had a rocky preseason. Occasionally, he looked like the second coming off Wilson, showcasing his dual-threat abilities. Other times, Boykin looked lost. His porous preseason game against Oakland showed that he has a long way to go in order to master pro-style concepts.

Right now, there’s not much that Seattle can control to make this situation better. Wilson just needs to get healthy. However, he didn’t show up on the final injury report this week, an encouraging sign. In addition, the 49ers defense shouldn’t be a difficult task. Seattle shouldn’t need Wilson to carry the team like they did last week.

Beyond that, their annual bye week is week five. Based on Wilson’s progress, the bye could be the week that Wilson fully recovers. There isn’t much else Seattle can do for the time being. However, they can minimize how much Wilson gets hit by setting up an offensive game plan that incorporates quick passes and nixes designed Wilson runs to keep him upright.

Remember, there’s no need to worry yet. Wilson didn’t get going until week ten last season. When he got going, he had the best stretch of his career. Look for him to resume his MVP-caliber form in the near future.