The 2021 season was not a good one for the Seattle Seahawks overall. Quarterback Russell Wilson had to deal with some individual obstacles as well. For the first time in his career, Wilson missed games with an injury. His quality was not what it normally is immediately after his return.
The Seahawks 7-10 record should be blamed completely on the absence of Russell Wilson for three games, however. The way the offense was playing during that stretch of the year, it may not have mattered much if Wilson were playing or not. Seattle went 1-2 without their star quarterback and might have easily gone 1-2 with him.
Overall, though, Wilson went just 6-8 when he started games this season. This is the first losing record he has had in his 10 years in the league. Every season before he was at least 2 games above .500. Wilson’s play was a part of the 6-8 record and he wasn’t good in weeks 10-12, especially.
Russell Wilson’s final grade for the 2021 season
Don’t let Russell Wilson’s raw statistics fool you. Just like earlier in his career when he wasn’t putting up huge numbers, the eye-test made one aware that Wilson was better than his stats. But that same ey-test would tell someone that Wilson wasn’t as good as his stats might show this year.
First of all, Wilson was awful on third downs. He finished the season completing 51.5 percent of his third down passes but this was improved by the final two games when he did better. For most of the year, Wilson was below 50 percent. Wilson also was sacked 16 times, sixth-most in the NFL on third downs. Some of this is on the offensive line, of course, but a lot of it is because Wilson still holds on to the ball too long and tries to make a long pass play when a 10-yard play would do.
Wilson was 9th in the league in yards per attempt on third down (7.8) for any quarterback with 103 or more pass attempts on third. Of the 8 quarterbacks ahead of him in that category, only two got sacked fewer times. This means Wilson has time to throw it but simply tries to hit DK Metcalf, for example, 30 yards down field instead of Will Dissly for 10 to pick up the first down. This has been an issue for a few years now and it is getting worse.
Wilson did throw for 25 touchdowns and just 6 interceptions. But his completion percentage (64.8) was his lowest since 2017. ESPN listed his QBR as 53.9, the lowest of his career. For the first time in his career, Wilson led zero fourth quarter comebacks and his one game-winning drive was the lowest of his career.
Russell Wilson is still capable of being a great quarterback and will likely lead the Seahawks to a lot more victories. There is already speculation he wants to “explore his options” with other teams but Wilson isn’t going anywhere. But he likely rushed coming back in 2021 from missing three games with injury and that hurt the team.
Final grade relative to normal Russell Wilson seasons: D