Looks like Russell Wilson can’t cook in Denver either
Former Seahawks QB Russell Wilson had the game in his hands Monday night. For some reason, the team that was desperate to get him didn’t trust him to win.
I don’t know about you, 12s, but I had about 23 thoughts going through my mind Monday night when the Broncos faced 4th and 5 at the Seahawks 46-yard line. The first was, oh no, we’ve seen Russell Wilson pull this off so many times. Denver had 56 seconds on the clock and all three timeouts. That is an eternity for a QB like Wilson. I thought, well, I’m proud of the Seahawks for playing as hard as they did.
Then none of that mattered as the clock continued to wind down. I couldn’t believe it; I know you couldn’t either. The Broncos ran off nearly 20 seconds before they even huddled. They didn’t get set at the line of scrimmage until the clock hit 24 seconds.
Russell Wilson would have done this differently with the Seahawks
The play clock reached zero as the Broncos called timeout. There were just 20 seconds left in the game. No one could believe it, especially not Peyton Manning. Check out his reaction on ESPN2’s “ManningCast”, courtesy of Adam Schefter on Twitter:
Yes, Adam Schefter is right. Peyton Manning would have handled this differently. The funny thing is, Russell Wilson would have done it differently too if he was still on the Seahawks. In fact, the guy who once called himself Mr. Unlimited was an absolute terror in that situation when he was with the Seahawks. 12s, I know you know this in your bones, but for those Broncos stragglers who found their way here, let me show them exactly how good Wilson is at crunch time.
As provided by the good people at pro-football-reference.com, we see that is practically unstoppable in that situation. In his career, Wilson has thrown 29 passes on 4th down with four to six yards to get the first. He completed 22 of those and moved the chains 20 times. You don’t even have to get mathy to see that’s a success rate of 69 percent. In fact, Wilson’s passer rating in that situation is phenomenal. It’s145.7, by far his best of any down and distance combination.
Compare that to the Broncos kicker, Brandon McManus. He’s attempted 60 kicks at or over 50 yards and made 32 of them. That’s 53 percent. That’s really good, but it isn’t 69 percent, either. If the Broncos had been at the Seahawks 33-yard line, they still would have been much smarter to put the ball in Wilson’s hands.
In that scenario, McManus would give the Broncos a 53 percent chance to win, if he makes a 50-yard kick. But if Wilson picks up the first down, they’d be at Seattle’s 27-yard line, giving McManus a far easier kick of 44 yards. In his career, he’s hit a whopping 84 percent of field goals between 40 and 49 yards.
But McManus wasn’t trying to hit a 50-yard kick. He was trying to tie the NFL record for the second-longest field goal in history. Digging a little deeper, thanks to nfl.com, we see that going into Monday night’s game, he had attempted four kicks over 60 yards and made just one. So Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett looked at his $245 million quarterback and his $17 million dollar kicker and chose…poorly.
How many times did we hear and say “Let Russ Cook” in Seattle, 12s? Before the Broncos game, Russell Wilson said he was glad to be in Denver because he “didn’t have to carry the team on his shoulders alone.” It was widely reported that Wilson was unhappy with the Seahawks offensive philosophy. He’s made it clear that he wanted to have more control of the offense, so he could drive up his chances at an MVP award. Well, he got his trade, and they trust him even less in Denver. I wonder how long it took him to call his agent this time.