At 4-2-1, the Seattle Seahawks are rather comfortably leading the NFC West, mostly thanks to their terrific defense. And what about their quarterback, Russell Wilson, supposedly one of the best in the NFL? Well, things could be better.
Wilson hasn’t thrown a touchdown in a month. The Seahawks, unsurprisingly, have just one win in the four games he failed to connect with one of his receivers this season. He started out the year with five touchdown passes and one interceptions through four games, posting a 99.3 passer rating, although that included the loss to the Los Angeles Rams, in which Wilson failed to throw a touchdown pass. In the last three games he has 0 touchdown passes and 1 interception, posting a passer rating of 81.9. The Seahawks went 3-1 to start the season, with two double digits wins over the Jets and 49ers. Since then they’ve beaten the Falcons by two points, tied with the Bengals, and lost by 5 points to the Saints.
The heart of the Seahawks offense, Marshawn Lynch, retired in the offseason. From being one of the best running teams in the league, the Seahawks have fallen, ranked 28th in rushing yards, which has translated into just 18.7 points per game, 29th in the NFL. Their defense is holding teams to just 15.6 points, 2nd best in the league, giving up more than 20 points just twice so far this season. Who knows, maybe Wilson struggling to do things on offense won’t be that damaging in the end.
But I don’t think this the 2nd coming of last season’s Denver Broncos. The Seahawks went into this season with the cheapest offensive line in the NFL. Their receivers make it difficult for the Seahawks to generate a varied offensive game. The general idea? Take a top 5 quarterback (arguable of course, but Wilson is in that area), along with a bottom 5 receiving crew and possibly the worst offensive line in the league, and try to get something out of it.
There’s another problem which the Seahawks have yet to address. Wilson has been playing with at least one nagging injury if not more since the season began, mostly to his pectoral muscle. He’s limited in his running, and suddenly the offensive line has to keep the pocket from collapsing on him at all costs. Previously, they could count on Wilson getting out of jams with his legs. At the moment, he’s unable to do so, and the Seahawks offense is suffering.
Without knowing if Wilson is insisting on playing or the coaching staff simply thinks playing him isn’t damaging, we can only make assumptions. Is resting him one week enough for Wilson to recover and be 100% in the next game? If so, that’s not a terrible idea. The Seahawks still have enough of a cushion thanks to their subpar division rivals, each for its own reason, to give Wilson some down time. Going the safe route here, even at the cost of a loss and maybe even 2 could be beneficial come winter, but the Seahawks seem to believe their defense can make up for all the problems on offense.