The beginning of the season was about the development of Marshawn Lynch and the rise of their big, aggressive and fast defense. The second half of the season, everything involving the run of the Seattle Seahawks is overshadowed by the incredible rookie season Russell Wilson is having.
The Seahawks, after beating the San Francisco 49ers 42-13, have outscored their last three opponents 150-30. They probably won’t win the NFC West, but they did get their first 10 win season since 2007, with a 7-0 home record going into the final week. The Seahawks are looking back at Super Bowl champions of the past, and are thinking what everyone is: They’ve gotten hot at the perfect time.
You look back at a couple of the past Super Bowl winners, they were wild cards who got hot. I’m feeling a certain way. We’re hot right now.
And the first person you point to is Wilson, who finished with only 171 yards, but he also had four touchdown passes (to go with his one interception) in another impressive performance at home. His second half of the season isn’t just impressive for a rookie, it’s one of the best in the NFL among all quarterbacks, some would even say MVP’ish.
Wilson and the Seahawks were 4-4 through the first 8 games, with a 61.4% completion percentage, throwing 10 touchdowns to his 8 interceptions. Since then, Seattle have gone 6-1, as Wilson throws 15 touchdowns to only 2 interceptions, completing 65.9% of his passes and averaging 8.5 yards per attempt. He leads the NFL with a 85.9 Total QBR since Week 6. He has had the highest Total QBR in each of the last two weeks after posting a 99.3 Total QBR in Week 15 and a 97.6 Total QBR in Week 16.
The 49ers simply didn’t know what hit them. They allowed 42 points, the most under Jim Harbaugh, and the most San Francisco yielded since giving up 45 to Atlanta in 2009. It was also the first time Pete Carroll beat Harbaugh after three consecutive losses.
Things have just changed. We have changed on offense, and Russell has been a huge part of it, and the coaches allowing it to happen. We don’t hold ourselves to points because the standard isn’t out there for us. We just try to play really good football and see what happens at the end.
Wilson’s 97.6 QBR on the day is the highest the 49ers allowed since the start of 2008 season. Their defense just couldn’t get to him, recording only one sack and two tackles for a loss. Colin Kaepernick isn’t easy to hit as well, but he just doesn’t have enough playing time to develop the outside pocket game Wilson has. Kaepernick finished with 16-31 for 244 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
While Marshawn Lynch had no problem slicing through the 49ers defense, finishing with 111 yards and a touchdown (1490 and 11 this season), the 49ers were held to only 82 yards on 19 carries, giving up on the run completely after going down 21-0 very early in the second quarter. Maybe the atmosphere (electric as usual) was a bit too much for the young quarterback, and the young head coach. They scored their first touchdown with 1:40 left in the game to make it 42-13.
The Seahawks are going to have a problem in the playoffs, not having home advantage probably. Both the team and Russell Wilson aren’t the same when they play away from home, but with every passing week, you get to think that it shouldn’t really matter. This team is simply that good, regardless of where they play.