It’s been pretty obvious that I wasn’t a fan of Russell Wilson starting over Matt Flynn to begin the season. I’ve said several times that it seemed to me like a waste of an exceptional defense and running game to hand the keys to a rookie and hope he doesn’t blow it for the rest of the team. I was sincerely annoyed with it actually, feeling like Pete Carroll was letting his ego and Wilson’s flashy preseason cloud the need to win now with Flynn instead of build for the future with Wilson.
To be fair, I never thought Wilson was a bad quarterback. I didn’t think he was the right quarterback for the team right now. I was very impressed with the preseason play and thought he could possibly turn out to be the future, just not the present.
Well, the present is now and wow, Wilson is it. Sit back and let these stats run over you for a moment. Since the game winning drive against New England, Wilson has thrown 14 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. That’s over seven games. He’s thrown 19 touchdowns in 12 games, on pace to throw 25 over 16. That’s more than any rookie other than Peyton Manning!
Against the best defense in the NFL yesterday, Wilson led a 97 yard 12 play drive that started with 3:47 left in regulation and ended with a 14 yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate. During that drive, Wilson scrambled twice for 19 yards, showing the mobility and unflappable qualities that Carroll swooned for.
After the defense did their best to cough up a late lead on the road by still not covering Brandon Marshall, Wilson took the Seahawks 80 yards in 12 plays, ending the game with a 13 yard touchdown pass to Sidney Rice.
Rice was knocked cold with a blatant head shot by Bears cornerback Major Wright. He should be seeing a letter with a major fine from the league in his locker this week.
During the game winning drive, Wilson ran for another 28 yards. Overall the rookie threw for 293 yards, going 23 for 37 with 2 touchdowns and a 104.9 passer rating. He also ran nine times for 71 yards. Again, this was against the best defense in the league. Can I get an Amen out there? Am I drooling here? It sure feels like it. I have been getting more and more optimistic, ignoring last week’s game, but it’s a cautious thing for a Seahawks fan. This game didn’t help in so many ways.
Overall it was a frustrating, annoying, perfectly aggravating game that started off so well for the Seahawks before the combination of questionable, at best, officiating and bad luck had me reaching for the beer fridge way too early in the morning. Seattle came out firing on all cylinders before a very weird and questionable fumble strip on the fourth play of the game by Brian Urlacher on Marshawn Lynch gave the ball to Chicago. Three plays later and it appeared the Seahawks defense had stopped the Bears cold, but the officials flagged safety Earl Thomas on another weird and questionable holding penalty.
The Bears scored on the drive, but it foreshadowed the day. Strange penalties that extended the Bears drives, a very odd replay review that overturned a Seahawks touchdown, and a shipment of Adderall that had to be misdirected for Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman because they simply could not cover Brandon Marshall at all.
How bad was it? Jay Cutler completed 17 passes. Marshall had 10 catches. I know Chicago had injury issues in their receiving corps, but holy shit! How can you not cover someone that already was Cutler’s favorite target?
My final comment on this game is a plea to the NFL and FOX. Please, please, please don’t let Chris Meyer and Tim Ryann call another Seahawks game. Please. It’s been three in a row and they still keep messing up Seahawks player names. I can’t stand listening to them anymore; they are making me nostalgic for Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, something I never thought I’d say because I hate those two with a passion.
For example, Ryann commented early on that Red Byrant wouldn’t be playing. As he said this, Bryant was settling into his three point stance in his usual defensive end spot. I mean, he’s only close to 400 pounds, so I can see how Ryann would have missed him. To his credit, Ryann did correct himself later.
Another example was coming out of half time, Meyer and Ryann went on about how Chicago had dominated Seattle. They both mentioned this several times, despite Seattle having a 10-7 halftime lead, until the stat screen went up showing that Seattle had actually had 219 total yards compared to 166 for the Bears.
They also talked about how the Bears running tandem of Michael Bush and Matt Forte were running on the Seahawks defense. Bush had 4 carries for 15 yards while Forte had 8 carries for 14. Lynch, on the other hand, had 7 carries for 51 yards but never mind that, it didn’t jibe with their impression of the game.
Defensive breakdowns, bad officiating, idiot announcers, terrible fumble luck, but it didn’t matter in the end. Russell Wilson led the Seahawks to a road victory after the team fell short too many times before. He did it with the help of a strong running game from Marshawn Lynch and good games from his receivers Golden Tate, Sidney Rice, and Doug Baldwin.
Now that the Seahawks are 7-5, with a tighter grip on the wild card, they return home to face the Arizona Cardinals. Looking at Arizona, I see that their defense is still very good but the offense has been beyond horrendous. This might be the best game for Sherman and Browner to start their suspensions as it would end just in time for the playoffs.
Listen to me now, talking playoffs and strategy like it’s a given. I hope you and the football gods realize I’m not counting any chickens here.
Call it the giddy afterglow of a road win and great day by a Seahawks quarterback. It’s been awhile and I’ve forgotten how it feels.