Skip to content

Take The Kid Gloves Off Of Russell Wilson

October 24, 2012

Most importantly, kid, DON’T FUCK UP! Now go out there and win us a football game.

The Seahawks’ strategy so far this season has been to run a scripted drive to start the game, rest on their laurels with the run game until the 4th quarter, then try to rally for a last minute, small-margin victory. It seems as though the Seahawks will come out of the gate each game with a scripted drive, allowing Russell Wilson to roll out, or step up and throw the ball down field. They’ll mix in some runs, keeping the defense off guard, and both sides of the ball generally have some success. The Seahawks have scored first in every game they’ve played this year. Mixing it up has worked for the Seahawks.

It seems, though, that after the Seahawks get their first score, the game plan gets more conservative than Glenn Beck. Once the Seahawks are on top, the offense becomes maddeningly predictable. Run, run, pass, punt. Run, run, pass, punt. If I can call the plays by looking at the formation on TV, I’m pretty sure the professional football players on the field understand what is coming, too. That’s not to say that running the ball is bad–when you have Marshawn Lynch, you want to run the ball, a lot, even. The thing is, though, you can still be a run-heavy offense and not use Russell Wilson like you’re hiding a high schooler at quarterback.

When Russell Wilson has had the playbook “opened up” for him, he’s performed very well. Against New England, Wilson completed 16-of-27 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns against zero interceptions. In that game, he went 3/3 for 57 yards on the first drive. On the second drive, he went 3/4 for 74 yards and a touchdown. So in the first quarter, Wilson went 6/7 for 131 yards out of . In the second quarter, he went 2/3 for 24 yards. That’s three pass attempts in 11 total plays. In the third quarter, he went 2/6 for 22 yards, in 12 plays. So, the Seahawks, in the second and third quarters, attempted to pass just nine times in 23 plays, going 4/9 for 46 yards on those plays. In the fourth quarter, Wilson was 5/9 for 106 yards and a touchdown, out of 15 plays ran For those keeping track at home, in the first and fourth quarters with “aggressive” playcalling, Wilson was 11/16 for 237 yards and two touchdowns. Pretty clear that the less “conservative” routes led to greater success for this offense.

But all right, that was against New England, and Football Outsiders ranks their pass defense as the 29th in the league. Fine. But Wilson’s second best game came against the Carolina Panthers, who have the 14th best defense against the pass. In that game, Wilson completed 6/7 passes for 69 yards. That’s seven pass attempts in 14 plays. In the second and third quarters, he was 12/16 for 139 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions. One interception was a terrible, terrible, awful throw. The other should’ve been a completion that Marshawn Lynch dropped into the hands of the defender. So all-in-all, a pretty unusually open playbook in the middle of the game against a team in the upper half of pass defense yielded 75% completions, one deserved pick, one fluky pick, and a touchdown. I’ll take the stupid interception in trade for that production.

For whatever reason, though, Carroll just closes the playbook as soon as the team gets a lead. In the fourth quarter of that same Carolina game, Wilson went 1/2 for 23 yards in twelve plays, all while the Seahawks had just a three-point lead that became a six-point lead. After gaining a six-point lead last Thursday, Carroll again shrunk the list of plays available to Wilson. In the first and fourth quarters of games, Russell Wilson has completed 59/99 passes for 702 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception, good for a 90.5 QB rating. In the second and third quarters of games, Wilson is 45/77 for 528 yards, four touchdowns, and six interceptions, good (bad?) for a 64.2 passer rating. Not to mention the 22 fewer attempts.

It’s obvious that Pete Carroll just doesn’t want to make Russell Wilson throw unless he has to, to get a lead early, or come from behind late. Which is weird, because when Russell Wilson is given more opportunities to throw and keep the offense diverse, he performs better. Perhaps calling routes that go further down the field, and not restricting the playbook to roughly 65% running plays in the second and third quarter may allow the offense to move the ball better. Russell Wilson has performed well when asked to throw the ball with any sort of regularity. Russell Wilson is not the problem–the problem is that the Seahawks don’t want to let him throw the ball with regularity. If the number one priority is “don’t fuck up” instead of “go win this game,” then he’s going to develop at a snail’s pace. If he’s your quarterback of the future, you have to trust him. Trust him, Pete.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. October 24, 2012 1:08 pm

    • October 24, 2012 1:12 pm

      Seriously, Pete, how do you expect him to throw the ball with those on?! He probably can’t even grip the ball like that!

    • October 24, 2012 2:20 pm

      Hey, soccer goalie, nice mitts. You sure you’re on the right field?

  2. Anonymous permalink
    October 25, 2012 1:47 pm

    They don’t take the kid gloves off of Wilson because he sucks. 200 of his 293 yards against New England came from 5 passing plays. That crap doesn’t fly against defenses that aren’t bottom 5 in the NFL.

    • October 25, 2012 2:14 pm

      Thank you for taking the time to read the article and leave a well-thought out, rational point with facts backing it up. Much appreciated!

      • ANonnyMoose permalink
        October 26, 2012 5:25 pm

        Uh, I DID leave a thought out, rational point with facts backing it up.

        “200 of his 293 yards against New England came from 5 passing plays. That crap doesn’t fly against defenses that aren’t bottom 5 in the NFL.”

        Is there anything in here that isn’t a fact? Russell Wilson is statistically one of the worst QBs in the NFL right now, Mark Sanchez/Blaine Gabbert/Matt Cassell tier. His one “good” game of the season was almost entirely a result of 5 deep pass plays, not an entire game of sustained good QB play. It’s pretty fair to ascertain that this performance simply will not continue to happen unless he lucks into facing probably the worst defensive secondary in the NFL that also happened to be starting 2 back up safeties.

      • October 27, 2012 11:13 am

        So are we just going to ignore the Cowboys game, then, where he completed 75% of his passes and had no INTs?

        Are we going to ignore the Cardinals game where he was two dropped passes in the end zone away from winning the game? Not to mentiion, his interception came on a hail mary as time expired in the first half. Not really a bad decision–just a low-risk, high-reward throw.

        How about the Rams game, where one of his interceptions was basically ripped from Doug Baldwin’s hands? And let’s not forget one of the other two came when Anthony McCoy fell down while the ball was in the air. Can’t blame him for a receiver falling down.

        If not for dropped passes, Wilson would’ve been 14/23, 1 TD, 1 INT in the San Francisco game. Against that defense, that’s pretty damn good. Edwards’ drop, in my opinion, was just pretty good defense, though, so he should’ve probably only been 13/23, 1 TD, 1 INT. On the road. As a rookie. Against the 49ers defense.

        There are a lot of things wrong with this offense, but Russell Wilson isn’t one of them. He’s completing 60% of his passes, and has a 79.5 QB rating as a rookie. I’ll take that every time. It’s also clear that at least three of his seven interceptions aren’t his fault, which would boost his rating even higher. He simply hasn’t played poorly, unless you’re cherry-picking. Pete Carroll and Darrell Bevell deserve more of the blame for this offense. Wilson’s thrown just two really stupid picks–the pick-six vs. Carolina and the bomb vs. San Francisco. To say he’s been bad is just madness.

      • ANonnyMoose permalink
        November 3, 2012 6:51 pm

        “So are we just going to ignore the Cowboys game, then, where he completed 75% of his passes and had no INTs?”

        Wilson was piss awful in that Cowboys game. They gifted us 2 early turnovers (besides the punt block TD) and the result from that was 3 points, including a dropped INT by Dallas LB Bruce Carter. He was a checkdown machine and we won because Lynch ran it down their throats. Also, Dallas sucks balls this year.

        “Are we going to ignore the Cardinals game where he was two dropped passes in the end zone away from winning the game? Not to mentiion, his interception came on a hail mary as time expired in the first half. Not really a bad decision–just a low-risk, high-reward throw.”

        Are you going to ignore the first 55 minutes or so of the Cardinals game where he was absolutely ghastly? I love how the WRs get no credit for several great grabs they made by adjusting to Wilson’s crappy passes while they get lambasted for not hauling in a couple at the end. Also, the last two passes were both the wrong reads. Edwards was wide open on a crossing route on the penultimate play and Rice beat his man in the endzone on the last play. Wilson targeted the wrong one each play.

        “How about the Rams game, where one of his interceptions was basically ripped from Doug Baldwin’s hands? And let’s not forget one of the other two came when Anthony McCoy fell down while the ball was in the air. Can’t blame him for a receiver falling down.”

        You can’t absolve Wilson’s interception because he threw a terribly inaccurate pass behind Doug Baldwin after hesitating that wouldn’t have resulted in the first down even if it were caught. McCoy may have fell but that doesn’t excuse Wilson for being too short to see a wide open Doug Baldwin in the middle.

        “If not for dropped passes, Wilson would’ve been 14/23, 1 TD, 1 INT in the San Francisco game. Against that defense, that’s pretty damn good. Edwards’ drop, in my opinion, was just pretty good defense, though, so he should’ve probably only been 13/23, 1 TD, 1 INT. On the road. As a rookie. Against the 49ers defense.”

        No, that’s no excuse. Wilson had less passing yards and led the team to less points than the 49ers give up on average. He is inaccurate and that horrendous arm punt of an INT is inexcusable.

        “There are a lot of things wrong with this offense, but Russell Wilson isn’t one of them. He’s completing 60% of his passes, and has a 79.5 QB rating as a rookie. I’ll take that every time. It’s also clear that at least three of his seven interceptions aren’t his fault, which would boost his rating even higher. He simply hasn’t played poorly, unless you’re cherry-picking. Pete Carroll and Darrell Bevell deserve more of the blame for this offense. Wilson’s thrown just two really stupid picks–the pick-six vs. Carolina and the bomb vs. San Francisco. To say he’s been bad is just madness.”

        Au contraire, Wilson is the primary thing wrong with this offense. Having a 60% completion percentage mostly from checkdowns and a 79.5 QB rating in such a pass happy league is nothing to be proud of. You are wrong about those INTs “not being his fault”. If we’re playing this asinine blame game, then he threw an INT against Dallas near the goalline that was only an incompletion because Bruce Carter dropped it. Also, INTs are not the only measure of bad QB play. What about his zillions of missed reads? His inaccuracy? His lack of more than 1 good quarter in a row? His inability to lead the team to any points? He’s played very poorly, and pulling a Mike Salk by blaming everyone under the sun besides him is cherry picking. Everyone else is held to an impossibly perfect standard while Wilson gets people hanging on his nuts for being this year’s Tim Tebow. Pete Carroll and Bevell deserve blame for starting a midget rookie QB, not for correctly trying to scheme around his several glaring deficiencies. To say he isn’t a problem is just madness. He’s had 8 games now and a single one isn’t as impressive as Matt Flynn’s first 2.

    • Jaime Olander permalink
      October 25, 2012 9:44 pm

      U mad bro?

  3. Shef permalink
    October 27, 2012 8:21 am

    I agree with the article. Very predictable offence. Wilson is super fucking smart, let him run the offence and throw the ball more. The defense can bail him out when he fails and if it works this team will be crazy good.

    • October 27, 2012 11:14 am

      Totally! Taking the risk to score more points is absolutely worth a few more turnovers. The defense is good enough to deal with it. I just wish Carroll/Bevell agreed with us…

Join the discussion...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,050 other followers

%d bloggers like this: