Pete Carroll viewed this week as a season reboot and — after his Seahawks blasted the 49ers 37-18 — he reiterated that thought: “It really feels to me like we’ve started.”
It’s easy to feel that way when you more than double your season scoring output, double your season touchdowns in just one quarter and tally a 100-yard rusher and two 100-yard receivers while continuing to play the same shutdown defense.
It’s easy to feel like you’ve started when your offensive line finally didn’t have to face a stellar defensive front and had a fighting chance. Although the offensive line committed three holding penalties, it played easily its best game of the three so far. The players apparently focused on fixing individual flaws on every play, a strategy that helped Seattle rack up 418 yards and convert 64 percent of its third downs.
But was it just a false start? Will the Hawks have to wait until Week 6 for their season to really start?
Russell Wilson’s availability is in question for this week’s game in New York vs. the Jets; if his sprained knee keeps him out or limits him against the Jets’ staunch defense, the Hawks could be looking at another 2-2 start.
On Sunday, Wilson had his best game of the season before leaving — completing 15 of 23 passes for 243 yards and a touchdown, for a season-high rating of 114.9. His sprained right ankle seemed to hardly hinder him. And then he sprained his left knee – on another fluke twist of body and fate.
Some are making the argument that the Seahawks can afford to lose to the Jets in the interest of the long-term season, that they should rest Wilson so he can heal up over the next three weeks (the Hawks have a bye in Week 5).
“I think obviously there’s consideration for that,” Carroll told 710 ESPN on Monday. “With an extra couple weeks, it would help everybody if they could sit out for a while. They’d all get healed. But we’ll see what happens. We’re going to do the right thing. We’re going to make sure that we’re very careful.”
If Wilson gets his way, of course, he will not miss the Jets game. On Sunday, he promised, “I’ll be good to go. I don’t think it’s as severe as it may have looked, thank God. We’ll do some tests and check all that stuff out, but I’m walking fine and all that and moving it well and got good mobility.”
After Wilson’s MRI confirmed the sprained MCL on Monday, Carroll said, “He feels great. He’s been rehabbing all night and doing his thing, and he can move around; he’s walking fine. You can’t tell anything. He’s really excited about the thought that he could be able to maybe get through this thing. His ankle came out great. Didn’t have any issues with that at all.
“We’ll give him a couple days and see if anything changes with that, but the first report, getting up in the morning, getting up in the middle of the night and doing his rehab, turned out just exceedingly well.”
In the end, count on Wilson to play vs. the Jets, trying to buck the 10 a.m. start and a tough defense that gave up just 75 rushing yards to the Chiefs despite the Jets’ eight turnovers. Wilson embodies Carroll’s “Always Compete” mantra and will do everything he can to play, so the Hawks have a shot at reaching 3-1 entering their bye.
“He’s an extraordinary person,” Carroll said. “We have to listen very carefully because he’s going to will it and he’s going to only feel that he can do everything. So we’ve just got to see through it and make sure that we’re supporting him properly to help him protect himself.”