Russell Wilson had not rallied his team to a comeback victory all season. And the way he played for most of Thursday night, it didn’t look like he was going to pull it off vs. the Packers either.
But he did. And maybe that is all the hope he and the Seahawks need to find some consistency and make a run to the playoffs.
Wilson and the Seahawks have directly beaten themselves in three of their five losses this season — and they almost tried to do it again against Green Bay, giving up a score on offense for the fourth time.
Beyond Chris Carson’s first-play fumble, Wilson was the biggest problem. In the first half, he was too “pumped up,” Pete Carroll said. He underthrew and overthrew receivers (including Doug Baldwin in the end zone) and generally made some poor choices (like the illegal lateral at the end of the half that cost Seattle 10 seconds and a chance to score while trailing 21-17).
“What a mess,” Carroll told 710 ESPN of the early issues that led to a 14-3 deficit. “I couldn’t believe how bad we started.”
Carroll said Wilson “was just pumped up and missed a couple balls early” and the coach tried to calm him down.
Wilson was still not playing well in the third quarter — he was still missing receivers and then he caught a tipped pass deep in his own territory for a big loss on third down.
He finally put it together in the fourth quarter, driving the Hawks 70-plus yards on consecutive drives to take the lead. But it was yet another inconsistent performance by Wilson and the offense — despite a seventh straight game over 150 rushing yards.
Wilson has been with Brian Schottenheimer for 10 games now, but he still doesn’t look completely comfortable in this tweaked offense — despite a career-high 110.2 rating, a 66.2 completion percent and 23 TD passes (a pace for a career-best 36).
The numbers belie Wilson’s inconsistency, which has shown up particularly in their five losses — he shares big blame for the first two losses in Denver and Chicago (taking sacks, throwing a pick-six) and the two recent defeats to the L.A. teams (a pick-six and poor clock management vs. the Chargers, a costly late fumble and failed rally vs. the Rams).
Carroll and everyone else must hope the comeback win against the Packers is what Wilson needed to feel confident and make better decisions and throws the rest of the way.
Meanwhile, this game did little to make the case either way for Wilson to be paid more than league leader Aaron Rodgers next year. The Green Bay star outplayed Seattle’s QB for most of the contest, but Wilson pulled off the comeback.
We still think the Hawks will end up paying Wilson — especially if Carroll is planning to stay beyond 2019 (he won’t want to finish his career with a rookie QB).
Now if only Wilson will find a more consistent level of play in the final six games to prove to all the doubters he is worth it.