It’s clear that Russell Wilson is hurt. His rushing yards have dropped dramatically this year, and his fluttering scrambles out of the pocket that usually frustrate opponents have been virtually nonexistent.
Despite his extremely limited mobility, he has maintained a stellar pocket presence, possessing the wherewithal to either throw the ball away or take the hit while protecting the football.
The always-dependable Wilson and Co., coming off of that bizarre tie game last week against the Arizona Cardinals, traveled east to take on the pass-happy Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, who came off of a loss last weekend against the Kansas City Chiefs.
On New Orleans’ second possession of the game, running back Mark Ingram ran into a scrum of defenders and, during the tilt, Earl Thomas somehow ended up with the football and ran his way to the end zone for a 34-yard touchdown return, giving the ball to a Seattle fan wearing his jersey who must have gotten it at NFLshop.com (Ingram would not return to the game after being sent to his room by Shawn Payton).
The generous Thomas, obviously in a giving mood, found the closest official and gave him a heartfelt embrace, drawing an unforgiving flag in the process. The NFL is very fun, in case you didn’t know.
After a couple more punts and a Saints field goal, the Birds had a 7-3 lead when the perpetually joyous Pete Carroll drew up a play for Tanner McEvoy, the former college quarterback who blocked a punt last week during that damn tie game against the Cards.
After a lateral to McEvoy from Wilson, McEvoy threw a 43-yard beauty to CJ Prosise, confusing the hell out of the already bad New Orleans secondary. Christine Michael then punched in a two-yard run to give Seattle a comfortable 14-3 lead.
Following a New Orleans field goal, Russell Wilson did a very un-Russell Wilson thing and fired a bullet in the middle of the field which got picked off and eventually led to a NO touchdown. As previously mentioned, he is clearly hurt, resulting in him being just a good quarterback instead of a very very good one.
The Seahawks opened up the second half with seven straight runs, netting a good chunk of yards in a short time period. But Wilson could not get in the end zone and Seattle had to settle for a 44-yard Hauschka field goal, which was 16 yards longer than the field goal he missed at the end of overtime last week (but, like Carroll, we still love Hausch Money).
After more field goals and a touchdown by the Saints, Seattle found themselves late in the fourth quarter against Brees on a 3rd and 8, desperately needing a stop to keep it to a one-possession game. Cliff Avril, who caused the Ingram fumble, sacked Brees and NO had to settle for another field goal for a 20-25 lead. All that stood between them and victory was a hobbled Russell Wilson.
Wilson, a master at the no-huddle offense and with 20 game-winning drives on his side, had no timeouts and a lot of yards to go in order to get a touchdown and the W. There are few quarterbacks who ignite the fear in a defense that Wilson does in this situation (Mr. Brady and Mr. Rodgers are some others) but again, this was a quarterback who was clearly not himself.
Nevertheless, Wilson marched his troops downfield, made efficient short passes, and spiked the ball when necessary to end up 10 yards away from the end zone and with two seconds of life left.
There would be no tie today as Wilson took the snap, looked right, saw his friend Jermaine Kearse facing single coverage, and lobbed a jump ball to his man that was caught by Kearse … out of bounds. Barely. By about a yard. The clock reached zero and the Saints and their faithful all went berserk as the mighty Seattle Seahawks and their mighty defense and their mighty leader and quarterback Russell Wilson walked off the field with a loss, just their second this year.
Wilson has now thrown five touchdowns this season and has rushed for 33 total yards (you read that right). Two years ago he ran for 849 yards during the 2014 campaign.
For a gimpy quarterback who is clearly not himself, 4-2-1 is not a bad record at all. The Seahawks could have easily been undefeated this year, as all games were within a touchdown.
The Seahawks return home next week to take on the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football.