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LANDOVER, Md. – You can forget the playoffs, even though you probably already did.
Here’s what matters now to the Seattle Seahawks after a 17-15 loss to the Washington Football Team at FedExField:
What in the world is wrong with Russell Wilson and the offense? And what could his matches during this season, which are not present, mean for the quarterback’s future in Seattle?
There are no easy answers to any of them. The only thing that is clear is at 3-8, the Seahawks’ chances of getting into the playoffs for the ninth time in Wilson’s 10 seasons are next to zero. ESPN’s Football Power Index gives them a 1% chance, down from 5.6%, to enter the game. It would have been 10% with a win.
Wilson’s eyes were noticeably glassy after the Seahawks’ recent loss, and he was asked why?
“Because I love this game,” Wilson said. “I love this game. I love this team. I love to win and I love the process of doing all the hard work. As I always say to you, I love the process more than the end result. And when you put everything in ., every second, every hour, every day and it does not end the way you want it to, it’s always hard. But as I’ve always told you before, there are harder things in life. There are harder things people go through.What I know this is a gift and what I know is that we will respond in the right way.
Wilson stank last February over his frustrations, and both he and the Seahawks flirted with the idea of moving on. Trading with Wilson this offseason would not be quite as punitive cap-wise as it would have been, but it would still come with $ 26 million in dead-money charges as he has two years left on his contract.
And there is so much that needs to be adjusted for that to happen: Wilson wants out in the first place, the Seahawks get the right offer that gives them a viable path to a replacement, that offer comes from a team that Wilson wants play for (remember, he has a no-trade clause that gives him the veto), and Seattle is willing to take the bold step of trading with the best player in franchise history while at his best age as a 33-year-old, that age Wilson turned Monday.
That’s the leading story when Seattle’s season ends. Meanwhile, Wilson and the Seahawks have six games to rectify anything that has broken after scoring a total of 26 offensive points in their last three games since returning from finger surgery. Wilson has repeatedly said his finger is fine and shot down the thought that he is still dealing with rust after his month-long absence, the first of his career. He has also defended first-year coordinator Shane Waldron, calling him a “good playcaller” in the last week.
After Monday’s loss, Wilson said, “I could have been a little cleaner” in the second half. Coach Pete Carroll said he did not know why Wilson continues to miss throws, he usually does not miss, but he acknowledged that was again the case against Washington.
The Seahawks went into Monday with the NFL’s worst third-down offense. They converted 4 out of 12 third-down chances, two of which came on their last touchdown drive. Wilson hit Freddie Swain for a 32-yard touchdown to close out a 96-yard drive in the final seconds, pulling Seattle to within 2. But Wilson’s 2-point attempt on Swain was picked from behind in the end zone.
The Seahawks went three-and-out on five straight holdings Monday night. They are the only team doing it this season, according to ESPN Stats & Information, and they have done it twice.
QB breakdown: Three throws from Wilson in the first half suggested he might be back after uncharacteristically poor performances against Green Bay and Arizona. He threw two deep pennies to Tyler Lockett and a ball to Gerald Everett for a touchdown. But the rest of his night looked like his last two games where Wilson missed throws one of the NFL’s most accurate quarterbacks typically does not miss. He completed 20 of 31 passes on 247 yards and two touchdowns.
Promising Trend, Part I: If there’s anything that promises in a season that goes nowhere, the Seahawks’ defense provides something. That group turned themselves around after a historically poor start, had a setback last week against the Colt McCoy and Cardinals and kept the Seahawks inside the game Monday night. It was despite having been on the field for almost 42 minutes where the offense was unable to maintain drive. Safety Jamal Adams had his second interception in three weeks, where he got an assist with a tip from linebacker Bobby Wagner and a huge hit by safety Quandre Diggs. Adams has been playing better lately.
Promising trend, part II: Linebacker Jordyn Brooks may have played the best game of his young career. The 27th pick of the 2020 draft snatched a screen pass near the scrimmage line, shot by a blocker for yet another fine tackle and had two big hits among his 14 total tackles, matching Wagner to the team’s lead. The Seahawks have not gotten nearly enough from their picks in the early rounds of recent seasons, and this next draft will be their second in a row without a first-rounder due to the Adams deal. They need Brooks to help reverse the trend.
Eye-catching NextGen stats: Defensive Rasheem Green completed an unprecedented hat-trick as he blocked a PAT, scooped it up and returned it 94 yards for a two-point conversion. Green – all 6-foot-4 and 279 pounds of him – hit 18.41 MPH on his way to the finish line. It’s the fastest maximum speed of a defensive lineman as a ball carrier since Jadeveon Clowney hit 18.59 mph in the 2019 season when he was with Seattle. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Green is the first player to block a PAT, recreate it and score on the return since the NFL rule was changed in 2015 to give two points on returned PATs. The three-point swing held 9-9 at halftime.