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SEATTLE – Inside a quiet and sour guest locker room Monday night, after the Seattle Seahawks’ playoff hopes almost died with their 17-15 defeat to the Washington Football Team, quarterback Russell Wilson was among the players who spoke up.
As coach Pete Carroll described it on 710 ESPN Seattle, Wilson held himself accountable with a short and heartfelt message to teammates.
“He just said he had to play better against them and he said to them … ‘I need to get better,'” Carroll said. “It knows it well. They do not have to say much. It is not many words. It is just the sincerity and the care he has given it.”
The list of reasons the Seahawks lost Monday night extends far beyond a few wandering throws from Wilson. His recent games do not solely explain why their offense has only scored 28 points during a three-game losing streak that coincided with his return from finger surgery, nor why they remain the NFL’s worst team to convert at third down.
Their pass protection has been tarnished and they have not built up a consistent running game – or, as was the case against Washington, any running game – without driving back Chris Carson.
But there have been problems in the past.
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Wilson’s accuracy does not have that.
Still, one of the NFL’s most accurate passing players has been missing throws, which he rarely, if ever, missed before getting a finger injury in Week 5 that required surgery and put him on the sidelines for a month.
“I think we saw Russ make some incredible plays and throws, and saw some throws that are really routine for him not to be carried out,” Carroll said Tuesday on his radio program, reiterating that nothing has gone wrong with Wilson in practice. “He missed the first third-down game when the ball took off on him and there were a few others in third-down situations where we really did not need to do anything different. We just had to throw and catch it.”
The first third-down throw Monday night went well over tight-end Gerald Everett’s head in the apartment. Wilson sailed a similar throw to Everett later in the first half and missed him again on his second head-scratching error. One was on a third-and-4 game in the third quarter when a stationary Everett was open over the middle of the line to win but had no chance of catching a short throw that was out to the right.
According to ESPN Stats & Information research, Wilson has the highest off-target rate (23.7%) among all qualified quarterbacks since his return in Week 10. This metric measures the percentage of incomplete (excluding throwaways and spikes) that were inconceivable . Wilson had the 10th lowest off-target rate (14.4%) from weeks 1-9.
Seventeen of his 22 off-target completions since Week 10 have been overturned, tied with Trevor Lawrence for most overtimes in the NFL during this period. Wilson had 15 caps in his first five games of the season.
To illustrate how confusing Wilson’s misses have been, Carroll noted in his radio program that he has had his typically excellent deep throws – like the two he hit receiver Tyler Lockett on Monday night – and that the problem seemed to be , when he had to drive the ball on a line. Then again, his first touchdown pass to Washington was short laser to Everett in the tightest windows. His 32-yard TD pass to receiver Freddie Swain in the final seconds, which ended a 96-yard drive that gave Seattle hope of overtime, was also on a rope.
After reviewing the Washington game with Wilson, Carroll felt that his failure was the result of trying to put too much heat on shorter throws.
“There are just a few games in there, really on the shorter pass game, that he was just really trying to drill the football and maybe threw it a little too hard, threw it harder than usual and tried to make sure the ball was there and crisp and all. “about that,” Carroll said Wednesday. “The balls down the field, he threw the ball really well. On the move, really well. But we were not as sharp as we should be … It’s easily corrected. Easily corrected. He feels great. He does not feel that. “that he’s burdened by the operation from the past and all that. He’s ready to go.”
Pass protection was also a factor against Washington, where Wilson sent a deep throw to receiver DK Metcalf of his hind foot when right guard Gabe Jackson was run into him again. A third-and-10 game late in the game had no chance as Wilson was instantly pressured and fired after a four-man rush.
“We need to protect better,” Carroll told the 710 ESPN Seattle. “We have to keep guys out of his chops – [they were] right in front of him a few times; we were beaten back – so he has room to throw. “
The Seahawks rank 12th in ESPN’s Pass Block Win Rate this season (61.4%). They have been sixth (65.8%) in the three games since Wilson’s return, but ranked No. 25 in Week 12 (56%).
Asked about Everett’s remark after the game that the Seahawks have “fought in defense, and the entire league knows that,” Wilson said, “it’s not the O-line’s fault.” He also reiterated that his finger “is not the problem.”
“I think I missed a couple today,” Wilson said Monday. “There’s one that I threw really high because I was beaten back … In the past, I think [I needed to] adjust my eyes a bit. It was not like I did not feel confident with it … You struggle every day just to find a way to play and do what we have to do. I have been practicing my ass every day and we have been practicing amazingly. I know sometimes you shoot and it does not go in. So I keep shooting. “