The late attack gives the Seahawks a possible insight into 2022 – the NFL Nation

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GLENDALE, Ariz. Russell Wilson jumped off the turf at State Farm Stadium after taking a hard shot from All-Pro Safety Budda Baker as he dived over the finish line. Wilson’s 4-yard rushing touchdown early in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s season finale had broken a 24-24 draw with the Arizona Cardinals, and the Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback was as turned on as you will ever see him.

He hugged his teammates and pumped his arms to celebrate it. He ran back toward the sideline, ripped off his helmet and emphatically clapped his hands with coach Pete Carroll, showing no concern for his surgically repaired right middle finger. He kept shouting through his neon green mouthguard.

One seldom sees so many emotions from the normally stoic Wilson, and as It wrote Hawkschronicle on Twitter, you can not help but wonder if it was the pure release of a season’s frustration.

“Race to the finish line, holy cow,” Carroll said. “He went against one of the best tackles in the NFL and he was crushed in the goal zone.”

That may not have been the word Carroll was looking for, but it was undoubtedly the way he wanted his quarterback, offensive line and team to finish. Whether that was enough to influence the organization’s mindset about the key decisions it could make this offseason, it was a bit of an ointment on a disappointing season that will sting for a while.

The Seahawks’ 38-30 victory over the playoff-bound Cardinals ended with a 4-2 finish after a 3-8 start that could have made some teams check out. They scored 89 points over their last two games, and finally captured the offensive efficiency that was elusive under first-year coordinator Shane Waldron. And Wilson looked much more like himself in that stretch than the version that struggled after his mid-season back from finger surgery.

In victories over the Detroit Lions and Cardinals, Wilson combined for eight touchdowns and two turnovers, both of which came against Arizona. His lost fumbling and eavesdropping on a dump-off throw were significant flaws, but not the conspicuous flaws to open receivers that plagued him, suggesting he was experiencing long-term effects from his finger injury.

During the first three games, from week 10-12, Wilson was ranked No. 29 in the Total QBR (23.6). He was number 13 (47.8) from week 13-16 and first place (87.9) over the last two matches.

That improvement did not come in time to get the Seahawks back in the playoffs, but it does give them proof that Wilson can return to his elite level, valuable information if the organization and the quarterback end up at the same crossroads. as last free season.

“I just thought he was the best in the last few weeks,” Carroll said. “It’s important to acknowledge that. I’m sure he’s going to feel better and better and better every day from now on and put the surgery and all that behind him that he already has, but it’s just going to be longer in “and it’s going to be less of a factor in any way. I’m really excited about the end.”

The 89 combined points the Seahawks scored against Detroit and Arizona were the most of any NFL team in two games this season, according to ESPN Stats & Information. It’s the third-most in a two-game span in franchise history, the others coming during an overlapping three-week stretch in Wilson’s 2012 rookie season.

If only they could have been as good at third down during the first 16 weeks (death last at 33.7%) as they were over the last two (second at 62.5%). That, plus the continuation of Rashaad Penny’s rise and Wilson’s better play, made Seattle’s attack a force. Penny ran after a career-high 190 yards on Sunday, completing a five-game stretch where he led the NFL with 671 yards.

The Seahawks’ third-down problem before Week 17 was particularly mystifying given that they were among the best in the NFL in terms of yards per game. games and offensive EPA over first and second down.

“The biggest thing was, if we can get the third downs, you’ll be able to see how big this offense could really be,” said receiver Tyler Lockett, who caught two of Wilson’s TD passes on Sunday. “That’s what always just shot us in the foot this year was that we could not get the third downs, so it was hard for us to stay on the field.”

Two of the Seahawks’ last four wins were over the Low Lions and Houston Texans, while the other two were over the playoff-bound San Francisco 49ers and Cardinals. Any realistic chance of reaching the postseason for the ninth time in the last 10 seasons was gone by then.

“Pete did a great job of keeping guys in it,” said left-wing tackle Duane Brown, who came to Seattle from Houston in 2017. “There are many times where you did not quite know where it was going to go, and I have had seasons where we lost 12 in a row and guys just wanted to start planning their vacations, guys started checking out. It was never a thing here. I think he was a big part of it, just to keep guys committed, keep everything up and running high spirits. “

Carroll told the postgame that he expects to be back in 2022. Assuming this is true, Wilson’s situation is the biggest question mark, even with a few factors – including his own desire to remain in the right circumstances and a bad draft. for quarterbacks – working towards a trade.

One of the complaints he made last offseason was his perceived lack of influence on personal decisions, but Wilson did not come up with suggestions after the game when asked what moves he thinks the team should take to return to contention, saying : “It’s not me to decide. That thing.”

He laughed amusedly when again asked about the uncertainty about his future, as some of his own comments have played into. Wilson, whose non-trade clause allows him to stay in Seattle if he chooses, has said he hopes to do so but has stopped declaring he will.

“You keep asking me the same question,” Wilson said. “I think maybe you know something I do not know. I think the biggest thing is that I love playing here … I love the city. I love being here and everything else. I love too to win. We also have to do what it takes to make sure we do, and I think that’s the standard, and that’s what I believe in. I have to do my part. It starts with me first, and the rest of the guys and all of us, together, what we can do better. Of course, I love this city, and that’s my hope and my prayer. “


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