Can a Resurgent Russell Wilson Save the Seattle Seahawks' Season?
The NFL has a way of keeping fans and bettors on their toes. Right when it seemed the San Francisco 49ers were destined to land an NFC Wild Card spot, the NFL continued to turn everything we thought we knew upside down.
On paper, the Seahawks were a weak foe at 3-8, failing to show competence as Russell Wilson struggled mightily after returning to action from injury. The self-proclaimed Mr. Unlimited had led the Seahawks to just 28 total points over the previous three weeks, and the offense was disjointed as losses piled up. At best, one would look at the Seahawks' 8-2 record against San Francisco over their last 10 matchups and expect a close game where Seattle still lost to the better team.
The game certainly proved to go in a much different direction, though. Seattle continued their rivalry domination, and it's how the Seahawks won that has kept a sliver of hope alive for a potential playoff push. There's no question that Wilson and the Seahawks' offense appeared much more cohesive and comfortable despite facing a playoff-caliber rival.
Wilson completed 30-of-37 passes for 231 yards, two touchdowns, and a bizarre dropped interception that should've been an easy third touchdown. It was Wilson's second straight game with a passer rating of 99 or higher, and a completion rate of 64% or higher. Most importantly, Wilson looked revitalized after connecting with receivers D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.
Wilson's signature looping, arcing passes that fall into the perfect spot for receivers to finish the catch returned at the most opportune times. His touch on sideline attempts and deeper passes aren't a negotiable part of this offense; the Seahawks will only succeed if Wilson is his usual brilliant self. Even if Wilson has just the five flashbulb moments he had this past week, the Seahawks still have an outside chance at making the playoffs.
Oddsmakers still aren't convinced the 4-8 Seahawks have a shot. Their win total at DraftKings has been set at 6.5. Their payoff for bettors is +1000 if they make the playoffs.
With remaining games against the Houston Texans, Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions, getting to seven should be an absolute lock. Road games against the Rams and Cardinals will be more difficult, but the season finale against Arizona may feature the latter's backups. Seattle would need help to make the final NFC Wild Card spot with eight or nine wins, but Sunday's performance was a promising sign of Wilson's impact and an improving defense.
Seattle's defense has been trending in the right direction for some time even if the team had been losing. Ranked sixth in scoring despite being 31st in yards allowed, this is the definition of a bend-don't-break unit. However, it's also important to note the Seahawks allowed over 393 yards only once since Week 5, as opposed to four out of five games to start the year.
The Seahawks' defense has been quietly improving, and now Wilson is showing signs of superstardom again. Consider throwing a partial unit on the Seahawks to pull off an unlikely, but reasonable comeback to finish this zany, unpredictable 2021 NFL season.
Photo: Getty Images/Lines Illustration