Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has a reputation for being unbeatable on a primetime national stage, but if there’s a hitch in that designation, it comes on Sunday evenings on NBC, in the hours following Carrie Underwood telling us that she waited all day for night.
Perhaps things will be different now that Underwood has changed her tune on Sunday nights.
In his career, Wilson is 5-0 on Monday with a rating of 123.5 and 4-1 on Thursday with a rating of 96.6, but he’s just 3-2 on NBC with Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth watching. In fact, Wilson has never beaten a team on Sunday night football that wasn’t the San Francisco 49ers.
He’s only once not thrown an interception on Sunday night. Take a look at Wilson’s game log for Sunday night football:
2012 vs 49ers in Week 16 -
15 of 21, 171 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT, 6 rush for 29 yards, W 42-13
2013 vs 49ers in Week 2 -
8 of 19, 142 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 10 for 33, W 29-3
2014 vs 49ers in Week 15 - 12 of 24, 168 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 5 for 27, W 17-7
2014 vs Cardinals in Week 16 -
20 of 31, 339 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT, six rushes for 88 yards, 1 TD, W 35-6
A previous version of this article incorrectly listed a Thursday night game as Sunday night because of this schedule on NFL.com
I don’t know why I overlooked the Week 16 game against Arizona, I just missed it. My bad. I also had listed the 17-7 game against SF, not the 19-3 game. That being said, the article mostly posits playing in front of Collinsworth, Michaels, and Underwood (sidenote: Does Underwood attend the games?), so there’s still that!
2015 vs Packers in Week 2 -
19 of 30, 206 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 10 for 78, L 17-27
vs Cardinals in Week 10 -
14 of 32, 240 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 6 for 52, L 32-39
Total: 76 of 134, 1,098 yards, 10 TD, 4 INT, passer rating of 95.9, 3-2 record, 1 rushing TD
Wilson now prepares to face off against the Arizona Cardinals again this week on Sunday night, a team that he is 5-3 against with a passer rating of 93.7. But he’s won his last three games in Arizona with the Seahawks scoring an average of 35 points, including the now-added game from 2014 that lifts up his whole stat line for SNF; the only time Wilson has been the QB in a loss in Arizona was in his NFL debut in Week 1 of 2012.
(A 20-16 loss in which the Seahawks had four shots to win it from within six yards of a touchdown but Wilson’s last three attempts went incomplete.)
(The interception was an end-of-half hail mary so it doesn’t really count.)
(But Wilson also lost a fumble.)
So while Wilson does have a reputation for playing well on a national stage, it’s also clear that something’s been off about him in that situation recently. He’s thrown eight interceptions in his last four playoff games and has lost his last two games on Sunday night. Against the 49ers on Thursday night football last year, Wilson threw two interceptions in a win, his only two-interception game of the season. Last year on Monday night against the Detroit Lions, Seattle scraped for 13 points and won by a controversial yard.
Is it just coincidence? If it is coincidence, does that mean we have to scrape off the reputation that Wilson and the Seahawks are better in primetime? Because you can’t say that a player or team ups their game in certain situations but then when they play poorly in those same situations, attribute it to bad luck. Dating back to the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers, something’s certainly been different about Wilson and Seattle in the national spotlight.
Hopefully this Sunday night in Arizona, they can go back to the primetime brilliance we were used to.