This has not been the ideal way for Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to open his 2016 season, but then again, you could say that about nearly every season for Wilson so far. The same conversations are had by Seahawks fans every single year about Wilson’s “slumps” or “regression” through September and October, and pretty much every year he finishes with stats that far outpace the numbers he put up in the first half of the season.
That could very well be true of 2016 just as it was in 2015 ... or at least, we certainly hope so.
The difference in Wilson this season is of course the on-record injuries he suffered to his knee and ankle and the fact that his always-superb running game is now so bad that he’s literally one of the worst running quarterbacks in the NFL. So there are differences between this season and the previous four, but if he’s going to get things going, what better time to do so than the stage he shines the brightest: Monday Night Football.
Through five MNF starts, Wilson is 5-0 with a 123.5 passer rating, 10 TD, 0 INT, 67.23% completions, and 8.97 Y/A. It is the highest passer rating in MNF history by a wide margin and it is the most touchdowns on MNF without an interception. Wilson will be facing the Buffalo Bills for his sixth Monday night start, a team that 13th in passing yards allowed and 18th in pass defense DVOA. Consider the competition recently though, and the Bills have faced Jacoby Brissett, Case Keenum, Colin Kaepernick in his 2016 debut, and Ryan Tannehill. (In that game, they allowed 214 rushing yards to Jay Ajayi.) Last week, Buffalo faced Tom Brady and he threw for 315 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions in a 41-25 win for the New England Patriots.
The biggest question now is whether or not we are going to see the Wilson we are accustomed to, the healthy guy who I believe is as good or better than a similar-aged Brady (not the hyper-Brady we’re seeing now), or if his slow start will continue. It’s fitting that this Monday night game is also the first November game for Wilson though; his 109.7 passer rating is the best November rating in NFL history and his passer rating in December/January is only about a point lower than that.
Maybe this is when Wilson starts his hot streak like he did last year, tossing 24 touchdowns and only one interception over the final seven games, and then again, maybe he’s not quite there yet. Maybe the injuries are really taking a toll and Pete Carroll is once again being over-optimistic in his praise of how good Wilson looked in practice leading up to this game.
We’ll find out soon.
Seahawks - Bills Monday Night Football
Let's get HYPED for Monday night! #seahawksPosted by Field Gulls: For Seattle Seahawks News and Analysis on Monday, November 7, 2016