Russell Wilson was bad. Pete Carroll was bad. Brian Schottenheimer wasn’t good enough. DK Metcalf was a non-factor. Jason Myers was the team MVP-o-the-day.
Inexplicably — hey look it’s the Seattle Seahawks franchise motto! — the defense was not bad, and was good enough, and was a factor, and was valuable, sometimes.
After a quartet of games that quieted Wilson’s quaint MVP buzz, the Seahawks find themselves at a crowded crossroads. One of those nasty little intersections where six roads meet, strewn with stop signs and yield signs and crosswalks, devilishly designed to muddle the right-of-way and create issues that perplex even the most experienced drivers. There’re like a hundred of these in Seattle, so it’s no surprise the team found one eventually.
Is it time to pull the plug on Let Russ Cook at this juncture? Does Carroll have a point when he trusts the defense over his quarterback on a day like Sunday? Has the league gotten wise to what the Seahawks are doing with personnel? Is Wilson in a bad place, mentally or physically?
Because, as was mentioned, he’s been bad recently.
Only Carson Wentz has more total turnovers than Wilson.
Most turnovers in the #NFL this year.— Jeff Kerr (@JeffKerrCBS) November 16, 2020
Carson Wentz -- 16
Russell Wilson -- 13
Daniel Jones -- 13#Eagles #Seahawks #Giants
Since Week 5, Wilson has given the ball away as many times (10) as he’s scored a TD (also 10).
In his last two games, Wilson is minus-five with the football and has taken 11 of his 30 sacks. He went from averaging a TD pass every quarter to one every game.
What do you even do with this decision?
It's almost impossible to believe RW didn't just grab the first down here. What the fuck went through his head? pic.twitter.com/cYQAcJbxn4— John DeKaylin Fraley (@johndavidfraley) November 15, 2020
Is Wilson hurt, or reverting to ancient bad habits after taking abuse equivalent to a bar-fight sucker punch, ten times a game, for four games? Is something else happening, something intangible, something our advanced analytics won’t pick up on?
And then, the topper — here’s Carroll musing out loud, as reported by Brandon Gustafson of 710 ESPN, about the very future of #LetRussCook:
Yikes. Russell’s been bad, for a game and a half now, but the answer isn’t to let worse players have more of a hand in the game plan.
Speaking of the coach again, and to repeat myself, what do you even do with this decision?
Pete Carroll on the challenge/punt on 4th down:— Jessamyn McIntyre (@JessamynMcIntyr) November 16, 2020
"If you don't make the conversion, it's like you fumble the football...at that point in the game, I did not want to feel like we had to be desperate." #Seahawks
The over-use of questions marks so far makes it obvious: I got no answers yet. Only a tracker that stubbornly proclaims the forward-looking intent of the Seattle brass even as the season threatens to rot before our very eyes. Threatens to. No goal is out of reach, except maybe the bye with another loss, which feels likely, right?
Let Russ Cook Tracker, Week 10
|Stat||2019||2020 goal||2020 to date||Grade (cumulative)|
|Stat||2019||2020 goal||2020 to date||Grade (cumulative)|
|Neutral downs passing||51-49||55-45||67-33||A|
|2nd & long rushing||61/166, 37%||Below 25%||15-76, 20%||A|
|Designed RW runs||11-31-0||Use him earlier||14-136-2||A|
|4th & short past midfield||6/25, 26%||Above 26%||6/13, 46%||A|
Straight A’s never felt so empty.
Pass-run splits: Still 67-33. Still on top of the whole league, edging the 64-36 Chiefs. After everything.
Second and long: 10 passes and no runs on second down and long keeps us ahead of the chains set at season’s start. It’s probably not lost on the coaching staff that Seattle’s offense is now exceedingly predictable on second down. Which shouldn’t outweigh the benefit of passing, but if you’re looking for one way they could take heat off Wilson, keep that one the back of your mind.
Lots of first-down rushing on Sunday by the way, at least early on. Alex Collins, the perennial starter, got the handoff on six out of the first ten first-down snaps. Scored once. I don’t really know what to do with that information until it becomes a trend. But good for Collins, the prodigal back.
RW intentional runs: Wilson continues to be more proactively mobile, and more aggressive running the ball in general, than all of 2019. Of course, when he should’ve trusted his legs on Sunday, he took an unnecessary chance. When the team should’ve taken a necessary chance, Carroll wasted a timeout to try the oldest trick in the book. Which brings us to...
...Trusting Russ: While the Seahawks never faced 4th and short in enemy territory, they did have that one fourth and inches, set up by a 3.9 yard gain when four yards were required.
November 17, 2020
Down 17-13, approaching the 43-yard-line, on a day Jared Goff had already thrown for 213 first-half yards, Seattle elected to punt. It won’t count against Carroll in the tracker but you’re free to draw your own conclusions.
— — —
As always passionate/sometimes rational fans, it’s our prerogative, practically our duty to argue with the coach. Okay, but let’s remember Pete Carroll threw no interceptions and lost no fumbles. On a day the defense held the Sean McVays to 23 points, the second-least since he set up shop in LA, the offense scored only 16 points. That was 11 fewer than their lowest output of the season, two touchdowns less than their 30-point average coming in, and the least they’d put on the board since Week 16 of last year. By far the worst offensive showing of the cooking era. Yuck.
Tough game to watch. Tough turnaround, too. It’s always a bad week for a short week. Human bodies aren’t meant to play a single football game, let alone two, let alone two within a hundred hours of each other. But maybe it’s a great week for a short week.