Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
The offensive line of the Seattle Seahawks needs to do a better job of protecting quarterback Russell Wilson. The frantic scene of Wilson running for his life or being buried by a pair of pass rushers is becoming far too familiar.
Wilson tweeting this on Monday morning before the game:
Yes, Wilson is a blessed individual, but he is far from safe on the football field right now. It is a good thing that he didn’t post #protected.
There is an unfortunate irony to the fact that Wilson’s Twitter handle is @DangeRussWilson. Right now his handle should be @RussWilsonInConstantDanger.
Wilson was sacked seven times against the St. Louis Rams. Robert Quinn and Chris Long made the offensive line look like a bunch of cardboard cutouts. The line served up poor pass protection and an inability to open holes for Marshawn Lynch.
A win is a win, right? I guess.
With apologies to Star Wars I can’t help but think, “Help us Russell Okung! You’re our only hope!” The big left tackle can’t get back fast enough. I’m sure Paul McQuistan wants to succeed at LT, but he is clearly overmatched by faster pass rushers.
Back to the main problem. We all know that Wilson is an elusive, mobile runner. However, the Rams were able to keep Wilson trapped in the pocket until the walls closed in. This prevented Wilson from doing his Fran Tarkenton impression throughout the game.
All the skill in the world cannot overcome a lack of time to throw the ball. In football, it doesn’t get any simpler than that.
When you compare Seattle to other teams, there are quarterbacks that are being taken down with more regularity. Wilson is actually tied for 10th in the NFL with Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens, as both QBs have been dropped 20 times. Ryan Tannehill of the Miami Dolphins leads the league with 32 sacks against him.
The alarming statistic is the recent games. Ten of those 20 sacks have come in the last two games. Needless to say, this is not a positive trend. If this continues, Wilson is quickly going to lead the NFL in the wrong category.
The unfortunate reality is that there may not be an immediate solution. It isn’t like these guys are suddenly going to get bigger, faster and stronger. This offensive line may just need to gut it out until Okung and Breno Giacomini can get back into the rotation. In the NFL, you can’t exactly call up an offensive lineman from Triple-A Tacoma or make a lopsided trade with a team that has fallen out of contention. There is actually balance in this league.
Russell Wilson has all the tools to lead this team to the Super Bowl. Right now, his biggest challenge is staying upright. Stay safe, DangeRussWilson.