Russell Wilson had his best game of the season last week, but can he replicate that performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers?
The stakes remain the same for the Seattle Seahawks this week, just as they were last Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. Due to their record and standing in the NFC conference, every game is viewed as a must-win scenario, with the team realistically only able to afford one more slip-up at most.
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There are some concerns that a setback could occur against the Pittsburgh Steelers, in a rematch of Super Bowl XL. However – for what it’s worth – the Seahawks are 3.5-point favorites against Ben Roethlisberger and his teammates.
In any event, one of the biggest keys to Seattle being able to clinch a crucial victory, will be the play of Russell Wilson. The Cincinnati, Ohio native had his best performance of the season last week against the 49ers.
Wilson finished the game with a career-high 82.5 completion percentage, including a season-best three touchdown strikes. Overall, only one of his 29 throws was recorded as a poor pass.
The question is, can the two-time Pro Bowler continues this form on Sunday against the Steelers? Just a week earlier, he had his worst outing of the 2015 campaign, completing a season-low 43.8 percent of his passes against the Arizona Cardinals.
There is no denying that Wilson just hasn’t been himself this year. However, you could make that argument for the Seahawks team as a whole.
Nov 15, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) throws a pass during a NFL football game Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
It should be noted the 26-year old is on course to finish this season with career-highs for completion percentage and passing yards. However, this won’t mean much if the team continues at their current win-rate.
One aspect working in Wilson’s favor this Sunday, is the opposition secondary. The Steelers enter the game with the league’s fifth-worst pass defense, giving up an average of 278.4 yards per game.
That statistic alone should give rise to optimism among the 12s. (The fact the game will be played in Seattle doesn’t hurt either, with CenturyLink Field providing arguably the most intimidating atmosphere in the NFL.)
Furthermore, this is around the time of the year when the Seahawks star quarterback and his teammates usually step it up a level. Since Wilson arrived in 2012, Pete Carroll’s men have averaged a 5-1 record in the final six games of the season.
Ultimately, this is a game Seattle needs as they continue their quest to return to the playoffs, and they will be supremely motivated. Whatever fans may think of Wilson’s commitment level this season, don’t be surprised to see him continue his hot form from last week.