Herb Nightingale, Contributor Emerald City Swagger
From what I have seen so far in the first two games that the Seahawks have played this season against Denver and Chicago, the indication is that other teams have figured how to play against Russell Wilson.
The Broncos and Bears each sacked Wilson six times. Linebacker Von Miller of the Broncos had three of the six sacks against the Seahawks while linebacker Khali Mack had one of the Bears six sacks. Mack was credited forcing a fumble that Wilson recovered in the first half too.
The Bears had five different players make a sack in the first half. After the game, Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan made a statement to ESPN.com that sums it all up.
"“The key to playing them is never letting him get comfortable and scramble around and use his legs like that,” he said. “We needed to create havoc for him, and we did that today. He still found a way to make some plays, but I think we held our ground this week.”"
Trevathan’s statement tells me Chicago knew what they must do to get Russell Wilson out of his rhythm. In the fourth quarter, the Seahawks had the ball with the Bears ahead 17-10, Wilson threw a pass to his running back Rashaad Penny that Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara intercepted and returned 49 yards for a touchdown.
It was Amukamara’s first interception in three years. Worse, it was at a critical time because there was only 6:37 remaining in the game. The Seahawks did get a touchdown with Russell Wilson throwing to tight end Will Dissly, the rookie from Washington, for two yards with 2:28 remaining, to make it an interesting outcome. It was Dissly’s second touchdown of this season (and career) after scoring his first against Denver a week earlier.
Did Amukamara look like he knew that Wilson would throw the ball to Penny? Watching live, then twice more on instant replay, yes. Wilson was looking directly at Penny without looking at any of the other receivers. So Amukamara knew it was going to happen.
Back to the Broncos game, for a second, it looked to me that when Russell Wilson was moving out of the pocket during Miller’s three sacks, he knew exactly where Wilson was going. I saw Wilson moving in the same direction all three times.
I have to say this will continue to happen long as Wilson doesn’t change things up when it comes to getting out of the pocket. Also, the offensive line needs to improve both on the run and the pass.
In game one against the Broncos, the Seahawks rushed 16 yards for 64 yards and against the Bears rushed 22 times for 74 yards. They passed the ball 33 times completing 19 for 242 and two interceptions against the Broncos while they threw 36 times completing 22, again with two interceptions.
The Seahawks need to be able to run the ball 30 times a game, getting around 120 yards. This way Russell Wilson doesn’t have to run for his life. The Dallas Cowboys come into the Seahawks game next week in Seattle, with nine sacks. The offensive line has to find a way to slow their opponent’s pass rush down, or it will be another long day for Wilson.