QB Watch: Seahawks' Russell Wilson

October, 23, 2013
10/23/13
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A weekly analysis of the Seahawks' quarterback play.

Wilson
Rewind: Considering the beating he took from constant pressure, the 34-22 victory at Arizona on Thursday night probably was Russell Wilson’s best performance of the season. He threw three touchdown passes and didn’t throw an interception, completing 18 of 29 passes for 235 yards and ending the night with a 122.1 quarterback rating. Wilson was sacked three times and hit nine times. But he was on the run all night, making an amazingly athletic play on a throw off his back foot while rolling out and running backward to find Sidney Rice for a 31-yard touchdown. Wilson was frustrated with himself because he fumbled three times (losing two and leading to 10 Arizona points), but it happened because the offensive line didn't give him enough time.

Fast-forward: The Seahawks will have had 11 days between games, which should be good for Wilson after the pounding he took in Arizona. Look for Wilson to play dramatically better Monday night in St. Louis than he did the last time he was in the Edward Jones Dome. His only previous start in St. Louis might have been the worst game of his career. He threw three interceptions in a 19-13 loss to the Rams, but it was only the fourth game in his rookie season. It also is the only time in his career he has thrown three picks.

Play-action master: Wilson has used play-action on 39 percent of all his pass plays this season, the most in the NFL. It’s probably a higher number than the Seahawks wanted, but they’re trying to freeze the defensive line for an extra moment to keep some of the pressure off the two backup tackles. The offensive line continues to be Seattle’s weakest link, which makes Wilson’s success even more impressive. Wilson has a 6-to-1 ratio on touchdowns to interceptions when throwing off play-action.

Prediction: Wilson has led the Seahawks to six victories in their past eight road games, defying the theory that Seattle isn’t a good team away from home. Being a bad road team was true before Wilson arrived. It isn’t true with Wilson running the show. The rookie quarterback who lost at St. Louis 13 months ago isn’t the quarterback he is today. The Rams will learn that the hard way.

Terry Blount

ESPN Seattle Seahawks reporter

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