As the Seahawks head into the offseason, there are still many questions yet to be answered. But one question head Coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider no longer have to hear is; “Who will be the starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks?” It’s Russell Wilson.
It seems like a distant memory, but just six short months ago many assumed highly touted veteran free agent Matt Flynn was the man for the job. That is until Russell Wilson, all 5-foot 10 inches of him, dazzled this city with his elusiveness, accuracy and his ability to not just manage, but LEAD this team to victory.
Seattle fans across the country were able to see this 24-year-old kid grow up before their eyes. Each challenge presented to Wilson, he conquered.
When he found out he would be starting in the team’s third pre-season game against the Kansas City Chiefs, all Wilson did was throw 13-19 for 185 yards and two touchdowns, throttling the Chiefs 44-14.
When analysts wondered if the rookie Wilson could prove his worth in the regular season, he outdueled Pro Bowl quarterbacks Aaron Rogers and Tom Brady, willing his team to dramatic fourth quarter comeback victories.
The Seahawks were the only team in the NFL not to lose a game by more than a touchdown all season long. The team’s worst loss of the year came to divisional foe and eventual NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers in Wilson’s seventh NFL start.
After critics said he couldn’t win on the road, Wilson hushed the doubters, leading his team on back-to-back touchdown drives late in the fourth quarter and in overtime, earning a 23-17 overtime victory in Chicago. Beating a healthy Jay Cutler and daunting Chicago Bears defense at Soldier Field in late December is no easy task for anyone, let alone a rookie quarterback.
Fans worried after Seattle lost its first three divisional games of the season. Wilson responded by going 3-0 vs. the division in the second half, outscoring his opponents 126-20 in the process.
Then, the playoffs came.
Seattle, who had not won a road playoff game in over 30 years were challenged with the difficult task of beating the red-hot Washington Redskins in their house. Led by eventual Rookie of the Year, Robert Griffin III, Washington jumped out to a 14 point lead. However it was Wilson, not RGIII, who was able to elude defenders with ease. Wilson and the Seahawks scored 24 unanswered points, winning their first road playoff game in three decades.
In the divisional round of the playoffs, Wilson again led a miraculous comeback attempt in which the Seahawks trailed by 20 points headed into the fourth quarter. Wilson’s only mistake in the quarter was not that he didn’t score, but that he scored too quickly. Leaving 31 seconds on the clock turned out to be just enough time for Matt Ryan and the Falcons high-powered offense to kick a game-winning field goal, vaulting them to the NFC Championship game.
The scariest aspect of this Seahawks team is not that they are a talented group (certainly they are), but that the team is one of the youngest in the NFL.
The team’s average age is 25.
With GM Schneider’s ability to find late round talent, the Seahawks find themselves in a rare position — built to win now, and for many seasons to come.
No longer is this roster in need of an overhaul. It’s time to build depth at key positions and find playmakers who can take this team to the Super Bowl.
Only a month into the offseason, many football decisions still need to be made. But, one question we have answered is who the leader of this team is. That man is Russell Wilson and he is here to stay.
*This is Dylan’s first post with SSC. We’d like to welcome him to the team.