Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson reacts after throwing the game-winning touchdown late in the second half of a game against the Vikings on Oct. 11, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson reacts after throwing the game-winning touchdown late in the second half of a game against the Vikings on Oct. 11, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

Wilson has been ‘as good as you can get’ for Seahawks

The star quarterback’s brilliant play has Seattle at 5-0 entering the bye week.

By Tim Booth / Associated Press

SEATTLE — Not that he needed to provide the endorsement, but in the midst of talking about his start of the season, DK Metcalf threw his support behind a growing candidacy.

“Russ for MVP, 2020,” Metcalf proclaimed.

He’s of course speaking of Russell Wilson, the quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks and one of the clear leaders in the MVP conversation through the first quarter of the season.

Actually, there may be no other leader. Wilson is playing possibly the finest football of his career, leading the Seahawks (5-0) to their best start in franchise history and finding ways to cover up for the flaws of an imperfect team.

Now in his ninth season, Wilson is in the prime of his career and has been provided the tools to fully emerge into the elite category of QBs. He’s not the game manager that first arrived in Seattle and was the accompaniment to one of the best defenses in recent history.

This is and has been Wilson’s team for several years. The difference is after years of transitions and smart moves, Seattle has surrounded its quarterback with a supporting cast on offense equal to the talent of its leader.

And the results, at least to start this season, can’t be argued.

“I think it’s been so evident over the past few years of just how collectively we are together as a team,” Wilson said. “Everybody is sticking together. Everybody is believing in one another. Everybody is helping one another. It doesn’t matter who makes the play. It’s us. It’s about us and doing it together.”

The Seahawks arrived at their bye week after another night when Wilson’s performance was the lasting memory of Seattle’s victory over Minnesota. Wilson rallied Seattle from a 13-0 halftime deficit and capped the comeback by driving 94 yards with less than two minutes left, hitting Metcalf on a fourth-and-goal TD pass with 15 seconds left for a 27-26 win.

Wilson now has 19 touchdown passes and just three interceptions through five games. It’s the second-most TD tosses in the first five games of a season, behind only Peyton Manning’s 20 in 2013 when he was the league MVP.

Wilson leads the league in passer rating and until this past week was tops in completion percentage. He’s on pace for 60 TDs and 4,800 yards passing.

But the reasons behind Wilson’s blazing start to the season go deeper than TDs and passer rating, two areas where he has always been among the top QBs in the league.

The relationship between Wilson and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is now in its third year and there seems to be an increased trust by both parties, especially in early downs. In Schottenheimer’s first two seasons, Seattle threw the ball on first or second down 724 times in 32 regular-season games, the second-lowest total of any team in the league.

While the numbers across the league aren’t equal through five weeks, Seattle has thrown on first or second down 147 times in five games. For context, that’s the same number as Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City.

Schottenheimer also sees an increased decisiveness on where Wilson is going with his throws.

“I think when you watch a quarterback, everybody watches the ball and they see where it’s going, but watch the quarterback’s footwork. Watch his back foot at setup and you can kind of always see how well they’re seeing the game,” Schottenheimer said. “If you see his back foot hit and the ball come out, or you see his back foot hit and maybe take a hit or reset and the ball come out quick, that means he’s seeing things well.

“When you see quarterbacks back there and they kind of start shaking their feet a little bit, that means they’re not seeing things very well. If you go watch Russ, he’s getting that ball out of his hands fast because he’s seeing things well and he’s got a great feel for what teams are doing to us.”

For as good as Wilson has been to start the season, there will be roadblocks ahead. Minnesota did well in slowing Wilson and Seattle’s offense in the first half and there will be lessons others will steal going forward.

But even in games when statistically he’s not his best, if Wilson can continue to have moments like his late winning drive against the Vikings, his case for MVP will only grow in stature.

“There is just so much character that goes into being able to have that much poise, to be that clear, to function like that so beautifully throughout those opportunities,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “He’s just as good as you can get. I don’t know how anybody could ever be better than what he continues to show us in those situations. He’s as good as you can get.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

Aimelie Hovde-Girard, right, chats with Payton Wold as they row along the Snohomish River with the Everett Rowing Association on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020 in Everett, Washington. The rowers usually compete in teams of eight, but due to COVID-19, most row single sculls.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Despite pandemic, it’s full steam ahead for Everett rowers

The rowing association finds ways to continue their sport, both virtually and on the water.

Tyson Lang #18 during the Central Welding Supply 125 for Pro Late Models at the Evergreen Speedway in Monroe on October 17, 2020. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
2020 racetrack season was one for the books

Evergreen Speedway just concluded what was undoubtedly the most unusual… Continue reading

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) dives in for a touchdown against Seattle Seahawks free safety Quandre Diggs (37) during last Sunday’s game in Glendale, Ariz. The Arizona Cardinals won in overtime. (AP Photo/Jennifer Stewart)
POLL RESULTS: Seahawks fans are feeling concerned

More than three-quarters of responders have some level of concern, despite Seattle being 5-1.

FILE - In this Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, file photo, then-Hawaii head coach Nick Rolovich walks the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Boise State, in Boise, Idaho. It took nine months for Rolovich, the new Washington State football coach, to conduct his first practice with the Cougars after the coronavirus led to the cancellation of spring practice and delays in the start of the 2020 season. Rolovich was hired from Hawaii in January after Mike Leach left for Mississippi State. (AP Photo/Steve Conner, File)
Washington State will feature new coach, quarterback

Nick Rolovich has big shoes to fill, but his outgoing personality is winning over the Palouse.

Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean Luc Baker of the US compete in the Ice Dance Rhythm Dance during the ISU figure skating France’s Trophy, in Grenoble, French Alps, Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Kamiak grad earns silver medal in ice dancing at Skate America

It’s the second Grand Prix of Figure Skating medal for Jean-Luc Baker.

Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap (96) on the sidelines during an NFL football game between the Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)
AP source: Seahawks land DE Carlos Dunlap from Bengals

The pass rusher amassed 46 sacks for Cincinnati from 2015-19.

Seattle Seahawks fans watch prior to Seattle’s game against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at State Farm Stadium. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Grading the Seahawks’ loss to the Cardinals

It’s poor marks all around as Seattle lets one slip away in overtime.

This is a 2020 photo of Julio Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners baseball team. This image reflects the Mariners active roster as of Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, when this image was taken.
M’s prospect Julio Rodriguez makes up for lost time in Arizona

His mixture of size, athleticism and talent has led many to believe he will be the team’s next star.

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf tackles Arizona Cardinals strong safety Budda Baker (32) short of the goal line after Baker intercepted a pass during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Hawks let game slip away, but Metcalf’s play was one for the ages

His astonishing TD-saving pursuit was in no way diminished by Seattle’s disappointing OT loss.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) gets the throw off as Arizona Cardinals linebacker Kylie Fitts makes the hit during the second half of Seattle’s 37-34 overtime loss Sunday at State Farm Stadium. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
POLL: Is there cause for concern for the Seahawks?

Was Sunday’s overtime loss to Arizona a blip on the radar, or something to worry about?

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) throws against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Arizona knocks off undefeated Seattle in overtime

Zane Gonzalez made a 48-yard field goal with 20… Continue reading