Russell Wilson has turned the ball over seven times over Seattle’s last three games. Wilson’s eight interceptions through eight games are more than his entire 2019 (five) and 2018 (seven) totals.
Part of that has to do with adopting a more pass-heavy approach offensively. The more you throw the football, you’d expect more production from a yards and touchdowns standpoint, which we’ve seen from Wilson, but the opportunity for an uptick in turnovers is also possible.
That’s not the full story, though. Wilson has made some uncharacteristically bad throws this season, and his four-turnover performance against the Bills was also an anomaly for the Seahawks star QB. One has to wonder, especially given Seattle’s historically poor pass defense, if Wilson is pressing just a bit.
The Bills received the opening kickoff and promptly opened the game with a touchdown. Buffalo went on to score 24 points over their first four drives.
“I don’t think you can avoid the thought that when you walk out on the field after three plays and it’s 14-0,” Pete Carroll said when asked about whether Wilson is pressing or not. “You try to ignore the fact. We pretty much know we’re going to score 30 points, it just takes some time to do it.”
Carroll did circle back and clarify that he doesn’t believe Wilson is trying too hard to make plays that aren’t there.
“As the game goes on, he’s gotta battle through it. He’s great at focusing. He’s great at staying with it and believing and knowing that you’ve just got to keep executing. He’s been famous for that.
“Russell can handle it as well as anybody. I don’t think he’s pressing, no. I think yesterday he was challenged by it, and I think he made it through it.”
Carroll explained Wilson’s first of two interceptions against the Bills was the right decision. Nobody was open on 4th-and-1 from Buffalo’s 5-yard line, and so Wilson forced the ball into traffic, hoping to get lucky. Throwing the ball away would have been pointless in that situation.
It’s also hard to get overly critical of Wilson’s second pick. Wilson again forced the ball into a crowded space, but on 3rd-and-25, trailing by 14 points, there wasn’t a whole lot else he could have done.
“Sometimes you’ve just got to go for it,” Wilson said of the turnover.
Then it comes down to whether or not you put the two sack-fumbles on Wilson or the offensive line. Carroll called them “protection oriented,” but it’s likely the blame can be split.
This isn’t to apologize for Wilson or to suggest he was flawless in Buffalo (a few of his missed throws were more significant than his turnovers in my opinion), but it’s pretty evident where that game was lost against the Bills.
Seattle has scored 34 points in each of its two losses this season. Even if he isn’t pressing, Wilson is surely aware that his offense will need to put up at least that much on a weekly basis in order to have a chance to win.
“We just stay the course,” Wilson said. “We’ve been an explosive offense all year,” Wilson said. “We’ve just got to get cleaner. That’s the thing about (the Bills) game, more than anything else.”