Russell Wilson showed Sunday that he’s worth every penny of the lucrative $140 million contract he signed this offseason. He completed 29-of-35 pass attempts (83%) for 300 yards and three touchdowns in the Seahawks 28-26 win against the Steelers at Heinz Field.
He overcame protection issues, took the reins of the offense and carried Seattle to a second straight win to begin the season. And that’s nothing new. Wilson has been a clutch performer since he entered the league in 2012, and he’s done nothing but improve season-by-season.
The reaction of his teammates, or lack thereof, is what’s so telling. At this point, it’s just Russ being Russ.
“That’s just him,” Chris Carson said. “He’s always making big time plays in big time situations. That’s nothing new.”
Even Pete Carroll was ho hum in his praise of Wilson. The Seahawks allowed three early sacks (four total). Brian Schottenheimer made an adjustment to go with some tempo and quick passes and Wilson orchestrated every call to near-perfection.
“We put Russ in command of the rhythm of the game,” Carroll said. “All the quick stuff he did a really good job on.”
Per NextGen Stats, Wilson's average time to throw was 1.89 seconds, the quickest of any QB in a game since 2016. He made checks at the line of scrimmage into blitz beaters and utilized Tyler Lockett on underneath routes all game long. Lockett finished with a career high 10 receptions for 79 yards.
Then, when the opportunity presented itself, Wilson took a shot down the left sideline and threw a dime to DK Metcalf for a 28-yard touchdown.
“I think he played phenomenal,” Lockett said. “He did a lot of great things. He did whatever we needed to do to win. … Just to be able to see him put himself in a position where he allowed us to be successful in every single way. He knew when to check to certain things. He knew when to run certain plays.”
Wilson saved his best for last. After a fumbled exchange betweet Wilson and Carson allowed Pittsburgh to get within two, Wilson engineered an immaculate drive that burned the final 5:34 off the clock. He scrambled three times on the final possession of the game, something he hasn’t done much of through two weeks.
The first was a 10-yard run to convert 2nd-and-9. Wilson then ran for nine yards to convert 2nd-and-7, but the play was called back due to a holding penalty. Two plays later, on 3rd-and-16, Wilson took off once again and gained 15 yards to set up Carson’s game-clinching 2-yard run on fourth down.
“We knew they were going to make the plays they needed to and that Russ was going to do a great job,” Bobby Wagner said casually of the offense’s ability to seal the win.
And Wagner’s comments capture the common sentiment regarding Wilson: When he’s got the ball in his hands in a close game, the expectation is that he’s going to come through.
Through two games, Wilson is 43-of-55 passing (78%) for 496 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions. His second touchdown on Sunday, a 12-yard pass to Will Dissly in the third quarter, was the 200th passing touchdown of his career. Wilson became the fifth-fastest quarterback in NFL history to reach the milestone. He’s also the first player to ever throw for 200 touchdowns (201) and run for 15 touchdowns (16) in his first eight seasons.
Wilson is already among the upper echelon of NFL superstars. Sunday’s performance was just another reminder.