Being an offensive lineman is a thankless job.
If you mess up just once a game and give up a sack, your fanbase despises you. If the guy you're blocking wins once a game resulting in a sack he's an All-Pro.
Due to these mental gymnastics, nearly every fanbase thinks their favorite team has a subpar offensive line. But if you're a Seattle fan, you really did last season.
Pro Football Focus has rated the 2019 Seattle Seahawks offensive line as the third-worst in the NFL in pass protection, only better than the Miami Dolphins who many felt entered the season tanking for Tua Tagovailoa and the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Seahawks offensive line gave up 48 sacks last season, a 7.9% adjusted sack rate, in 2019 per Football Outsiders.
That is why Russell Wilson gets the big bucks.
Despite working with some of the worst pass protection in the entire league, the Seahawks went 11-5, finishing a yard short of winning the NFC West title in Week 17. Wilson, who signed a four-year, $140 million extension last offseason, threw for 4,110 yards (8.0 yards per attempt), 31 touchdowns and only five interceptions last season which saw him as a front runner to win MVP until Lamar Jackson broke out the second half of the regular season.
The lack of reliable pass protection may excuse Seattle's unwillingness to air the ball out but I disagree.
Russell Wilson is a top-three quarterback, at worst, in the NFL. His efficiency numbers in spite of subpar usage indicate he's still being held back by the playcalling because he's excelled before when Seattle let him throw the ball more.
In the second half of the 2015 season when the Seahawks started to air the ball out, Wilson had one of the best five-game stretches in NFL history; throwing for at least three touchdowns, had a QB rating of over 120, a completion percentage of at least 70%, and at least 245 yards passing in each contest.
He's only gotten better since 2015, in spite of Seattle's offensive philosophy.
Wilson threw as many passes as Mitchell Trubisky last season with 516. There's no argument that noted draft bust Trubisky, averaging 6.1 yards per attempt in a worse division, should be airing the ball out as much as Wilson averaging 8.0 yards per attempt.
Wilson had an average time-to-throw of 2.85 seconds per NFL Next Gen Stats, which was above the league average but Wilson still needed to create something out of nothing more often than not, and he did.
Hopefully, Seattle's offseason moves can sure up the trenches and make Wilson's job a little easier next season.
The Seahawks drafted guard Damien Lewis in the third round, No. 69th overall, during the 2020 NFL Draft who's expected to start right away. Especially after cutting starting center Justin Britt and guard D.J. Fluker shortly following the draft. Free agent acquisition B.J. Finney is expected to replace Britt at center. At right tackle, former New York Jets Brandon Shell should start right away as well after signing a two-year, $11 million deal in March. Then, Mike Iupati should be in line to start for a second-straight season at left guard and Duane Brown will start at left tackle.
Be sure to check out the latest Talkin' Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Kevin Calabro.