Russell Wilson has been cooking through the first quarter of the season, more so than any NFL quarterback not named Patrick Mahomes.
His 72.9 completion percentage is the best in the league and his 8.6 yards per attempt are tied for fourth. Both of those numbers would be career highs for Wilson. He’s also tied for eighth with eight passing touchdowns while adding two scores as a runner.
Oh, and Wilson is yet to throw an interception or lose a fumble. He hasn’t thrown a pick in his last 178 pass attempts. That includes his final 18 throws against the Cardinals in Week 17 of 2018, all 27 against the Cowboys in the playoffs and all 133 in 2019. By comparison, Matt Ryan, Jared Goff and Baker Mayfield have thrown six interceptions a piece.
“I think he’s off to his best start ever,” Pete Carroll said on Monday. “I don’t know what it looks like numbers wise, but I don’t think he’s ever been more accurate than he’s been or more consistent and in command of everything. I think he’s off to a great start. I don’t care how big the numbers are – I’m not talking about how many yards or whatever – just his play has been really sharp.”
Wilson didn’t bite on the opportunity to gas himself up when asked about Carroll’s assessment of him.
“If you’re asking me how I feel, I’m definitely locked in and ready to roll,” the quarterback said before shifting the focus back on his teammates.
Wilson makes a few jaw-dropping throws each game that have become so trivial for him that they’re easy to take for granted. Take the 28-yard throw to Tyler Lockett in the second quarter last Sunday in Arizona as a perfect example. Lockett was running a deep crossing route from right to left, and Wilson fit a throw between two defenders for the long completion.
If you watch the replay, you’ll see that the pass was literal centimeters out of the reach of Cardinals safety Budda Baker. Brian Schottenheimer said he gave Wilson a hard time about the throw back on the sideline.
“Did you see (Baker)?” Schottenheimer joked to his quarterback.
“Oh yeah, I saw him,” Wilson replied assuredly.
“I don’t know if he was telling me the truth,” Schottenheimer said with a laugh to reporters on Tuesday.
Wilson explained that he practices those types of throws. He’ll set up two objects, one that he’s throwing to and another that he has to throw over. Those drills help his touch on deep balls like the 28-yarder to Lockett.
“You work at your game,” Wilson said. “You want to be able to make all the throws.”
According to Schottenheimer, Wilson’s knowledge of the scheme has helped speed up Seattle’s offense. The Seahawks are quicker in and out of the huddle, mostly because of Wilson’s mastery of Schottenheimer’s scheme. The quarterback will hear the first few words of a play call and then be able to fill in rest himself.
Seattle’s offensive coordinator admitted he’s still amazed by Wilson’s weekly wizardry. It’s the unscripted plays in particular that never cease to amaze. Schottenheimer cited the third-down pass to Lockett on the Seahawks final drive against the Cardinals as a specific example.
On 3rd-and-10, Wilson evaded pressure, scrambled to his left and threw a missile to Lockett for an 11-yard gain.
“You don’t coach that. That’s just his ability to make plays and move around and improvise,” Schottenheimer said. “We appreciate it on gameday. You see it and you’re like, ‘Whoa.’ But then when you go back and watch it on film, that’s when you’re really like, ‘OK that was pretty cool.’”