Before every Washington Football Team game this year, Pete Hailey will identify one key number that you must know regarding that contest.
Here is his number for the Week 15 showdown with the Seahawks.
When you think of Russell Wilson, the word "elusive" has to come to mind rather quickly. The quarterback has many rare traits, but arguably his best skill is being able to escape pressure, improvise outside of the pocket and then connect with his scary receivers for game-changing plays.
Because of that, Washington's defensive line, which is just crushing opponents as of late, better be ready to contain him this Sunday when Seattle comes to FedEx Field. They didn't exactly ace their tests against Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson earlier this year, and while Wilson is much more pass-oriented than those two, he's much closer to them than he is the likes of Big Ben, Andy Dalton and Nick Mullens in terms of mobility.
However, Wilson's legs don't necessarily preclude him from being sacked, as this week's number shows.
In the Seahawks' last six contests, defenders have dropped Wilson 21 times, making him the most-sacked QB in the NFL over that stretch. Despite having creativity and wheels that few at his position possess, no one in the league has hit the grass more than him since Week 9.
You feeling a little more hope all of a sudden?
That's certainly an encouraging trend for Washington, a unit that has racked up six four-sack performances this season, an output that ties them at the top of the sport. It's not going to be all about that on Sunday, however.
On the snaps that Chase Young, Montez Sweat and others can't get home to Wilson, they still have a job to do. If they can't put pressure on him, they at least have to stay spread out in order to keep him confined behind the line of scrimmage.
Ron Rivera touched on that key in his Thursday press conference.
"The biggest thing that we tried to emphasize is you don’t chase color, your color," Rivera said. "Don’t run through the same gap because now you don’t have a guy here or a guy here, you’ve got two guys here. That’s the thing you have to be wary of with guys like this. If for whatever reason you’re going through the same crease, you’ve just given him an invitation to run opposite of where you’re coming from."
Sacking Wilson is the main goal for Burgundy and Gold rushers, but it's not the only goal. Should they have trouble getting hands on him yet succeed at containing him, they'll have another chance to score another upset. If not, Wilson and Seattle will be the ones scoring this weekend.