'Remarkable' Wilson Winning Seahawks Games With Hands, Feet
The 3-1 Seahawks host the 4-1 Cowboys on Sunday at CenturyLink Field. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel expects another strong showing from quarterback Russell Wilson, the man who's won the last two games with his hands and his feet.
Wilson The Reason For Winning
Art says it's been "tough sledding" for the Seahawks so far this season.
"I think they've done well to win 3 of 4, but they've done it in a fashion that's a little more of a tightrope than most of them want," Art said.
Art thinks Seattle would've lost at least the last two games if it hadn't been for Russell Wilson.
"He has single-handedly brought them from the fire against Denver and against Washington on Monday Night Football. Both of those games would've been losses without Russell," Art said. "His ability to get them out of trouble and into productive scoring position is remarkable. I don't think any other quarterback could've won those games besides him."
One For The Record Books
Wilson was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance on Monday Night Football. He ran for 122 yards and passed for 201 yards.
"That's only been done a handful of times in Monday Night history," Art pointed out. "And it's a pretty rare feat for any quarterback at any time. He has done it twice and there are only two other quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era who've been that versatile.
"The problem with it is, it's very dangerous and very hard to replicate."
'Remarkable' Play Highlights Wilson's Talents
A perfect example of why Wilson's performance went down in the NFL record books came late in the fourth quarter on third-and-four from the 50 yard line. There was less than three minutes remaining in an unexpectedly tense 24-17 contest. This is how Art explained the play in his column for Sportspress Northwest:
"Wilson tried to roll right, was cut off and commenced a full-sprint retreat for nearly 20 yards with three Redskins in pursuit. Amid the chaos of a shattered play, he saw Marshawn Lynch, alone after faking a run to start the play.
"A moment before getting clobbered again, Wilson softly looped the ball 15 yards, in a manner of an office worker throwing a wad of paper to a waste basket. Lynch gathered the floater and burst through the scattered Washington defense for 30 yards. A few moments later, Steven Hauschka bled the game of drama with a 43-yard field goal."
Days later in the KPLU studios, Art was still dumbfounded. "It was a remarkable play," he told me. "It again illustrated how good he is and how thin the margin is for Seahawks' success. Any other quarterback in the NFL would not have made that play. The Seahawks are riding him probably harder and more often than they should to be a dominant team."
Cowboys 'Formidable' Opponents
Art says the 4-1 Cowboys are coming to CenturyLink Field with a very good ground game.
"I think they're going to give Seattle a very, very good game. The difference again probably will be Russell," he said.
Weak Offensive Line Keeps Wilson On His Toes
But Art says the problem is Wilson's offensive line — and it has been for three years.
"They have some real vulnerability in the offensive line, which is, of course, is Russell's lifeline," he said. "So I can see another game of his full scrambling."
"Russell Okung, the left tackle who is protecting Wilson's blind side, admits that he's only about 80% because he's still recovering from toe surgery he had in the offseason," Art said. "Max Unger, the center, is hurting. The right tackle is a rookie, Justin Britt. And tight end Zach Miller is out for another couple of weeks."
Art says Wilson running for his life is "a finite deal."
"Somewhere, somebody's going to catch him and deliver a lick on him," he said. "It's a real tenuous thing that the Seahawks have got going and the Cowboys are going to be a whole lot more formidable than I think Seahawks fans realize."