The Seattle Seahawks have won six of their last seven games – including four straight – and Russell Wilson is a big reason why. In fact, Wilson is the reason why. With 17 touchdowns (16 pass, one rush) and no interceptions in his last four games, Wilson has been unstoppable, and the once 4-5 Seahawks are now looking like one of the most dangerous teams in football.
“I think Russell Wilson’s whole career has been about changing narrative,” Fox Sports analyst Charles Davis said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “You guys know – having followed him through college all the way now to the NFL – that there was always a ‘Russell Wilson is great but’ statement that was attached to his name, wasn’t there?”
He’s great, but he’s 5-11. He’s great, but he can’t cary a team. He’s great, but he can’t throw from the pocket.
“We can go on and on,” Davis said, “and each time he jumps that hurdle or shatters that glass ceiling or whatever term you want to use. But right now, the most interesting part to me is his play from the pocket has been so good that all the points you’ve made have come into focus. We talk so much about Tom Brady and how he hasn’t had very many great receivers over the years. He’s had more than what you would judge Seattle’s receivers to be based on draft status. Undrafted Doug Baldwin. Undrafted Jermaine Kearse. Luke Willson? Everyone thinks he’s an actor. No one knows that he’s a tight end. Cooper Helfet at tight end now. He went to Johns Hopkins to play lacrosse before he transferred to Duke to play football. Jimmy Graham is no longer there. Yet they continue to flourish.”
As Davis pointed out, Marshawn Lynch has been out for a while now, and Thomas Rawls got hurt on the first drive against Baltimore this past Sunday.
Wilson’s response? Five touchdowns, zero interceptions and zero sacks in a 35-6 road win.
“So what I’m seeing is now the last narrative,” Davis said. “I call the last one a huge one: (the notion) that Russell Wilson isn’t a guy that you can have play quarterback for you if you need him to carry your team. He’s showing us that you can run the offense through him first and still be successful. Do they want to? No. That’s not their style. But can they? I think the answer is unequivocally yes, and he has three more games left to prove it before we head to the playoffs.
“And I’ll tell you this, guys,” Davis continued. “I’ve been around him. I’ve covered him as a player from the time he was at Wisconsin to now. And as confident as he’s been throughout his career, he’s never more confident than right now. Whatever that tape measure says about 5-11-and-three-quarters or whatever it is – he’s walking around now like he’s Paul Bunyan. That’s how confident he is.”
The Seahawks (8-5) host Cleveland (3-10) this Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET.
Davis, who is calling the game, will look to see just how much better Johnny Manziel has gotten this season.
“I’ve seen growth from him,” Davis said. “I don’t know if it’s quite as dramatic as some people have made it out to be. But is he better? Without a doubt. I think there is more attention to detail, which seems oxymoronic considering what he’s done off the field at times. But there is more attention to detail on the field. He does have better huddle command and poise at the line of scrimmage in trying to read coverages and get them into the right play and out of the wrong play. He does throw the football on time better than before. Is he 100 percent there? No, not at all, and I don’t think ever will be. Because part of what makes Johnny Manziel Johnny Manziel is that ability to break the ranks and make a bigger play – and he’s always looking for that, but he’s shown more discipline. This would be a major test. He’s going to Seattle. It’s the loudest place in the league. He’s got to master those sort of things without a running game. We’ll see how it goes.
“I think he’s a better quarterback than he’s ever been, (but) the juxtaposition is very simply this,” Davis continued. “Mike Pettine, I’m not sure trusts him, and really doesn’t want to play him. But ownership has said, ‘You’ve got to play him. We’ve got to find out what we have.’ Johnny Manziel holds Mike Pettine’s future in his hands. If he plays well and they win two out for three down the stretch, Mike Pettine might keep his job. That’s kind of a real juxtaposition there, isn’t it?”