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NFL Draft

Can Seahawks Survive Without Russell Wilson?

  • The Draft Network
  • October 8, 2021
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The Seattle Seahawks dropped below .500 (2-3) with Thursday night’s primetime loss to the Los Angeles Rams. The Seahawks now sit last place in the ultra-competitive NFC West, and the concerns regarding the overall competitiveness of this team are beginning to mount. The Seahawks need to sort through multiple issues before they take the field for a crucial Week 6 primetime showdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but none of their concerns will carry more weight throughout the week than the health status of starting quarterback Russell Wilson going forward.

Wilson suffered a finger injury on Thursday and was ultimately replaced by backup quarterback Geno Smith. Wilson has miraculously never missed a start in his illustrious 10-year career, but will now face an uphill battle to keep that streak alive in Week 6. Thursday night's game was filled with up-and-down moments, none of which were more surprising than the impressive play of Smith. The former second-round pick displayed great confidence after replacing Wilson and nearly led the Seahawks to an unlikely come-from-behind victory.

Smith finished the contest 10-of-17 for 131 yards with a lone touchdown and interception to his name. Seattle's final comeback attempt was ultimately thwarted by a Nick Scott interception, but it's worth noting that Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett, unfortunately, got his feet tangled up on the play and fell to the ground before completing his route.

Should Wilson have to miss Week 6, the Seahawks won't find a better option at quarterback than Smith, who gave them every chance to win the game on Thursday night. Smith was decisive and comfortable under center and showed the ability to extend plays when the pocket collapsed. Smith was accurate and consistently gave his receivers a chance to make plays on the ball.

While much of the headlines in Seattle over the next few days will focus on Wilson's availability, what head coach Pete Carroll and defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. need to work on is fixing a defense that is currently allowing a league-worst 450.8 yards per game. Inexcusable defensive performances continue to limit the upside for overall success in Seattle.

Seattle can win games and remain competitive with Smith as their part-time signal-caller while Wilson heals an injury to a finger on his throwing hand. That much was proven last night. But opportunities to win football games will be difficult to come by regardless of who starts at quarterback if this defense fails to deliver a serviceable punch.

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