Through three preseason games, the Seahawks have scored just one touchdown on offense; with that being a garbage-time screen to fourth-string running back Thomas Rawls two weeks ago in a season-opening loss to Denver.
Russell Wilson directed six drives in the Seahaws' 16-15 win over the Chargers Saturday night, with Seattle only netting six points on two field goals from Steven Hauschka. Wilson completed 7 of 15 passes for 56 yards. The Seahawks generated just 222 total yards in this contest. By comparison, the Chargers posted 386 yards of offense.
Quarterbacks often get too much of the praise or blame but in this case, Wilson does deserve some of the backlash after Seattle's third consecutive disappointing showing on offense.
Sure, he was often under pressure and watched a couple of catchable passes wind up as drops. But from the get-go Saturday night, Wilson seemed off.
He struggled to break free from safety Jahleel Addae to throw an ill-conceived throw towards Jimmy Graham that was correctly ruled intentional grounding in the first quarter. He overthrew Graham on a deeper route down the seam later in the quarter, losing his technique and throwing with just his arm (rather than stepping into his throw) despite there being room for him to step up in the pocket. Later,
Wilson uncharacteristically threw into double coverage on a deep ball to Kevin Smith later that, frankly, should have been intercepted.
Wilson's worst throw of the night, however, was his last one.
Wilson had guided the Seahawks to their most promising drive of the game, leading the team from its own 20-yard line to the San Diego nine. The 13-play drive stalled, however, when Wilson was unable to hit Jermaine Kearse in the back left corner of the end zone.
Wilson did have pressure in his face but he eluded it, spotted Kearse in the end zone and lobbed an easy ball towards the back corner. Unfortunately for Wilson and Seahawks, however, the ball was simply overthrown, dropping a few yards ahead of the sprinting Kearse, who had broken free.
Of course, Wilson's job is made much more difficult by the fact that Seattle continues to shuffle its offensive line and protect running back Marshawn Lynch, who ran the ball twice and caught a short pass as the focal point of Seattle's three and out first drive of the game. Lynch didn't return to the field after the first series.
Normal starting left tackle Russell Okung was held out against San Diego because the team didn't want to aggravate a shoulder injury. That moved Alvin Bailey into the starting lineup on the blindside, giving Seattle yet another different lineup with Justin Britt, Drew Nowak, J.R. Sweezy and Garry Gilliam rounding out the front five from left to right.
There were, of course, plenty of positives to take from the game, not the least of which was Hauschka's career-long 60-yard field goal with just 17 seconds remaining to win the game.
Top rookies Frank Clark and Tyler Lockett continue to make big plays, with the former Kansas State wideout and return extraordinaire providing the biggest highlight with a winding 67-yard punt return for a score in the second quarter. Watch it again. It's worth it.
With Tarvaris Jackson still out, R.J. Archer directed the Seahawks offense in the fourth quarter and the results weren't impressive. Hauschka was called upon to attempt two very long fields, coming up just short from 58-yards earlier in the final stanza before sneaking his second attempt past the bar despite heavy pressure from the Chargers.
If Seattle's starting offense doesn't start clicking soon, Hauschka field goals and returns from Lockett (or Kevin Smith) may be the only means of points for the Seahawks.