The exciting Super Bowl quarterback that nearly pulled a Drake by going “Back to Back” has a lot to prove in 2015 after earning a contract extension. The heady decision maker rushed for over 700 yards and I just don’t expect that to happen again. At some point, Marshawn Lynch is going to show some wear and tear, and Wilson isn’t ready to carry a team into the postseason without activating “beast mode.”
Wilson isn’t in the same class as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees. Some media and fans believe that Wilson plays in the mold of Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck. His QB style is closer to Cam Newton and Alex Smith. These are guys that don’t throw a lot of passes and part of their game is using their mobility. When it comes to Wilson and Newton, since they are superior runners at their position, to classify their skill level I would call them elite game managers. They simply hand the ball off or take off running the majority of the time. When they are asked to pass, the routes are either quick hits, or they’re asked to extend plays for a deep throw downfield. They remind me of most players in the NBA that either shoot from downtown or go to the rack.
There’s no right or wrong way to win games. We’ve seen elite quarterbacks and game managers, so-to-speak, get the job done to wear some bling. It’s all preference-based, but I am trying to specify these things as to why I consider this to be a defining season for Wilson. He will surely play longer in Seattle than Lynch, and we all know the elite running back has been the focal point of a less-than-impressive offensive roster.
I understand that we’ve seen the Seahawks dominate with their current group of wide receivers. Jimmy Graham is still an elite tight end in my book. I don’t see why some people write him off when his only issue was getting banged up. Health is the key in the NFL. It feels like every other talented player that we talk about is injury prone and well, they all are to different extents. The very quarterbacks that we consider elite, the best tight end in the game Rob Gronkowski, and a plethora of elite players around the shield have missed extended periods of time because they got hurt. Getting back to Graham, his presence now gives Wilson the best group he’s ever had to target through the air.
A couple of problems could find their way to center stage this season, however. One being, defenses stacking the box with containment and daring Wilson to throw. That could definitely sway his decisions on the read-option plays because he’s a smart guy that has read defenses well. With that said, he’s not the guy that’s going to lead teams with his arm throughout a season. I get that he might not have to since he has yet to be forced to, but beware if that O-line continues to be the Hawks’ weakest link. That still isn’t a valid excuse for Wilson and any struggles he may have. Rodgers, Brady, and Ben Roethlisberger have won Super Bowls with lines that were mediocre at best. You would think Wilson’s ability to elude defenders and buy time could be the answer, but only if he keeps them honest by winning some games through the air. He’s going to have to win some games this season by throwing for 300 yards and multiple touchdowns. I doubt his ability to consistently do that. His counterpart from week 1, Nick Foles, led the Rams to victory without their top two players in the backfield. Is that a small sample? As far as 2015 goes, sure, but this absolutely dates back to the previous seasons.
The route back to the playoffs is stiffer than the past few seasons as Seattle plays in the toughest division in football, and on top of that, an improved division. Arizona had the best record in the league last year before losing Carson Palmer to a season-ending injury. St. Louis has upgraded an already elite defense, as well as at QB and RB. San Francisco may have lost several defensive pieces but their offense looks better on paper. Plus, the 49ers are just a couple of years removed from a Super Bowl appearance, and two NFC title game appearances, so maybe the coaching change will boost team morale that puts them back into that conversation. Needless to say, winning the division again will be a tough challenge for the Hawks, and really, a team with questionable team morale in the midst of Michael Bennett and Kam Chancellor’s desire for more money.