Slow Starts: Russell Wilson vs Dolphins

When I first got NFL Rewind a couple weeks ago, I went through a lot of the Niners games (shocking, I know) to see some of the good, bad and ugly plays. We'd been talking about slow starts and I watched the beginnings of some games closely to see what was going on. On a whim, I decided to take a look at the Seahawks last regular season loss, which was in Miami.

Before I go further, a few disclaimers:

  1. Russell Wilson seems like a good enough guy. The intent of this is not to attack him.
  2. Sometimes players and teams have bad games. Unless you're the 49ers and then it just means you're clearly inferior. I need to closely watch more Seattle games to really feel like I have an accurate picture of the guy.
  3. While Field Gulls has remarkably good analysis at times, you're not going to find much objectivity regarding RW up there. RW is a good QB, but they seem to really overblow it and act like he's already a star at every facet of the QB position.
  4. There's only 2 things about RW's game that has really impressed me to-date. 1) His shiftiness in the pocket and ability to buy insane amounts of time until he finds a receiver wide open. Of course he can run, but I'm speaking more from a passing standpoint. 2) His deep out is really, really precise.
  5. I'm open to changing my mind as I watch more games, but I haven't seen RW fitting balls into tight windows over the middle of the field like Kaep and I'm not a fan of his moonshot deep balls. I'm not an expert of course, so I'm open to constructive criticism.
  6. This also serves as practice for myself, at capturing and embedding videos for 49ers fan discussions. I want to be in good shape for the regular season!
  7. I cannot get the videos to stop autoplaying. The code I've used works fine on an independent website, but no dice here. I'll probably stick with links after the first clip until I figure this out.

So, keeping with the slow start analysis, let's take a peek at Seattle @ Miami.

Drive #1

Wilson only attempts one pass, which is incomplete on a roll out. Doesn't look like he's got anywhere to go. A penalty sets them back and they run on 3rd down. While they manage to pick up 10, they still punt.

Drive #2

3 straight RW passes lead to a punt. After a 3 yard completion and an incomplete, RW tries to force one to Baldwin in double coverage. Coaches film shows Rice coming free up the left sideline, but RW seemed locked on Baldwin.

Drive #3

After a penalty and Lynch stuff, RW gets them back to 3rd and 10 with a 10 yard pass to Tate. On 3rd and 10, RW misses an open Baldwin under a little pressure. You've got to make this throw...

Drive #4

RW can't find an open receiver on 3rd & 8 and scrambles up the middle for 5. Nobody looked very open on coaches film and 2 receivers seemed way too close together in the middle of the field.

Drive #5 (2nd quarter)

Seattle picks up a first down after an 8 yard pass and a 2 yard run. On first down, RW throws one of his lob deep balls that sails over a leaping Tate. After a bad read option that RW kept for -2 yards, we finally get a good play from Russell. This play epitomizes what I like the most about RW's game - escapability and a beautiful deep sideline ball. This drive would ultimately stall out on a 4 yard pass to Miller, who was unable to get the extra 1 YAC needed.

With 5:23 to go before halftime of a 0-0 game, Bush gashes the Seattle D for a long TD. Chancellor's attempted tackle is not pretty.

Drive #6

In the waning minutes before halftime, the Seahawks finally manage to score. RW gets 20 yards from Turbin on a short dump pass in the flat. RW gets 32 from Tate on another floating deep ball, where Tate pushes over the DB and somehow dives over him for the catch. It's an impressive catch, but again an uncalled OPI on Tate. A few plays later, RW's elusiveness buys him the time to get McCoy wide open in the end zone.

It's only one half of football,but definitely not the most impressive game of Russell Wilson's short career. Was it just a bad day? I don't see anything that suggests RW is amazing at progressing through his reads. Rather, he seems to be simply reading the defense and knows up front where he's going with the football. That's not a bad thing if he's good at it (and he generally appears to be), but I'm not seeing the progression ability that Seahawk fans claim is so superior to Kaepernick's. The pass rush from Miami appeared decent, but it wasn't like Wake was beating Anthony Davis like a drum, which was the biggest problem when we played Miami. Maybe it was just too loud outside the quiet confines of Seattle.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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