Russell Wilson was not sacked in a game for the first time since Dec. 13, 2015.
Now, that doesn’t mean the Seahawks offensive line was perfect in pass protection. Far from it as Wilson still spent a chunk of Sunday afternoon dodging, ducking and evading pass-rushing carnivores who’d worked their way into the pocket.
It was a marked improvement, though, and a really good sign for coach Pete Carroll considering it was not only the first game in which left guard Luke Joeckel and left tackle Duane Brown played together, but it came without the benefit of so much as a single practice together given the fact that Joeckel had undergone a knee surgery early in October and didn’t start practicing until two weeks ago, and by that time Brown was unable to practice because of a sprained ankle.
“It was kind of like the first step together,” Carroll said Monday, “and I’m hoping that as we come down to the finish of this season that these guys can really continue to develop and we can play better and smarter and be more efficient and that was a really good sign in that regard.”
At this point, it’s important to pause and point out that no one can complain about Seattle’s lack of investment in the offensive line. Not when the team is currently starting three players who were former first-round choices (Brown, Joeckel and right tackle Germain Ifedi) and two second-round picks (center Justin Britt and right guard Ethan Pocic).
Not only that, but Britt has been signed to a contract extension by Seattle, Joeckel is playing on a one-year deal worth $7 million and Brown is scheduled to make almost $10 million next season.
The investment has been made. Now, it’s time to see dividends.