Bumpus: What Seahawks’ offense can take from Russell Wilson, Alex Collins’ big days

Oct 5, 2021, 3:20 PM

Seahawks Russell Wilson Alex Collins...

Quarterback Russell WIlson hands the ball off to Alex Collins of the Seattle Seahawks against the Los Angeles Rams in the first quarter at SoFi Stadium on Nov. 15, 2020. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Seahawks are going into Thursday’s big game against the 3-1 Los Angeles Rams with momentum despite an uneven showing Sunday against the 49ers. The important thing is that the Seahawks won that game 28-21 to get to 2-2 on the season, and a big reason why are a pair of offensive players.

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The first of those players isn’t a surprise: quarterback Russell Wilson. But the way his game went was in fact out of the ordinary – at least when it comes to recent seasons. It was familiar for people who have been watching Wilson since the early days of his career, though.

The 32-year-old Wilson didn’t have gaudy passing numbers, instead throwing an efficient 16 of 23 for 149 yards and two touchdowns, and he added four rushes for 26 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown that put Seattle in the lead 14-7 in the third quarter.

Former Seahawks wide receiver Michael Bumpus, who now hosts the pregame, halftime and postgame shows on the Seahawks Radio Network, said Wilson turned the clock back after Seattle struggled in the first half.

“He looked desperate like he wanted to take it over, but he didn’t force anything at the same time,” Bumpus told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Wyman and Bob on Monday. “And I think that is when Russell Wilson is at his best, when he takes calculated gambles and he keeps plays alive. He looked like it was back in the day, back in ’13, ’14, ’15 where he’s running for a bunch of yards but he’s in control at the same time.

“I like the way Russell looked, and if there ever was a time to have a neutral way of thinking, it was that first half because nothing was going right for these dudes. It could have been easy for him to get extremely frustrated and just start tossing the ball up like it was nothing.”

Now on to the second offensive player who played a big role in the win over the Niners: backup running back Alex Collins, who had 44 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries plus two receptions for 34 yards.

With No. 1 RB Chris Carson managing just 30 yards on 13 carries, the production from Collins turned out to be very important as the Seahawks put San Francisco away.

“He runs with a hunger,” Bumpus said. “… Alex comes off the bench and he was running with fresh legs. He was running like, ‘Look, I haven’t carried the ball 30 or 40 times this year. I’m gonna go get it.’ He understood his role. He was like that sixth man off the bench, that Jamal Crawford who is gonna come off the bench and just change the game. So I just saw a guy who understood the assignment – ‘Look, we’re not getting anything going right now. I’m going to do it myself.'”

Something else that may have come in handy is that Collins’ presence in the backfield may have drawn the 49ers away from focusing on Seattle’s run game.

“He’s a guy that you don’t gameplan for. So when he comes in, they might play a different defense. ‘Alex Collins is in, they’re not really gonna run, they’re gonna look to pass right here.’ So he just took advantage of every opportunity that he had,” Bumpus said.

You can hear Bumpus’ full conversation with Bob Stelton and Dave Wyman in the second segment of the podcast at this link or in the player below.

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Bumpus: What Seahawks’ offense can take from Russell Wilson, Alex Collins’ big days