Clayton: Russell Wilson looks like himself as Seahawks take step in right direction

Dec 6, 2021, 12:00 PM | Updated: 12:44 pm
Seahawks Russell Wilson...
Russell Wilson celebrates a touchdown throw with Pete Carroll in the third quarter of Sunday's win. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

All last week everyone was asking was what it would take for the Seahawks to get back on the winning path.

The answer was simple. They needed Russell Wilson to play like Russell Wilson.

Rost: Seahawks-49ers still delivers primetime drama

For weeks, he was tentative. You could tell the finger still affected some of this throws. He just didn’t look right.

In Sunday’s 30-23 win over the San Francisco 49ers, Russell was Russell. He played with good tempo and completed 30 of 37 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns. He targeted DK Metcalf eight times, completing five passes to him for 60 yards that included a 33-yard connection. He was hot with Tyler Lockett, too (seven receptions, eight targets, 68 yards and a TD).

Sunday’s game was going to be a struggle. The Seahawks didn’t have Damien Lewis at left guard because of a shoulder injury. They lost Kyle Fuller during the game at left guard and right tackle Brandon Shell got hurt. They finished the game with two rookies along the offensive line – sixth-round pick Stone Forsythe and undrafted Jake Curhan – going against a top defensive line.

Wilson was able to conquer, though. He ended up leading the offense to 23 points (the other seven points came on Travis Homer’s 73-yard TD run on a fake punt), but really this could have been a 40-point game. Tight end Gerald Everett had two red zone fumbles and bobbled a pass off his hands that ended up being an interception in the end zone.

Despite not having Alex Collins, who has been Seattle’s top running back since Chris Carson’s season-ending injury, the Seahawks were able to get Rashaad Penny going. Penny had 35 yards on 10 carries. Adrian Peterson started just days after signing to the practice squad, and while he had only 16 yards on 11 carries, he was a big back who had some tough inside runs, including a touchdown.

The defense continues to look good, creating turnovers and making key stops. The goal line stand at the end of the game, capped off by Carlos Dunlap batting down a pass attempt on fourth down, was sensational.

Even though the win won’t change the outcome of the Seahawks’ season, it was a needed step in the right direction. The Seahawks are now 4-8 and they have three winnable games coming up. The Seahawks should be able to go to Houston and get a win Sunday against the 2-10 Texans. They have home games at the end of the season against Chicago (4-8) and Detroit (1-10-1). That should get them to seven wins. The tough stretch will be road games against the Los Angeles Rams (8-4) and Arizona Cardinals (10-2) that will be hard divisional battles.

A 7-10 season wouldn’t be ideal, but if the Seahawks split in the road division games, it would make the season easier to accept. The defense continues to get better. The big thing is Wilson is getting back to his regular play level. Thirty completions is pretty impressive. It was a nice win.

Seahawks Injuries: Latest on Jamal Adams, Damien Lewis and more

John Clayton on 710 ESPN Seattle
  • 710AM ESPN SeattleTune in to 710 ESPN Seattle on Saturday mornings for The John Clayton Show.

The Professor's Notes

John Clayton hosts a daily video breaking down the NFL

John Clayton

Seahawks Sean DeSai...
John Clayton

Clayton: A look at Seahawks’ list of defensive coordinator candidates

Something had to change for the Seahawks, and they decided on defensive coordinator. So who are they looking at? John Clayton breaks it down.
4 days ago
Seahawks Pete Carroll...
John Clayton

Clayton: No news from Seahawks meeting with Jody Allen is good news

Despite reports that changes could be coming with the Seahawks, there were none after last week's meeting with team chair Jody Allen. John Clayton it breaks down.
7 days ago
Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny...
John Clayton

Clayton: What Rashaad Penny can get from Seahawks after big finish

The Seahawks will likely look to retain RB Rashaad Penny, but John Clayton says it won't cost as much as some people seem to believe.
11 days ago
Seahawks Poona Ford...
John Clayton

Clayton: Seahawks make important improvements going into offseason

The Seahawks went into the offseason pointing in the right direction, as John Clayton breaks down as he looks at Seattle's season finale.
14 days ago
Seahawks Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf...
John Clayton

Clayton: Seahawks’ offense has chance to finish strong vs Cardinals

The Seahawks wrap up a tough 2021 season against the Cardinals. John Clayton breaks down the matchup between Seattle and Arizona.
17 days ago
Seahawks DK Metcalf...
John Clayton

Clayton: Seahawks stack up positive signs heading into final week

The Seahawks improved to 6-10 with Sunday's win over Detroit and now will set their sights on an upset bid in their season finale against 11-5 Arizona.
21 days ago
Clayton: Russell Wilson looks like himself as Seahawks take step in right direction