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Russell Wilson
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What we’re trying to figure out: Why is Seahawks QB Russell Wilson half-bad this season?

Russell Wilson's excellence in the final two quarters is only half the story of his season. (AP)

Russell Wilson doesn’t throw more often in the second half.

He just throws more proficiently.

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He also throws almost three times as many touchdown passes in the second half compared to the first while being intercepted less often. Figuring out why Wilson is so much better in the second half, it might help him improve to begin the game.

Three things we’re still trying to figure out

1. Why does Russell Wilson start so slow?

He was 8-for-19 passing in the first half for 80 yards on Sunday in the win over the 49ers, and for the second consecutive week had an interception that could be charitably described as uncharacteristic. And even if you chalk the pass that was intercepted on Seattle’s first play up to the wind that was swirling in Santa Clara, Calif., that still doesn’t explain why Wilson is so much more dangerous in the second half than he is in the first half. He’s less accurate, throws for fewer yards, has been intercepted more often and thrown almost one-third the number of touchdowns in the first half compared to the second. It is the single biggest issue facing this team in December because while Seattle can beat a team like San Francisco while essentially punting away the first half, good luck doing that against Philadelphia this week.

RUSSELL WILSON IS ONLY HALF-BAD
Completions Attempts Pct. Pass yards TD INT Rating
First half 125 209 59.8 124.2 6 5 78.8
Second half 131 202 64.9 151.2 17 3 108.6

2. Why was Doug Baldwin targeted only once in the first half?

That first-half issue that we’re trying to figure out? Well, on Sunday against San Francisco it might be tied to Wilson’s reluctance to target Baldwin. That’s especially true when you consider that the turning point in Sunday’s game for Seattle’s offense was a third-down play in which Baldwin turned Wilson’s scramble drill into a conversion on third-and-9, keeping yet another Seahawks drive from stalling out. Baldwin is Seattle’s most consistently productive receiver, and the Seahawks should be looking to rely on him more rather than less.

3. Are the Seahawks OK at cornerback?

No one would think twice about the Seahawks starting Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane … if this was 2014. The fact that either one of those players is on the Seahawks roster is amazing given the fact that Seattle agreed to trade Lane to Houston at the end of October and Maxwell was at home then, having been cut by Miami. Yet those two have been the Seahawks’ first-team cornerbacks for all but two plays over the last two games, and all Seattle has done is hold Matt Ryan to fewer than 200 yards passing for the first time in four years and keep San Francisco out of the end zone entirely until the second-to-last play of a double-digit victory. With rookie Shaquill Griffin expected back this week after missing the last game because of a concussion, Seattle is more worried about consistency at quarterback than it is at cornerback, which is amazing considering the fact that Richard Sherman is out for the year.

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