DANNY ONEIL

O’Neil: Russell Wilson couldn’t save Seahawks from his shaky three quarters in loss to Jaguars

Dec 10, 2017, 5:24 PM | Updated: 7:34 pm
Russell Wilson's three interceptions put the Seahawks in a hole against Jacksonville. (AP)...
Russell Wilson's three interceptions put the Seahawks in a hole against Jacksonville. (AP)
(AP)

For two quarters, Russell Wilson was almost entirely unproductive.

In the third quarter, he was inexplicably reckless.

And as unbelievable of a tease as Wilson’s fourth quarter was, it wasn’t enough to save Seattle from the way he played for the first 45 minutes of Seattle’s 30-24 loss to Jacksonville.

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He finished 17-for-31 passing for 271 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions in a game that doesn’t sound as bad as it actually was.

He was picked off three times, only the fourth time he has been intercepted more than twice in the 105 games he has played for Seattle, including the playoffs. Almost exactly half of Wilson’s passing yardage came on a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown throws when Seattle already trailed by double digits.

A week after Wilson demonstrated against Philadelphia why he is the most valuable player in the league, he put up a performance that pretty much assured he won’t win that award.

He wasn’t the only reason the Seahawks lost. The rash of injuries afflicting Seattle’s defense has now become a plague as linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright left Sunday’s game, Wagner because of a hamstring injury and Wright after suffering a concussion.

The fact that Seattle allowed three touchdowns on the first three defensive plays after Wagner left the game speaks to the fact that the Seahawks’ defense may have reached a breaking point.

That doesn’t explain what happened to Seattle’s offense, though. Or more specifically what happened to Seattle’s passing offense.

Seattle rushed for 141 yards in the game, third-most in any game this season. Mike Davis gained 66 yards before leaving the game with a rib injury.

It was the passing game where Seattle was lacking for the first three quarters. Wilson didn’t complete a pass for more than 7 yards in the first half.

It wasn’t just ineffective, though. It was the errors. Wilson was picked off three times, his most in any regular-season game this season. Two of those were of the huck-and-
hope variety in which he just winged the ball deep and prayed for the best, only to see a member of the Jaguars come down with it.

“They were risky plays,” coach Pete Carroll said. “They were so far, so long, that we think we have a chance to make the play and they did a better job than we did.”

Those long plays paid off in the fourth quarter with a 61-yard pass to Paul Richardson and a 74-yard pass to Tyler Lockett with 3:42 left, both touchdowns.

But by that point, Seattle’s chances were a long shot in large part because of how Wilson had played the first three quarters.

RUSSELL WILSON’S GAMES WITH 3 OR MORE INTERCEPTIONS
Date Opponent Comp-Att (Pct.) Pass yds TD INT Rating
Dec. 10, 2017 at Jacksonville 17-31 (54.8) 271 3 3 76.9
Dec. 11, 2016 at Green Bay 22-39 (56.4) 240 1 5 43.7
Jan. 18, 2015 vs. Green Bay* 14-29 (48.3) 209 1 4 43.7
Sept. 30, 2012 at St. Louis 17-25 (68) 160 0 3 45.8
*NFC Championship Game

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O’Neil: Russell Wilson couldn’t save Seahawks from his shaky three quarters in loss to Jaguars