The Seahawks' first touchdown on Thursday was an example of Russell Wilson not being just a "run around" quarterback. He moves around to do something decisive.
On the touchdown to Sidney Rice, Seattle receiver Golden Tate was lined up to the left as the "X iso" against Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson. After the snap Wilson glances at that side, but he comes off it so quickly, I don’t think he had any intention to throw to Tate. He just wanted to move single high safety, Rashad Johnson, over to that side with his eyes. And Seattle has thrown it to the "X iso" on that route before, so they’re playing off something they have done in the past.
Wilson was setting up Rice, who was running a hook-and-go route on his right side. Rice's route looked improvised, but it's not. It looked like it was improvisation because Wilson moved out of the pocket.
Wilson saw a flash of red in front of him while he was in the pocket, likely from Cardinals end Marcus Benard, who rushed inside of the right tackle and beat him. Benard rushed hard inside because safety Tyrann Mathieu was blitzing from the outside on his side. Seattle running back Robert Turbin picked up Mathieu. Linebacker Karlos Dansby came on a green dog blitz, because his man in coverage was Turbin, who stayed in to protect. When Wilson saw Dansby coming free, he kept moving to his right.
Rice ran his hook-and-go route. The safety, Yeremiah Bell, jumped on the hook part, like a cornerback against a stutter-and-go move. Wilson kept his eyes downfield and saw all of it develop as he moved to his right.
Then it became a great throw on the move by Wilson.
What’s overlooked about Wilson, because everyone talks about his running ability, is he’s a good passer. He’s a very smart, efficient player. He gets rid of the ball, he’s very decisive and knows where to go. Then he’s a really good thrower with plenty of velocity, and very accurate.
Wilson is not a guy that tries to make it a spontaneous game. He plays decisively. Even his unstructured play has rhyme and reason. The best way to describe his game is he's being proactively unstructured.
NFL analyst and NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell watches as much NFL game film as anyone. Throughout the season, Cosell will join Shutdown Corner to share his observations on the teams, schemes and personnel from around the league.