Overreaction Monday: Russell Wilson has been distracted by the MVP race

Joe Fann
·5 min read

Overreaction Monday: Russell Wilson has been distracted by the MVP race originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

The Seahawks are reeling having lost three of their last four games, most recently an ugly 23-16 defeat to the Rams in Week 10.

Seattle now sits in third place in the NFC West at 6-3 as the Seahawks currently lose tiebreakers to the fellow 6-3 Rams and Cardinals. It’s a quick turnaround for Seattle with Arizona coming to town on Thursday for a pivotal primetime matchup that will set the table for the final six games of the season.

Let’s dive into your takes for the week. Thanks, as always, to those who participated.

Overreaction? No.

I don’t think you can overstate the importance of Thursday’s game. Getting swept by the Cardinals would mean that the Seahawks no longer control their own destiny within the NFC West. Over the final six weeks of the season, Seattle would have to pick up two games on Arizona in order to avoid a tiebreaker scenario.

While that’s possible if the Seahawks run the table and finish with a 12-4 record, it’s not something Seattle should bank on given that Arizona is a damn good football team.

It is notoriously challenging to make the Super Bowl as a Wild Card team. Seattle has learned that reality the last two years. That’s why I think it’s fair to call this a must-win game for the Seahawks and assume they’ll be a one-and-done Wild Card team should they lose to the Cardinals. Of course Seattle would have a chance for alternative fates, but the odds would be against such outcomes.

Overreaction? No.

Patrick Mahomes has a stranglehold on the MVP race right now. Beyond that, Aaron Rodgers, Kyler Murray and Josh Allen are also firmly in the conversation. Russell Wilson would not only have to play mostly flawless football the rest of the way, but Seattle would have to win the NFC West. Even then, he’d need Mahomes and the others to sputter quite drastically in order to have a chance.

Overreaction? No.

I think this is a super fair take. For the last two seasons, Seattle’s margins of victory have been slim. The common path to victory has been Russell Wilson’s greatness overcoming a bottom third defense. So when Wilson plays poorly, it makes sense that the Seahawks start losing games. Seattle’s roster simply isn’t capable of overcoming poor outings from No. 3.

This can be said for lots of teams, sure, but can you imagine if Wilson went down with an injury? Seattle might not win another game. While fairly impressive on paper, I think the overall talent on the team is probably overstated, especially on defense. There aren’t enough players who have progressed year-over-year.

Thus, Seattle isn’t nearly as complete of a team as some of the league’s other Super Bowl contenders. That was probably true at the beginning of the season and is certainly true now given the number of injuries the Seahawks have suffered.

Overreaction? Yes.

Wilson has earned the benefit of the doubt over his years of stardom and clutch performances. There’s zero indication to suggest that the MVP conversation has gone to his head. I do believe that Seattle’s franchise quarterback is pressing, but that has to do with the team’s poor defense.

I believe Wilson is the ultimate team-first guy who would much prefer to win another Super Bowl over an MVP award. He shouldn’t get a pass or his poor play of late, most egregiously against the Rams, but it’s unfair to attribute these performances to a selfish desire to win MVP.

Overreaction? Yes.

I low-key love this take, because with the NFC East coming up on the schedule, better days are likely ahead. However, if this take ends up being accurate, then some really dark days are coming in the Pacific Northwest.

Overreaction? No.

There’s not a whole lot to add to this take other than to say it’s pretty spot on. Sean McVay is 5-2 against the Seahawks, and Pete Carroll hasn’t shown to have any answer for McVay’s offense. That’s a bit surprising given that other teams have had no problem containing the Rams offense.

Overreaction? No.

Pete Carroll was asked about this on Monday. The gist of his response was that while it’s subjective to say with certainty that Wilson performs worse without Chris Carson in the lineup, Carroll said he can feel the difference.

Even with a “Let Russ Cook” mentality on offense, Carson still plays a crucial role. He’s extremely productive, both as a runner and as a pass catcher, and he provides a tone-setting presence. Opponents have to game plan for Carson to a much greater degree compared to when it’s Alex Collins, DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer shouldering the workload in Seattle’s backfield.

Moral of the story: Seattle needs Carson back ASAP.