The new-look Seahawks have been built around their franchise quarterback. On Sunday, their franchise quarterback didn’t play like one. And the team’s head coach was willing to say so publicly on Monday.
“It always goes back to the QB, everyone is going to focus on that,” Pete Carroll told 710 ESPN Seattle on Monday morning, via USA Today. “Russ needed to do better than he did yesterday, but we needed to help him a lot.”
Seattle had multiple chances to win the game or force overtime after Denver took a 27-24 lead with 11:11 to play. But three drives ended with a pair of Russell Wilson sacks and a final-snap interception.
“He got rushed,” Carroll said. “He got hammered. We got sacked six times in the game. It’s going to be hard for him. He was in the midst of some of those and he bailed a couple times and got in trouble. We didn’t protect him as well as we need to throughout.”
Carroll’s candor may have been influenced by the renewed criticism of efforts to coddle Wilson.
“I’m not trying to cover for him at all,” Carroll said. “He can play way better. He could have got us out of some issues early by getting rid of the football a couple times, but things got taken away and he got resourceful like he’s going to do.”
Wilson completed 19 of 33 passes for 298 yards, with three touchdowns and two interceptions. That translates to a passer rating of 92.7, which is far from bad. Not reflected in that calculation is the fact that Wilson absorbed six sacks. He also gained only five yards on the ground.
It gets no easier for the Seahawks on Monday night, when they continue their season-opening road show with a Monday night trip to Chicago for a date with Khalil Mack and company.