As NFL quarterbacks enjoy a record-setting start of the season, Russell Wilson leads the league with a 108.9 passer rating. With the addition of a healthy Percy Harvin and some of the offensive tweaks he would allow, it was predicted here at the Insider that Wilson would hit 70 percent of his pass completions this season. Well, he's at 69 percent after three games, and with six touchdowns and only one interception (his first in seven games, since Game 15 of 2013), he edges Peyton Manning at 108.5 and Philip Rivers at 108.3.
Wilson finished last season with a 101.3 rating and a 63.1 completion percentage. He's averaging 29 attempts per game, up from 25.4 per game last season. His completion percentage is actually fourth in the league at this point, behind Austin Davis with the Rams (72.3), Drew Brees (70.9) and Colin Kaepernick (70.2).
Perhaps with the aid of the league's point of emphasis on defensive holding and illegal contact, the rising passer ratings are at an all-time high for early in the season. Clare Farnsworth at Seahawks.com notes that the league-wide average rating is 90.6, a record for this point of the season. The Seahawks have contributed to that glaring stat. Facing the challenges of Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning on consecutive weeks, their opponent passer rating allowed in 94.3. During the regular season of 2013, they held opposing quarterbacks to a 63.4 rating, allowing just 16 touchdown passes while picking off 28.
--Not that rankings mean much after only three games, but the Seahawks returned to the No. 1 spot in most NFL power rankings after the 26-20 overtime win over Denver on Sunday. Both ESPN and AP have Seattle back at No. 1. NFL.com, though, has the Hawks at No.5 behind Cincinnati, Philly, Arizona and San Diego. The defending champs behind the Cardinals? Arizona is 3-0, even with back-up Drew Stanton starting at quarterback for injured Carson Palmer. In Vegas, meanwhile, the Hawks have become the 7-2 Super Bowl favorites.
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--Seahawks.com's Tony Drovetto has a nice summary on how the NFC West opponents are doing. Interesting to note that the 1-2 Niners have been outscored by 49 points in the second halves of three games this season.
--I thought Pete Carroll was at his best during his Monday press conference when asked to describe what makes Marshawn Lynch such a special running back: "He has extraordinary control of his ability to move his feet. There are really a couple of cool runs in here where you see him hop over a guy and he’s like a skier, like a slalom skier almost. He can hop out and get back on, sometimes the outside foot, sometimes his inside foot. He will hop from the same foot to the same foot, really unusual foot work that you don’t see many guys have command of. It makes him unusually shifty and then he’s a load and he’s tough and he’s aggressive. He has run so physically, consistently tough in all these starting games. He’s really on it. It’s great we get him to the break now. He will come back and should be in great shape when we return for the Washington game. It takes marvelous instincts and savvy to do what he does. He also has this ability to move laterally and to navigate through issues that very few people do."
--Carroll also second-guessed himself for not throwing a challenge flag on a spot ruling when Lynch was close to a touchdown on the first possession. Because of clutter of the pile, Carroll's assistants just couldn't see on the replays if Lynch was down before getting the ball across the goal line. Carroll: "Yes. I was ready to go. The guys upstairs couldn’t see it. I should have thrown it; really I should have thrown it just because that’s the way I like to battle. I would have given it up just to try. As I look at it now, I’m really upset I didn’t throw it because I think he was laying on top of guys and his knees weren’t on the ground. I definitely saw the ball getting to the goal line, so often in these spot fouls they don’t give you much latitude here. So they might not have, because they wouldn’t have been able to see but it look like he was on top of guys as he was sticking the ball out. I wish like crazy I would have done that, but I was there; I was poised and ready to check it but we couldn’t get verification and they couldn’t; the guys saw what they saw. There was no way to verify, I should have just done it on the gut."