Don’t worry. We’ll be fine.
And I’ll be fine.
That was Russell Wilson’s message to the many Chicken Littles who are already fretting in August that the Seahawks’ offense and specifically their quarterback are doomed for the 2015 season.
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Wilson looked as bad throwing as you will see him in a game Saturday night as he and the starting offense struggled through their 2½ quarters played of a 16-15 preseason win over the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium.
"It was not as sharp," coach Pete Carroll said of his passing offense that finished with 56 yards while the starters were in. "We missed throws we normally make."
"We" was specifically "he." Wilson missed wide-open tight end Jimmy Graham in the second quarter over the middle deep in Chargers territory that ended with one of Steven Hauschka’s three field goals instead of a touchdown.In the third quarter, Wilson threw way over and past a covered Graham at the goal line. And after he scrambled on third and goal Wilson threw way wide of Jermaine Kearse, who was breaking free across the back line of the end zone.
He finished 7 for 15 passing for 56 yards. He was sacked once, avoided many more, and had a meager passer rating of 56.5.
The basically throwaway preseason finale Thursday at home against Oakland plus a couple weeks of much-needed practice are all that remain before the opener Sept. 13 at St. Louis, where the Rams have one of the league’s most aggressive and disruptive defensive lines.
"Ultimately, we have to finish drives. That’s on me. But we’ll hit ‘em," Wilson said.
"We’ll be just fine. So I’m excited about it."
For the preseason – entering a preseason finale which he may barely play Thursday at home against Oakland, Wilson is 17 for 31 passing for 146 yards and a passer rating of 67.4. He hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass, and has lost a fumble while sacked for one of his three times in three games.
It hasn’t helped Wilson was taking snaps for the second consecutive week from new center Drew Nowak, who was a defensive tackle in college and a practice-squad guard last season. Justin Britt, last year’s rookie starter at right tackle, started his second game at left guard. Garry Gilliam, undrafted last year and a tight end for three years at Penn State, started his second game at right tackle.
And left tackle Russell Okung was out with what coach Pete Carroll said was a "sore" shoulder coming out of practice this week. Backup Alvin Bailey played for him, and got run past by Chargers for much of the night.
Is that 80-percent turnover on the offensive line affecting Wilson so far?
"I think the offensive line is doing a tremendous job, honestly. We are just a hair bit off," Wilson said. "We’ll make sure we fix it.
"We’ll just have to stay the course."
Asked how ready he is for the real games that begin Sept. 13 at St. Louis – after Thursday’s preseason finale at home against Oakland in which he will likely barely play – Wilson said: "I definitely think I’m ready. Can’t wait to play.
"We are definitely moving the ball. We just need to finish. That’s the most important thing.
"And we will."