Boy is my face red!
There I was, extolling the virtues of an Andrew Luck-led offense, trying to make the argument that maybe if Russell Wilson played a little more like Andrew Luck, it would help generate more scoring opportunities and take some of the pressure off of this defense to be perfect all the time. And what happens? Andrew Luck tossed 4 interceptions in a loss to the New England Patriots (just a week after digging his team a hole with 3 interceptions in the second-greatest comeback in NFL Playoff history).
When people try to debate Pete Carroll about his philosophy on offense, I imagine this is the type of thing he points to when making his case. I thought my post last Friday was particularly cogent! Especially when laid out next to my other, more hare-brained theses. But, when you look at the two games, it’s hard to argue with the team that got results.
Ultimately, the Seahawks won and the Colts lost, so fuck me, right? If you say so. Still, there were a couple things working against me. First, the weather made it brutally impossible for the Seahawks to come out with a pass-heavy game-plan. Of course, it wouldn’t have mattered had the Seahawks fallen to an early deficit, but as it turned out, the running game was working like gangbusters, so if it ain’t broken, don’t try to fix it. Second, and more importantly, Pete Carroll never in a million years would have gone to such an extreme as to change the whole offense on a whim like mine!
But still, in some alternate universe, the weather was a non-factor and the Seahawks went pass-heavy. I’d really like the ability to see through space and time and catch a glimpse of this alternate universe, just to know how those Seahawks did.
What I have to ask – as well as the fans in Indianapolis – is: Is Andrew Luck Ready To Be The Man? Obviously, he’s in just his second season. He has won 22 regular season games. He’s won a division title. And he’s won a playoff game. In only two years, he has rid himself of any number of monkeys from his back.
But, he’s still not as successful as Russell Wilson. Wilson has won 24 regular season games, a division title, a #1 seed, and TWO playoff games. He’s in the NFC Championship Game in only his second year and has a good chance to play in the Super Bowl in only his second year.
It’s pretty obvious we’re talking about two VERY good quarterbacks. I wouldn’t trade Russell Wilson for anyone else in the league, so believe me when I say that I’m not trying to say the Seahawks would be better off with Andrew Luck. It’s pretty clear after these two playoff games that Luck is WAY more reckless with the football than he needs to be. This leads to an argument I’ll be making in tomorrow’s post: does Andrew Luck make the players around him better? It’s tough to say. I think eventually, yes, he will. But, right now? I would argue that by losing Reggie Wayne, Andrew Luck hasn’t been nearly as productive. Maybe that means T.Y. Hilton isn’t a bona fide #1 receiver. But, if Andrew Luck was like Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady or Drew Brees, he wouldn’t NEED a #1 receiver. He would take whoever he has on his roster and MAKE them #1 receivers. Like I said, I don’t think he’s there yet. New England obviously did enough to take Hilton out of the picture, which left Luck trying to force some throws he probably shouldn’t have forced.
Russell Wilson isn’t as reckless. Even if things were switched and Wilson was Indy’s quarterback, I think you’d be looking at a guy in Wilson who made the people around him better. He certainly makes OUR receivers better.
In general, I like our receivers. I think Doug Baldwin could start as a #3 receiver for almost every team in the NFL. His hands and his footwork are second-to-none. Golden Tate is solid, but I’m not so sure he’s a true #1. I DON’T think he’s starting for the majority of teams in the NFL; maybe closer to half. Sidney Rice (before he was injured) was probably a solid #2 receiver. And, the jury is really still out on Jermaine Kearse.
It’s really a ragtag bunch. From a national perspective, the Seahawks feature a lot of unknowns (and Golden Tate, who is only known because of the Fail Mary). Seahawks fans generally like our guys and defend our guys, but if you’re honest, you’re not talking about Pro Bowlers. These guys are just good, solid players. And, if we didn’t have Russell Wilson as our quarterback – if it was just Andy Dalton, or some other middle-of-the-road starter – all we’d be arguing about is how we need a #1 receiver to help our quarterback. We almost never have that argument with Russell Wilson now, and that’s a testament to his ability to make those around him better.
So, if we WERE to switch to an up-tempo, passing offense, I don’t think we’d run into the pitfalls that Indy did last Saturday. Because Russell Wilson wouldn’t make such terrible decisions.
Again, just to clarify: I’m not saying Andrew Luck is better. I’m not saying I’d rather have Luck over Wilson. I’m just saying, putting Wilson into an up-tempo offense, to generate more possessions-per-game and more scoring opportunities, would ultimately help this team, by not having to rely on the defense so much.
Remember when the game was 16-8 and the Saints were driving again? Remember how worried you were? Remember when you saw them fall on that football after the onside kick and how tight your chest was? I’m just trying to relieve all of us from the weekly heart attacks we’ve been put through with this team, that’s all!
I don’t want us to just barely scrape by the 49ers this weekend. I want us to MURDER them. I want us to drop 50 on their overrated defense! I want to be up by 30 points late in the 4th quarter and have Tarvaris Jackson throwing long bombs to Jermaine Kearse!