The skinny: The Legion of Boom is long dead and buried. If the Seahawks are going to again rise as a dominant force in the NFC, they have to change their offensive philosophy completely and center it around Wilson.
Square peg, round hole: The Seahawks have essentially kept the same model that won them a Super Bowl after the 2013 season. They are approaching the game as if the defense was still dominant and Marshawn Lynch was still in the backfield during his Beast Mode days.
Sure, the run game is still going strong, but Seattle’s defense was mediocre last season and the team only won 11 games because Wilson was so magical during big moments. And nobody can blame Wilson for Seattle’s early exit in the playoffs this past year.
Excluding Wilson's rushing stats, the Seahawks had 38 rush attempts for 105 yards (2.8 YPA).— PFF SEA Seahawks (@PFF_Seahawks) February 5, 2020
The guy is out-of-this-world talented. He’s also the biggest reason the Seahawks have any chance of featuring another potential Super Bowl-contending team any time soon.
But when it comes to usage, the Seahawks seem to avoid using Wilson’s arm at a high volume unless they need a game-winning, fourth-quarter drive. Consider how he’s been utilized the past couple of years, despite a team roster that has been largely depleted of the defensive talent that led to the team’s philosophy in the first place.
The only reason Wilson saw such a significant uptick in passing attempts last season is that Seattle’s defense was so atrocious that the offense had to come from behind all too often.
It’s rare that Wilson is called upon to lead the offense with his arm and does not succeed. Quite simply, he’s one of the game’s elite passers. But the Seahawks continue to treat him like an afterthought when it comes to designing and executing the offense outside comeback scenarios.
Time for a change: The Seahawks have a simple, but loaded, decision to make this offseason. They can continue to try pounding the square peg into a round hole, or they can evolve and thrive. The answer is just as simple, if they would just embrace reality. But with a change in philosophy comes a desperate need for the Seahawks to give Wilson the weapons he needs.
Don’t get us wrong. D.K. Metcalf is special and fits perfectly with what Wilson does best, which is throw deep. But Tyler Lockett isn’t a No. 1 threat, and the rest of the wide receiver room is unremarkable.
Arms race: This offseason provides the Seahawks with a unique opportunity to load up on essentials, as the 2020 NFL Draft is one of the richest in recent memory when it comes to pass-catching options. But with such a loaded crop of potentially elite receivers, we have to expect there will be a run in the bottom half of Round 1 and on Day 2 of the draft.
Here’s a look at players the Seahawks could target in the draft to provide Wilson with the help he needs to become the focal point of Seattle’s offense in 2020.
Seattle has other needs, of course, such as on the offensive line and defense in general. But acquiring another potentially elite weapon for Wilson and the passing game has to be a high priority.
Free agency frenzy: Before the draft, free agency will dominate NFL headlines. Speaking of headlines, the headliners for this year’s wide receiver free-agency class are gems, and the Seahawks have the cash to make a splash.
Landing one of those guys would supercharge Seattle’s passing game. With that in mind, the Seahawks absolutely have to give it a shot.
The bottom line: The Seahawks are paying Russell Wilson to be an elite passer. He is just that. But until they actually treat him like the passing-game genius he truly us, the Seahawks will continue to sputter.
It’s time to sell out and let Wilson be for Seattle what Patrick Mahomes is for the Kansas City Chiefs. He has that type of talent, and if Seattle provides Wilson with the caliber of weaponry Mahomes has at his disposal, the Seahawks will become a national powerhouse once more.