Seattle's Russell Wilson rushed back from finger surgery. The Seahawks have looked bad on offense for most of his first three games back, and after another loss that has ended any realistic shot to make the playoffs, it's worth wondering if Wilson will finish the season.
Wilson has often looked like a shell of himself since coming back from finger surgery. He is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but over the past three weeks he has struggled to make routine throws.
On Monday night, the Seahawks got very little going on offense against the Washington Football Team for 58 minutes. They scored with 15 seconds left but Wilson threw an interception to Kendall Fuller on the two-point conversion and Seattle lost 17-15. Seattle seemed to recover an onside kick but had an illegal formation on the kick that was penalized.
Had the Seahawks played better on offense before the final minutes, it might not have mattered. Maybe the Seahawks' season wouldn't be as good as dead after another loss.
Russell Wilson struggles again
Wilson's issues throwing post-surgery is affecting the whole offense. DK Metcalf is one of the best receivers in the NFL, a player who can turn a game on any play. On Monday night he didn't have a catch until 1:02 remained. He had 57 combined yards in the Seahawks' two games before Monday. Even a great talent like Metcalf can't stay afloat with Wilson playing as poorly as he is.
Seattle's offensive implosion has been ongoing. It started when Geno Smith was replacing Wilson, then it remained bad when Wilson returned. Monday night was awful until the final two minutes. The Seahawks went three-and-out on five straight possessions. Wilson hit a wide-open Tyler Lockett for a 55-yard gain in the first quarter and that was most of Seattle's offense until the final drive.
With a little more than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter on Monday night, the Seahawks had five first downs. They had one first down in the first 27 minutes of the second half. You'd never expect that from a team with Wilson at quarterback, but the guy wearing No. 3 for Seattle these past few weeks looks nothing like Wilson. Maybe the final drive is a sign he's coming back, but it would be too late for the Seahawks anyway.
Washington does enough to win
Despite the offensive issues, Seattle still had a chance to win in the fourth quarter. A weird two-point play in the second quarter, when Seahawks defensive lineman Rasheem Green blocked an extra point and then scooped it and scored, was a big help. Seattle needed to generate points any way it could.
Washington didn't do much, but it didn't have to do too much. Antonio Gibson looked very good, rushing for 100 yards. J.D. McKissic scored a pair of touchdowns. And Washington's defense had something to do with Wilson and Seattle's offense looking so bad. Washington, at 5-6, would technically be in the playoffs if the season ended Monday according to ESPN's broadcast.
With a little more than two minutes left, Washington had to go for it on fourth-and-goal because its kicker Joey Slye injured himself on the Green runback. Logan Thomas appeared to have a touchdown but replay review showed the ball hit the ground and it was incomplete. Seattle had a shot to at least tie the game with a long scoring drive. Wilson finally hit some throws. He got a touchdown pass to Geoff Swaim to pull the Seahawks within two points. But the two-point conversion was covered well and Wilson was picked off.
The Seahawks are 3-8 after that ugly loss. Theoretically they could win out and be in the wild-card mix, but that's a long shot. It might not make a lot of sense for Seattle to keep playing a compromised Wilson in a lost season. He's done too much for the franchise to play at far less than 100 percent.
There will be plenty of speculation over what will happen with Wilson next offseason. What should happen the rest of this season is a conversation the Seahawks might be having soon.