If the Seahawks are going to look like this all season, Russell Wilson is going to have to be the league's most valuable player in for the Seahawks to truly compete with the league's best.
Luckily for them, he's looked every bit of that through the first three weeks of the season.
Wilson completed 27 of 40 passes for 315 yards and five touchdowns as the Seahawks won a track meet over the Dallas Cowboys 38-31 on Sunday afternoon. It was the second straight week Wilson tossed five touchdowns in a game and just the fifth time in his career he's accomplished such a feat.
Tyler Lockett caught nine passes for 100 yards and three of the touchdown passes from Wilson with D.K. Metcalf and Jacob Hollister each catching a touchdown pass of their own.
The Cowboys produced plenty of offense themselves as they racked up 522 yards of total offense with Dak Prescott throwing for 472 yards and three touchdowns. However, Prescott was also intercepted twice and lost a fumble on a sack from Jarran Reed that was enough for the defense to get the job done.
The Seahawks are 3-0 and Russell Wilson has set several records already for his performance over the first three weeks of the NFL season.
-- Russell Wilson may have to be the unquestioned MVP for the Seahawks to be successful.
Russell Wilson has said he wants to be the league MVP and considered one of the best to ever play the game. That may not just be a desire but a necessity for the Seahawks this season.
With the Seahawks defense giving up 28.6 points per game and allowing 497.3 yards per game defensively over the first three weeks, Wilson needs to be able to keep playing at this ridiculous level in order for the team to be able to win.
Wilson has 14 touchdown passes in the first three game of the season with five touchdown passes in each of the last two games. He's completed 79 of 103 passes for 925 yards with just a lone interception that was not his fault last week against the New England Patriots. Wilson's 14 touchdowns are the most by a quarterback in the first three games of a season surpassing the 13 touchdowns thrown by Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2018. He's become just the fifth quarterback in league history with five touchdown passes in consecutive games.
"It was really cool to see him competing again like he does," Carroll said. "He was so chill. He was so perfectly poised and composed to pull that together. You couldn’t ask for a guy that can be better mentally in those situations than Russell Wilson."
After four touchdown passes and a 15-point lead in the third quarter proved to not be enough, Wilson had to lead Seattle on one last scoring drive to steal back a victory from the Cowboys. Wilson had to convert a fourth-and-3 with a throw to Greg Olsen with 2:37 left to keep Seattle's final possession on track. Three plays later, Wilson hit Metcalf for a 29-yard touchdown to seal the victory.
"It says a lot about Russ and it says a lot about the team that we have that we all come together and figure out whatever it is we have to do to be able to make this work," Lockett said. "That’s what you see come to pass and that what you see from each and every person on that last drive."
Wilson has been brilliant through the first three games. The Seahawks have needed every bit of that brilliance to come through to be in the 3-0 situation they're in.
-- Tyler Lockett needs his due
Though D.K. Metcalf recently and Doug Baldwin previously have seemingly overshadowed Tyler Lockett, it's beyond time for him to get his recognition as one of the league's best wide receivers.
Lockett isn't a physically imposing wide receiver, but his speed and quickness cause all kind of problems for opposing defenses. His chemistry with Wilson on scramble drills is a big part of the puzzle as well.
"I think Tyler is one of the best receivers in the game. He does everything right. He's just so dialed in," Wilson said. "I don't know how many catches he's made over the past years, but the big-time plays, the big-time touchdowns, he knows the game, he plays the game like a quarterback, man, and I think Tyler is one of the best in the game."
Lockett has already caught 24 passes for 259 yards with four touchdowns in his three games this season for Seattle. Against Dallas, he caught nine passes for 100 yards and touchdowns from 43 yards out and a pair of 1-yard touchdowns. Lockett blew clean through the Dallas secondary with little attention for the 43-yard touchdown that was clear was imminent halfway through the play. He then twice beat Trevon Diggs out of tight formations at the goal line for the 1-yard scores.
-- D.K. Metcalf cannot make a mental error like that
Wins are too hard to come by the NFL to give away free points. With his decision to throttle down on his way into the end zone after a brilliant throw from Russell Wilson, D.K. Metcalf allowed cornerback Trevon Diggs to knock the football from his grasp and through the back of the end zone for a touchback instead of a touchdown.
Metcalf should have had a 63-yard touchdown after beating Diggs and catching a stellar throw from Wilson at the Cowboys 7-yard line. But Metcalf was unaware of Diggs' presence behind him and slowed up on his way toward the goal line. He moved the ball solely into his right hand and extended from his body where it became vulnerable. Diggs swatted it free to keep at least six points off the board. A 63-yard would-be touchdown became a 62-yard catch and fumble for a touchback.
"We'll talk about it. That's a learning experience for each and every person, as a receiver, whoever touches the ball, that's something that we can all just kind of think about and just be reminded that it's not over until we score and the refs blow the whistle.
Those points come have been used later in the game as the Cowboys rallied to take a 31-30 lead with four minutes left to play. Metcalf atoned for the error with a 29-yard touchdown catch behind safety Darien Thompson with 1:47 remaining to give the Seattle the winning points it needed. Nevertheless, it made the victory more difficult to come by.
On the bright side, it's a lesson Metcalf likely won't forget any time soon.
"He had that fluke play today. I told him to never do it again," Wilson said.
-- Defensive issues don't appear to be going away
For as good as the offense has been, the defense has really struggled particularly against opposing passing attacks.
"We have a lot of work to do on our pass defense; it continues to be a problem. The third down thing is not good enough. We have to finish our sacks, again. But what did happen is some really big plays today on defense," Carroll said. "Guys giving efforts and fighting and scratching to get it done. We just have to get better. We are grateful to be 3 and oh, and realize that not very many teams get to do that right now. So, we’re going to just try to keep pecking away at it."
The Seahawks have allowed 1,492 total yards over the first three games of the season, an average of 497.3 yards per game. It's only the 15th time in league history a team has allowed more than 1,400 yards over the first three weeks of the year and only last year's Miami Dolphins allowed more with six more yards (1,498) over that span. However, Seattle has allowed 1,292 passing yards over that stretch, which is by far the worst in league history. Only three other teams had allowed over 1,100 yards over the first three weeks and none have been more than 1,200 yards. The 2011 New England Patriots allowed 1,131 yards as the previous worst mark. The 2020 Seahawks are the worst by 161 total yards.
"It’s just too loose," Carroll said. "It’s working together, with rush, with coverage, to make our plays. We gave up 60 yards a game rushing, again. (Ezekiel Elliott) averaged 2 yards a carry, and had 20 yards rushing today, or whatever it was (34 yards). Those things are working. We’re playing the running game really well, and there’s not a big opportunity to give them the run so that you can stop the pass, like you might think. We just have to do a lot better."
Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 27: Tyler Lockett #16 of the Seattle Seahawks reacts after missing a catch due to a pass interference by Jourdan Lewis #26 of the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter in the game at CenturyLink Field on September 27, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)