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Russell Wilson vs. Matt Flynn: Where Does Seahawks QB Battle Stand After Week 7?

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 18:  Head coach Pete Carroll talks with quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks after calling a time out against the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth quarter on October 18, 2012 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
Thomas GaliciaContributor IIOctober 19, 2012

The Seattle Seahawks' decision to name Russell Wilson their starting quarterback for the season brought forth a lot of skepticism at the beginning of the year.

This was because Wilson was a rookie, and the Seahawks signed Matt Flynn (a highly recruited free agent) to a three-year, $19.5 million contract in the offseason.

But despite Flynn getting paid starting-quarterback money, he's a backup just the same as he was in Green Bay. Wilson, meanwhile, has led Seattle to a 4-3 start, with two come-from-behind victories.

But despite the record, this isn't exactly a battle that Wilson has run away with. With the way Wilson has played, there's a good chance the Seahawks could open training camp with another quarterback battle between the two.

Wilson turned in his worst performance of the season on Thursday night against San Francisco, going 9-of-23 for 122 yards and an interception, putting up a quarterback rating of 38.7. That rating is actually lower than the rating a quarterback would get if every pass fell incomplete (39.6).

This isn't even his first terrible game of the season. He was dreadful in an earlier loss to St. Louis (17-of-25, 160 yards, three interceptions, zero touchdowns and a passer rating of 45.8).

The Seahawks passing game sticks out like a sore thumb when you consider how great their defense (ranked second in rushing and 13th in passing) and powerful running attack are (seventh best in the NFL). The Seahawks are the second-worst team in the NFL in passing yards, and they only have eight touchdowns in the air.

Many of their problems can be attributed to their receiving corps. Seattle's receivers dropped quite a few decent passes from Wilson during their game against the 49ers, and those drops have affected them all season. Golden Tate sticks out the most; he's been targeted 27 times, only pulling down 13 receptions.

This is going to be a battle going forward, especially when you consider that in every other facet of the game, the Seahawks are serious contenders in the league.

The Seahawks will owe Flynn $5.25 million (plus a $2 million bonus) next season. Because of this, if Wilson continues to struggle like he did against the 49ers, Flynn will likely see the field in Seattle sooner rather than later.

Russell Wilson is Seattle's starting quarterback, and no one in the organization has (or likely will) say anything to the contrary, but he can't afford to continue to play horribly. This team is far too good at this point to see their quarterback make rookie mistakes.

 

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