Russell Wilson Can Still Lead Seattle Seahawks to 11-5 Record

Todd Pheifer@tpheiferAnalyst IIIOctober 20, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 18:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks throws 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

The Seattle Seahawks are 4-3, which is not exactly a stellar record.

Still, the division title or a wild-card berth is certainly a strong possibility given the remaining schedule and the strengths of this team. Can the Hawks go 7-2 in final nine games and finish 11-5?

They can. I believe.

When you look at a football season, you can certainly come up with a number of situations where your favorite team should or should not have won particular games. For example, people around the NFL continue to suggest that the Hawks should not have won against the Green Bay Packers. And yet, the Seahawks got the win.

The Seahawks should not have lost to Arizona and St. Louis.  Add in a San Francisco game that certainly looked winnable at times, and Seattle could be 7-0.

Too much wishful thinking? 

For those that demand a more realistic appraisal of the situation, I will acknowledge that life could be much different right now.  A loss to the Pack and a failed final drive against the New England Patriots and the Seahawks are 2-5. 

Perhaps 4-3 is not all that bad. 

You could certainly argue that the hardest part of the schedule is now in the books, but there are still some definitive obstacles to success.

Is the biggest obstacle Wilson himself, or will he rally the troops and develop into the quarterback that Seattle believes him to be?

I realize that the debate about Russell Wilson continues, but I still see feel like this guy is going to get it done. Somehow, some way, Wilson will lead this team. He just seems to have that charisma and leadership ability that is needed to become a star.

He just needs time to develop and the reality is that this team is built around running the ball and playing tough defense.

Wilson may be the leader-in-training, but currently he does not have to do it all.

Whether Wilson immediately improves a great deal in the passing game or not, it seems reasonable to assume that Pete Carroll will stick with the young quarterback. Everything that Carroll has said points to him sticking with Wilson.

Switching to Flynn at this point would seem counterproductive.

Wilson went up against a poor Patriots secondary, but he took advantage of that fact and had his best game of the year. That game was a sign that Wilson can get it done, even if the opponent is not great on defense. Obviously he had a poor game against the 49ers, but San Francisco is a great defensive team and Russell is still learning.  He will get there. 

For those that want Matt Flynn, remember that from an experience standpoint he might as well be a rookie himself.

The Seattle defense is strong overall, the running game is consistently productive (131 yards per game), and Wilson is developing a rapport with a variety of receivers.  Sidney Rice looks great (22 catches), and Wilson is spreading the ball evenly between Golden Tate (13), Zach Miller (14), Doug Baldwin (11), Anthony McCoy (11) and Braylon Edwards (8). 

To me, this points to ongoing development on offense.

Given the balance of the NFL, no game can be regarded as a potentially easy win. However, I feel good about the Seahawks winning against Detroit, New York, Arizona and St. Louis. That gets Seattle to eight wins.

Games against Miami and Buffalo represent potentially challenging matchups since they are on the road.  However, these are also games that Seattle should be able to win.  If one turns out to be a so-called “trap” game and they win one of two, they get to nine wins.

Give the edge to Seattle at home against the Vikings, but assume that Chicago on the road and San Francisco at CenturyLink could be the toughest remaining games.  If Seattle gets two of those three games, they are at 11 wins. 

Plausible? Certainly. Likely? We will see.