Russell Wilson: Rookie Sensation Will Cost Seahawks Divisional Round Victory

Daine PavloskiAnalyst IIJanuary 11, 2013

Russell Wilson is in over his head against the Falcons on Sunday.
Russell Wilson is in over his head against the Falcons on Sunday.Al Bello/Getty Images

Russell Wilson has had a rookie season to remember for the Seattle Seahawks.

He got to training camp as a backup to Matt Flynn, who was picked up to be the starter. Wilson started impressing people in practice and eventually became the starter. During the season, he threw for over 3,000 yards, beat some great teams, got his team to the playoffs and won a wild-card game against the Washington Redskins and fellow rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. 

Unfortunately for Wilson, that's where his amazing year will end. 

This Sunday at 1 p.m. ET, the Seahawks will take on the No. 1 seed in the NFC, the Atlanta Falcons. While the Seahawks are on a six-game winning streak, they're about to be in way over their heads, especially Wilson.

The Seahawks' young quarterback is taking on an Atlanta defense that had 31 takeaways during the regular season, which was tied for fourth-best in the NFL. As Wilson and the Seahawks passing attack looks to get things going, he'll have to worry about John Abraham—who had 10 sacks in the regular season—breathing down his neck. Wilson will also have to worry about Thomas DeCoud and Asante Samuel in the Atlanta secondary, as both are in the top 10 in regular-season interceptions.

"But Daine, the Seahawks are a great running team!"

Correct, reader, they are. However, once Matt Ryan and the Falcons get rolling and are leading by a few scores, Wilson will be forced to throw the ball. 

The Rookie of the Year candidate doesn't have a ton of help in the receiving game. He has a few decent receivers, but no one good enough to save him and the Seahawks on Sunday. Wilson's receivers won't be able to get open, which will force him to either run or try to force a pass. 

The Seahawks' quarterback isn't getting any favors playing on the road. In the regular season, Wilson threw eight interceptions on the road compared to just two at home. Out of 276 passes outdoors, he has thrown just five interceptions. Indoors, which is where he'll be on Sunday at the Georgia Dome, he's thrown the same number of interceptions in just 117 attempts. 

Russell's youth and lack of experience will be the downfall of the Seahawks on Sunday, as he will simply be outmatched by Ryan. 

Ryan and the Atlanta offense make up the sixth-best passing attack in the NFL. Ryan has a very good record in the friendly confines of the Georgia Dome and will be too much for the Seahawks defense to handle, as well as too much for the rookie quarterback to keep up with. 

Wilson is a talented quarterback who has a bright future ahead of him, but his mobility won't be enough to get by the Atlanta Falcons, who will cruise to the NFC Championship Game.