GREEN BAY, Wis. – Russell Wilson turned right when he exited the Lambeau Field visitors’ locker room and approached teammate Will Dissly in a narrow hallway.
“I’m sorry, brother,” the Seahawks star quarterback said. “That one’s on me.”
“Don’t sweat it. We still love you,” Dissly told him.
Shut out for the first time in his 10-year NFL career, Wilson shouldered the brunt of the blame – first behind the scenes and then again when he stepped up to the microphone for his postgame news conference – for the Seahawks’ 17-0 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
In Wilson’s ahead-of-schedule return from surgery on his right middle finger, the Seahawks (3-6) never found an offensive rhythm and he never seemed completely comfortable in the pocket.
He threw two interceptions, both in the end zone. On the first one, he was trying to find his No. 1 wideout, DK Metcalf, in the back of the end zone. Ex-Husky Kevin King turned and intercepted the pass.
Metcalf’s frustration boiled over in the final two minutes. He got into an altercation at midfield with several Green Bay defenders, drawing a handful of flags on both sides.
Metcalf was ejected after throwing an openhanded punch and connecting with Rasul Douglas’ face mask.
Metcalf was still agitated when he spoke to reporters afterward.
“Tired of losing,” Metcalf said, when asked about the ejection.
He had just three catches (on eight official targets) for 26 yards. Tyler Lockett had just two catches (on eight official targets) for 23 yards.
“As an offense we struggled just to get the ball moving,” Metcalf said. “Some throws were off; some throws were there. I had a couple of key drops that I should have caught. But we’ve got to make the plays when our number’s called, and when Russ puts it in our area we’ve got to catch it.”
Why, Metcalf was asked, has it been difficult to get the offense in a consistent rhythm?
“We’ve got to get the ball to our playmakers,” he said, “and let them make plays.”
The Seahawks were already dead last in the NFL in total offensive snaps and time of possession. They ran just 59 plays Sunday (for 208 yards) and held the ball for just 20 minutes, 51 seconds.
Point being: It’s difficult to get your playmakers involved when you don’t maintain drives long enough to create more plays and more opportunities.
Wilson was asked about Metcalf and his ejection.
“He’s passionate about what he does,” Wilson said. “And he loves his craft and he wants to win, just like I want to win and just like we all want to win.
“You’d rather him be passionate than not, you know, so that’s the good thing about him. He wants to do everything right, wants to do everything to perfection. That’s why I love playing with him. I love going to battle with him every day.”
On a chilly night that featured intermittent sprinkles of snow, Wilson was uncharacteristically off-target on a number of throws. He said flatly his busted finger was not to blame for those.
During the week, Wilson tested out different gloves to wear on his throwing hand. He ultimately decided to just tape his middle finger in a sheath before the game. To protect his finger, he did not go under center at all Sunday, working exclusively out of the shotgun.
The Seahawks entered the week ranked 31st in the NFL in third-down success rate. The end numbers Sunday looked good – 7 for 15 – but that’s deceiving because three of those came in the closing minutes when the game was out of reach.
Where does the offense go from here?
“I don’t know. I don’t know what to tell you right now,” coach Pete Carroll said. “We had the same (issues). You’re going to see the third down numbers don’t look so bad, but they weren’t good when we needed them to be in the first half – and that’s unfortunate.”
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