Russell Wilson hits some key milestones for Seahawks
Russell Wilson won his 23rd game, the most ever by a second-year quarterback, and threw his 50th career touchdown pass.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Wilson, by the numbers
23 Wins by Wilson, the most by a second-year quarterback in NFL history. Ben Roethlisberger held the previous record of 22.
50 Career touchdown passes by Wilson. He became the third quarterback in NFL history, along with Peyton Manning and Dan Marino, to throw 50 touchdown passes in his first two seasons.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is usually pretty quick to dismiss the importance of any personal record or individual stat.
But he admitted that one achievement he reached Sunday — reaching the most wins for a quarterback in his first two seasons in NFL history — means a little something.
“That does matter,” Wilson said after Seattle’s 23-0 victory over the Giants on Sunday, which was the 23rd of his career, breaking a tie with Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger.
“Obviously, winning a lot of games is really important. That’s what we come to do every day.”
Wilson, who went 18 of 27 for 206 yards, also recorded another milestone with the 50th touchdown pass of his career, becoming only the third player in NFL history to throw for 50 or more in his first two seasons. The others are Dan Marino (68) and Peyton Manning (52).
In his postgame news conference, Seattle coach Pete Carroll made sure to mention both records in his opening statement.
“These are just markers that this guy is going to continue to knock off,” Carroll said. “It’s really cool that he’s been able to do that.”
Baldwin responds to criticism
On Saturday, Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin expressed his disagreement with a USA Today story that was critical of the Seahawks’ receiving corps, then backed up his words with his play on Sunday.
The USA Today story was headlined “Will Seahawks’ question marks at receiver be their downfall?” and quoted an unnamed NFL personnel man saying “that’s the thing I’d worry about’’ most in assessing whether Seattle could get to the Super Bowl.
On Twitter, Baldwin responded in part that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that it “doesn’t mean their opinion is an intelligent one.”
Baldwin then led Seattle’s receivers Sunday with six catches for 71 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Afterward, asked about the USA Today article, he initially gave an answer that included a few unprintable words.
In a more measured answer later, he said he thinks there is a mistaken perception that the Seattle receiving corps can’t play at an elite level without Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin, both injured. He also said too many people judge the Seahawk passing game merely by total yards without taking into account the fact that the team runs the ball at a higher percentage than almost anyone in the NFL.
“There’s no big names, so we must be average,” he said. “And I don’t want to call anybody out especially, but there was no factual evidence in that article, no stats to back up his statement. I think that if he did look into advanced stats and actually did some research, he would find we are actually a pretty efficient receiving corps. And not only efficient, but one of the most explosive receiving corps in the NFL, and we don’t throw the ball nearly as much as some of the other teams. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.”
Mebane mans up in the middle
Statistics can also prove a poor indicator of the performance of defensive linemen. Seattle defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, for instance, finished the day with just two tackles.
But teammates said later that his play was vital in Seattle’s defensive dominance up front.
“I’m a little biased, but I feel like Mebane’s the best defensive tackle in the league who goes unnoticed,” said linebacker Bruce Irvin. “The guy’s been in the league the last five, six years and hasn’t gone to the Pro Bowl. But you turn on the tape, and can’t nobody run in his gap.”
Carroll agreed that the Seattle defensive front had one of its better days.
“They couldn’t get the ball going against us on the ground,” Carroll said of a New York team that didn’t have a run longer than 7 yards.
Said Mebane: “That’s our goal every week — control the line of scrimmage, play hard, and set the tone up front.”
The win made Seattle 6-2 on the road for the season, a franchise record — the Seahawks won five road games in 2005 and 1984. It also made them 4-1 in five games that began at 10 a.m. PST, historically a troublesome start time for the Seahawks.
Carroll said the team has tried to not make an issue of the road-game history, but acknowledged that “the fact that we’ve done that, that’s a good accomplishment.”
• Clinton McDonald got the start at the other defensive tackle spot with Tony McDaniel battling an illness much of the week. “He was violently ill and we couldn’t quite get him ready to go,” Carroll said of McDaniel. “Clint started, he was active. … he was a real big factor for us overall.” McDaniel did recover enough to see a little action later.
• Carroll said there were no significant injuries. Cornerback Jeremy Lane had what Carroll called “a little stinger’’ and safety Earl Thomas took a shot to the thigh. “Other than that, we’re in good shape,’’ Carroll said.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @bcondotta.