Of all the impressive things the Seahawks did while winning Super Bowl XLVIII, don’t overlook one of the most crucial: The offensive performance on third downs.
Converting on the pivotal down had been an issue down the stretch in the regular season, as well as in both of the Seahawks’ postseason games, as the Seahawks faced five Top 10 defenses in six games. It had affected the offense’s ability to sustain drives, which played directly into the concerns about how they would be able score enough points to defeat the New Orleans Saints in their divisional playoff game and the defending conference champion San Francisco 49ers in the NFC title game.
But in the 43-8 victory over the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium last Sunday night, those third-down conversions seemed to come as easily for the Seahawks as everything else.
What was the difference for a team that had converted 30 percent in its previous six games suddenly converting 58 percent in the biggest game?
“I think it was really
A closer look at how the Seahawks converted seven of 12 third-down situations against the Broncos supports that assessment.
Wilson completed seven of his eight third-down passes for 83 yards – to four receivers – and the only incompletion was the pass to
And, six of Wilson’s third-down completions came in scoring drives.
On the Seahawks’ next possession, a 13-play drive to a 33-yard field goal by Hauschka, Wilson had his third-down mojo working. He went to
On the Seahawks’ second possession of the second half, which ended with Wilson’s 23-yard TD pass to Kearse, Wilson prolonged the drive by passing to rookie tight end
On their next possession, Wilson went to Baldwin for 6 yards on third-and-2 during a five-play, 48-yard drive that ended with Wilson’s 10-yard TD pass to Baldwin.
Impressive stuff by the second-year QB, from start to almost finish. And, like so many other players on this team, Wilson will only get better.
“There was a lot of concern that you (reporters) had about our offense and about Russell’s performance and all that,” coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday after the team’s victory parade through downtown Seattle and the championship celebration at CenturyLink Field. “And I would continue to tell you that he was playing well within what we were expecting that we needed in games.
Wilson did not throw an interception in the postseason, and the Seahawks turned the ball over only once (on a fumble) while forcing eight turnovers (four interceptions and four fumble recoveries).
“So hanging onto the football allows us to win and Russell was perfect at dealing with that and distributing the ball as well as he did,” Carroll said. “So as we go into this offseason, my hopes are that he’s really going to take another big step forward and he’ll continue to get better.”
Just like Wilson did in turning around the Seahawks’ production on third downs in the Super Bowl.