The 2012 preseason for Seahawks fans was a revelation, and an eye-opening experience for everyone who watched the NFL. This was due to Russell Wilson, their third round QB who went from depth quarterback, to gaining lofty comparisons to fellow small-statured QB Drew Brees. The honeymoon isn't over, but the sheen has worn off Wilson since the season began, prompting some to ponder whether or not now is the time for the Seahawks to make a change, and start Matt Flynn, the free-agent they signed during the off-season.
To understand why Wilson's ability is coming into question, look no further than comparing his preseason games, with regular season performance.
Preseason: 40/63 (63.5%), 536 yards (8.5 YPA), 5 TD, 1 INT, 110.3 QB rating. 10 rushing attempts, 150 yards, 1 TD
Regular season: 60/100 (60%), 594 yards (5.9 YPA), 4 TD, 4 INT, 73.5 QB rating. 22 rushing attempts, 80 yards.
The difference is performance is marked, which is why Michael Lombardi of NFL.com was prompted to say the Seahawks need to make a move, and switch to Matt Flynn.
The perception of his play has far outweighed his actual performance on the field so far this season. [...] In three of their four games this season, the Seahawks failed to score more than 20 points, putting up 16 against the Arizona Cardinals, 14 against the Packers and 13 against the St. Louis Rams. At the quarter mark of the season, the Seahawks should be asking themselves if Flynn could take the helm and score more.
Flynn was supposed to be heir apparent in Seattle. The organization signed him to a 3-year, $26 million deal and they were hoping he would thrive where Matt Cassel and Kevin Kolb couldn't, fellow successful backup QBs finding their footing as franchise players. Much of Lombardi's argument surrounds Wilson's height holding him back. That the QB is unable to see down field, so is flushed from the pocket far too often and throws the ball away. For Carolina this would be a significant advantage. While the Panthers' defensive line hasn't always shown a knack for getting sacks, they have shown an innate ability to bat down passes; an achilles heel for a short QB.
Matt Flynn isn't exactly a giant a 6'2", but he's markedly taller than Wilson. For now, however, it seems Pete Carroll isn't interested in talking QB controversy. In speaking to the Seattle Times he said:
"Sure. Yeah. We're going with Russell right now. He's working his tail off to get it right, and where all of the focus that goes to the quarterback position, there's a lot of guys that figure into what's going on, and he's one of them. So we're just trying to get better."
Hardly condemning his QB, but not a glowing appraisal either. We'll keep an eye on Seattle's QB situation as it progresses, because as it stands we have no way of knowing for sure who'll suit up for the Seahawks on Sunday.