Don't blame Russell Wilson.
People say the Seahawks' passing game is spiraling counter-clockwise down the toilet because Wilson is in a slump.
It might be more accurate to say that Darrell Bevell, the Seahawks' offensive coordinator, is in a slump.
“His passing game appears chaotic and out of sorts,” said a former NFL offensive coordinator. “Some weeks, Bevell is on and hot with his design and play calling, and other weeks, as cold as the Arctic.”
Bevell is like the professor who gives the same final exam every quarter, and the fraternity has a copy. People know the answers to his test before they take it. That's how defenses seem to feel about his offense.
“Bevell runs the same standard, generic bootleg pass week after week,” said the former offensive coordinator. “I feel sorry for Wilson. Bevell needs to change it up. Defenses run to spots on the field. They know what's coming. The Saints knew what was coming last Sunday.”
Here's an example. On the Seahawks' second drive against the Saints in Saturday's divisional playoff game, Bevell called a deep pass to Jermaine Kearse, the wide receiver on the left side of the Seahawks' formation. Before the snap, the Saints free safety, Malcolm Jenkins, took five steps toward Kearse as if he already knew the pass was going to Kearse.
When the center snapped the ball, Kearse ran a quick slant and Wilson pump faked a pass to him. Kearse was running a slant-and-go, supposed to fake out the defenders, make them think it's a short pass and then, whoops, it's a long touchdown.
The Saints weren't faked. They knew it was a long pass from the start. They had seen it so many times before.
Corey White, the cornerback covering Kearse, didn't react to the short slant. When Kearse started running deep, White was right there in perfect position to cover him. Jenkins, the free safety, ran over and covered Kearse, too. Double coverage. A done deal before it even started.