If rookie QB Russell Wilson’s continued excellence in a dominant starting performance in the Seahawks’ 44-14 rout of the Chiefs wasn’t enough to assure him of a starting role in Week One, the suddenly tender elbow that kept Matt Flynn from further making his case for the job might have all but sealed the deal in Flynn’s favor.
Entering the third preseason game, Wilson and Flynn had taken an almost equal number of snaps under center. After starting the first two exhibitions and looking efficient but far from spectacular, Flynn was scheduled to play in the second half in K.C. behind Wilson, but that plan went up in smoke when a tendinitis-like condition in Flynn’s elbow flared up in midweek.
Head coach Pete Carroll said after the game that he still needed more time before committing to anybody. But most close observers agree the pendulum appears to have emphatically shifted in Wilson’s direction after the rookie directed the Seahawks to six consecutive scoring drives and registered a 134.8 passer rating up against the opposition’s first team for the first time this season.
Before Wilson’s latest gem, the support for him in a starting role was definitely on the upswing. “Since the first rookie mini, the kid has refused to back down,” a team insider told PFW late in the week. “The most impressive thing he’s done is make his best plays when the plays aren’t initially there. When Flynn has been forced out of the pocket, he hasn’t been nearly as good as Wilson.”
Flynn’s elbow injury could also have a direct bearing on the status of incumbent QB Tarvaris Jackson, who could be taken off the trade block if Flynn is sidelined for a prolonged period. “The thought is Jackson is still insurance in case one of the guys (Wilson or Flynn) gets hurt,” the insider said, not long before Flynn's elbow woes became common knowledge. “But I think the team is also waiting for another team that might be really desperate for QB help to drive Jackson’s price up.”