RENTON — Once the Seahawks got on the airplane Sunday for the flight back to Seattle from Buffalo, quarterback Russell Wilson got back to work.
It’s a Wilson ritual to put aside one game as quickly as he can and move on to the next one. And though the game he’d just played had been anything but normal — a 44-34 loss in which he committed four turnovers, the second most of his NFL career — once it was over he settled into his routine, pulling out an iPad and poring over game film.
At one point, he sat with left tackle Duane Brown while trying to determine why the Bills’ blitzes had been so effective.
“Just going over film for a large portion of the flight back, just pointing out different stuff,” Brown said. “His mentality, it’s just different from most. He’s committed to winning, and he hates to lose. He really hates to lose.”
Fortunately for the Seahawks, he hasn’t done much of losing. Wilson is 92-43-1 since becoming Seattle’s starter in 2012, and he needs one win to break a tie with Peyton Manning to become the NFL’s winningest quarterback through nine regular seasons with 93. Wilson also needs one win to break a tie with Tom Brady to become the winningest quarterback through nine seasons that include the playoffs, with 102.
One record he already holds has been a key to each of those.
Wilson is 32-8 after a regular-season loss, the best record for any QB since the NFL merger in 1970.
Seattle has not lost three in a row under Wilson.
Wilson credits much of the success to his ability to “stay neutral” no matter the circumstance. And indeed, his demeanor when he talked to the media this week via Zoom appeared the same as when he was coming off wins this season.
“I think you have to be able to move on,” Wilson said. “You have to be able to understand that there’s other great teams and other great players, too, and you just move on. You stay focused on the next task. This game will beat you up mentally if you can’t do that.”
Wilson already put that ability to test once this year, rebounding from a three-interception game against Arizona on Oct. 25 to throw four touchdowns without a pick in a win the next week against the 49ers.
But that sort of one-week turnaround has been typical in Wilson’s career.
Since 2018 Wilson has a 26-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio in games after losses.
And in his career, he has only twice thrown more than one interception in a game after a loss (one of those a 46-18 win over the Colts in 2017). For his career he has a 64-to-14 touchdown-to-interception ratio in games after losses.
Wilson had two interceptions and two lost fumbles last week, with the total turnovers the most he has had other than when he threw a career-high five interceptions in a loss at Green Bay in 2016.
Illustrating his ability to quickly move on, Wilson rebounded from that Green Bay game to throw three touchdowns (with one interception) in a 24-3 win over the Rams just four days later.
“To be able to have amnesia during the good times and the bad is key,” Wilson said.
What’s just as important, though, is doing the work to figure out what went wrong, a task Wilson began on the flight back last week.
As offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer pointed out this week, none of the plays was solely Wilson’s fault.
One interception came on a fourth-and-one play from the 5-yard line in the first quarter.
Wilson rolled right, and when he found both his primary receivers covered he tried to hope for the best with a throw to Jacob Hollister that was intercepted. Schottenheimer took the blame for that one this week.
“I’ve got to call a better call,” Schottenheimer said. “ … I put him in a situation, it’s fourth down, they covered the two primary receivers, he’s got to try to make a play. You don’t throw the ball away in that situation.”
Wilson’s other interception came on third-and-25 with the Bills leading 34-20 with 9:56 left. Wilson tried to make something out of nothing on a throw to DK Metcalf that was picked off.
“He needs to know, ‘Hey, I can’t throw that ball in that situation,’ ” Schottenheimer said. “They covered it really, really well and let’s try to move on. But he’s competing. We’re all competing. I call the play that I was competing to try to go convert third-and-25, and that’s hard to do.”
Wilson’s first fumble came on the first possession of the third quarter when he was sacked on third-and-10 and fumbled trying to escape the rush.
Both the line letting rushers through and play design contributed, Schottenheimer said.
“He’s trying to step up in the pocket, and we’ve got a deep, developing route — it’s getting ready to take off, and the guy kind of retraces around and he never sees him,” Schottenheimer said,
Wilson also lost a fumble with just under seven minutes left when the Bills blitzed on a third-and-two.
Schottenheimer said Wilson gave a signal to try to change the play but added that not everyone saw it, forcing Wilson to hold the ball and take a hit.
“He’s expecting something that didn’t show up, and he got hit and kind of got blindsided,” Schottenheimer said. “That was kind of that game in a nutshell. We did some really good things, but there were things that were … everybody’s involved, and the execution wasn’t good enough.”
The task will be no easier this week against the Rams in Los Angeles, going against defensive tackle Aaron Donald with an offensive line that will have Kyle Fuller starting at center in place of an injured Ethan Pocic — Fuller’s first NFL start since 2017.
But if Wilson’s history holds, don’t be surprised if he finds a way.