Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks throws a pass during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 17, 2013 in Glendale, Arizona. The Seahawks defeated the Cardinals 34-22. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

by Curtis Crabtree
KJR reporter
Twitter: @Curtis_Crabtree

RENTON - Head coach Pete Carroll believes turnovers are one of the most critical aspects in determining who wins and who loses football games.

He constantly preaches a philosophy that "it's all about the ball." Creating turnovers on defense and protecting the ball on offense are critical factors that Carroll and the Seahawks' coaching staff constantly harp on.

However, when you have a quarterback like QB Russell Wilson, there is a fine line to walk between creating big plays and putting the ball in harm's way.

Wilson has proven to be a magician at times with his ability to escape the pocket and make plays with his feet. Wilson's knack for eluding defenders and extending a play to find a wide open receiver streaking downfield is among the aspects that make Wilson such a special player.

Against the Arizona Cardinals last Thursday night, Carroll saw both the positive and negatives aspects of a quarterback of Wilson's ability.

Wilson made a tremendous play to convert a third down pass to TE Zach Miller while being dragged down from behind by LB Daryl Washington. He also had two fumbles while being sacked by DE Matt Shaughnessy and DE John Abraham that led directly to 10 points for the Cardinals.

Carroll understands the risks to protecting the football that arise when Wilson is trying to create something seemingly out of nothing. To get the most of his quarterback, he's willing to assume those risks.

"Absolutely that comes with it. Absolutely, I understand that and if we were going to go conservative, he would take a knee back there if he felt some pressure. He’s not doing that," Carroll said.

"He’s a fantastic competitor, he gets it, he knows what we’re after and what we want and so that means that there is some risk involved and I think that he’s as much of a risk taker out there than anybody playing the game. But I think that he can manage that risk really well."

Seattle's offense has still struggled to truly hit its groove this season with several injuries along the offensive line causing protection issues. Wilson's scrambling ability has allowed Seattle to mitigate some of those protection issues as he’s been able to extend plays, escape the pocket and make plays on the run.

Wilson has been sacked 20 times already this season and fumbled eight times, losing five. As a rookie, Wilson was sacked just 33 times all year and fumbled just six times.

Wilson understands there is a balance between trying to create a play for the offense and doing too much with the football. It's a line that he believes he has a good feel for.

"I think the biggest thing for me is just hold onto the ball. Sometimes you got to sacrifice yourself and just get down and other times you just got to continue to step up. I’m always looking down field. I’m always trying to find guys down field so it’s one of those things that it’s a happy medium," Wilson said.

Injury Report:

Arizona Cardinals

Did Not Participate

RB Benny Cunningham (ankle)

Limited Participation

CB Cortland Finnegan (thigh)

Seattle Seahawks

Did Not Participate

FB Derrick Coleman (hamstring)
T Breno Giacomini (knee)
S Jeron Johnson (hamstring)
RB Christine Michael (illness)

Full Participation

LB Bobby Wagner (ankle)
WR Golden Tate (shoulder)