Column: Wilson was outstanding in Seahawks win
Published: Monday, October 15, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 15, 2012 22:10
Nearly every article I read about New England’s 24-23 loss against Seattle was how the Patriots had choked away the game. Phrases like “epic fail” and “blown opportunity” were found everywhere, putting diehard Patriots fans on suicide watch.
Being in Connecticut, we all get the same New England perspective, and that is because New Englanders may be some of the biggest homers in sports. To fans of teams outside of the area, it must get annoying hearing the same story from the same New England perspective, but I love it. To me it shows pride and character, but to others it may show an unhealthy obsession that comes off as annoying.
I cannot lie, I thought the biggest story line for that game was how the defense blew it, but it is not. Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson did the improbable with a come-from-behind win over the Patriots, stunning New Englanders everywhere.
At 5 feet 11 inches tall, the rookie sensation from Wisconsin continues to defy the odds stacked against him. He’s undersized, under matched and inexperienced, yet he finds a way to get it done.
Down 23-10 in the fourth quarter after a Stephen Gostkowsi field goal, the underdog went to work. With 9:17 left in the fourth, Wilson went on an 88-yard drive, ending in a 10-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Braylon Edwards. Not only was it shocking to see that Edwards was actually still playing football, but Wilson surprised the Patriots with a five play scoring drive that only took 1:56.
After that, both teams would make defensive stands, trading punts on the next three consecutive drives. With 2:38 left in the game, Wilson did the impossible, again.
Starting on their 43-yard line, the shortest quarterback in the league stood tall. Wilson opened the drive with a nine-yard rush to the right side. On second down, his pass went incomplete. On third down, running back Marshawn Lynch rushed to the left on a two-yard gain.
It was first down on the Patriots’ 46-yard line when Wilson threw 46-yard bomb to wide receiver Sidney Rice for a touchdown. After a good point-after attempt, the Seahawks were up 24-23 with 1:18 left in the game.
The game-winning touchdown to Rice was thrown perfectly, right into the heart of the Patriot’s defense. Through the New Englanders’ perspective, the play only happened because of safeties Tavon Wilson and Nate Ebner, but to the rest of the sports world, it was Wilson that made it happen. I will admit that I saw it as nothing more than blown coverage, but after watching the replay several times, my opinion changed.
The 46-yard pass was flawless. It took a tremendous amount of confidence and ability for Wilson to make that strike downfield late in the game, and it took a tremendous amount of faith that Rice would make that catch, but most of all, it took heart. It was something you would expect from a proven veteran and not an untested rookie.
In the last 7:21 of the fourth quarter, Wilson erased a 13-point deficit with two passing touchdowns. Wilson was 16-27, throwing for 293 yards and three touchdowns. He finished with a 59.3 completion percentage and a quarterback rating of 133.7. He stood more like a giant than he did a man under six feet on Sunday.
Wilson’s story is pretty incredible in itself. A two sport star athlete in college, Wilson was drafted by the Colorado Rockies to play baseball. A day after being drafted, his father died. After going to spring training for the Rockies and playing Single-A baseball, he decided to return to football, transferring from N.C. State to go play quarterback for Wisconsin.
Wilson was drafted by the Seahawks in the third round of the 2012 NFL draft, the 75 pick overall. A month before he was drafted, the Seahawks signed quarterback Matt Flynn to a three-year $26 million deal. Flynn had the quarterback position seemingly locked up. Wilson’s draft status brought up red flags because of his size, which is about four inches shorter than the average quarterback.
Just like he always has, Wilson proved the nonbelievers wrong and won the starting job. As of now, the Seahawks are 4-2 under Wilson.
If Wilson was a superhero, he would be Mighty Mouse. He continues to defy the odds at the quarterback position, proving that size has nothing to do with ability, heart and the desire to win.
I encourage everyone to be able to overlook their team biases and gain a little perspective. What Wilson did against the Patriots was nothing short of incredible and it takes a true sports fan to look at the big picture here. Wilson’s story is just of the many incredible ones in sports.