A recap of the Seahawks’ 20-13 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday at CenturyLink Field:
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Russell Wilson. All the Seahawks’ rookie quarterback did in this one was run for the game-winning touchdown with less than two minutes to play and also throw his 26th touchdown pass to tie the NFL rookie record that Peyton Manning set in 1998.
So once again, he runs away with Player of the Game honors.
Oh, and he also completed 15 of 19 passes for 250 yards in fashioning a 136.3 passer rating for the game, which upped his rating for the season to a cool 100.0.
Oh, part 2, and he also became the first rookie QB in league history to lead his team to an unbeaten record at home (8-0).
But tying any record set by Manning is enough to set any QB apart in any game and on any given Sunday.
“It’s such a blessing, because the guy is so great,” Wilson said, stepping out his team-always-comes-first character for just a moment. “To tie that record is really something special. It’s a tribute to my faith in God and all the things he’s put me through. And also my football team and what they’ve done.”
Now that’s more Wilson-esque, and he added, “The football team has really sparked throughout the whole entire season, the coaching staff has done a really great job of preparing me and it’s a whole team effort. And we did a great job this season.”
As for his game-winning TD run, Wilson said, “I just extended the play. The offensive line did a great job of giving me enough time to make a play.”
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: Wilson’s game-winner, of course. But we just covered that. So let’s go with Golden Tate’s pair of huge plays on the 10-play, 90-yard drive to Wilson’s 1-yard run. First, Tate recovered a fumble by Marshawn Lynch on the second play. Three plays later, on third-and-5, he gave the drive new life again by going up and over Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson for a 44-yard catch at the Rams’ 29-yard line.
But Tate shared the credit for the long completion with Wilson.
“That’s one thing that we know, with any given moment our quarterback can break a tackle and he can also run round,” Tate said. “He broke that tackle and guys thought he was about to run, so I turned up field and he made a perfect throw where no one could get it but me. I caught it and just made a play. I’m thankful for the opportunity to help this team win.”
Defense: The Rams were not done until Sam Bradford’s final pass of the game. He already had completed 25 of 41 for 252 yards. But pass No. 42 found its way into the hands of cornerback Richard Sherman at the Seahawks’ goal line with 33 seconds left in the game.
“I was probably a little late,” Bradford said. “(Austin Pettis) popped and I was going to give him a chance to go make a play.”
Instead, it was Sherman who made the play, intercepting his eighth pass of the season.
Special teams: Let’s go with Steven Hauschka’s 43-yard field goal, because they were the first points on the board in the second quarter after a scoreless first quarter.
None were reported for the Seahawks.
The Seahawks allowed the fewest points in the league, and the 245 yielded also set a franchise record – breaking the 261 allowed by the 1991 team.
With his eighth interception, Sherman tied for second in the NFL and recorded the most picks by a Seahawk since free safety Darryl Williams led the AFC with eight in 1997.
Lynch became the third back in franchise history to rush for more than 1,500 yards, and his total of 1,590 is topped only by the 1,880 Shaun Alexander had in 2005 and Alexander’s 1,696 in 2004. Lynch also had his 10th 100-yard rushing performance of the season, which is second in franchise history to the 11 that Alexander had in ’05.
The Seahawks closed the season with a five-game winning streak for the second time, tying the mark set in 1986. And they finished 8-0 at home for only the third time, joining the 2003 and 2005 teams.
The 11-5 record is the third-best in club history behind the 2005 team (13-3) and the 1984 team (12-4).
Four of the Seahawks’ victories came over other teams that also have advanced to the playoffs – the Packers, Patriots, Vikings and 49ers.
Sunday’s win over the Rams allowed the Seahawks to beat the other three NFC West teams at home in the final four weeks of the season after losing to each on the road in the first seven weeks of the season.
YOU DON’T SAY
“It’s the type of game we needed. You say that, but then you hate to be in close games. But it is definitely a game that we needed. We need to feel the pressure. We need to feel like we had to come back and just keep persevering. This game showed the type of character we have in this locker room.” – fullback Michael Robinson