Seattle went to Arizona last night and beat the Cardinals. And while they won the game, they may have lost their season. I don’t want to overreact, but when you see Richard Sherman go down with a ruptured Achilles and you know what he means to that defense and to the team in general, it is a brutal, brutal blow. In fact, it was a brutal, brutal game. You had Sherman blowing out his Achilles, Russell Wilson ducking into and out of concussion protocol, and Cardinals tackle DJ Humphries potentially tearing an ACL, to name just three. And there were plenty more.
But in the midst of all that, there was transcendent, jaw-dropping moment. Let’s go to the fourth quarter. Seattle leading 15-10 with the ball and a second and 21 from their own 44. And well, this happened:
If you haven’t seen it, see it. And if you can’t see it right now, let me attempt to describe it. Wilson fakes the handoff, rolls out to his left. He surveys the field, starts to tuck it down to run, but then two Arizona defenders come flying at him, he spins away, and runs backwards. Then spins again, and by now he’s back around the 28.
Getting hit there would be a 16-yard loss, so the smart move there is to throw it away, but Wilson doesn’t. Instead, coming out of a spin, he heaves it downfield and finds Doug Baldwin who sprints down the sideline for a 54-yard gain. Of course.
That wasn’t a dagger into the chest of the Arizona defense, that was ripping out their hearts, Temple of Doom style, and turning to show everyone. If the Cardinals take him down on that play, it’s a 3rd and 37, which is the kind of yardage where nobody’s converting a third down, unless they’re playing the New York Giants. But Wilson found a way out of it and not only didn’t take the loss; he took a 54-yard gain. Absolutely incredible.
And just as incredible was the fact that Baldwin was initially blocking on the play and ended up being the receiver who took that pass down to the 2-yard line. And the fact that Arizona knew all week that there would be a moment like that, they talked about it, they prepared for it, and they still got beaten by it. That’s how good it was.
Speaking of good, center Justin Britt had a good look at it: “I got a front row at the magic show for one of his Houdini plays. That’s just Russ being Russ. You love to have a playmaker like that on our team. He’s one of the only quarterbacks who can make a play like that, and then you’ve got an incredible slot player in Doug who makes those kind of plays.”
You know that Pete Carroll was pumped by it: “I can’t wait to see it again. It seemed like it took forever. It was just fantastic execution and chemistry between those two guys to get that done.”
There are scramble drills and then there’s whatever the hell that was. Because that wasn’t a scramble drill. The word “drill” implies that’s something you practice, but what they did last night isn’t something that you practice. Forget how many quarterbacks in the league right now can make that play, how many who have ever played can make that play? How many can even think of it? And yet Russell just did it.
And to dump a little more salt on the wound, Wilson found Jimmy Graham for a touchdown on the very next play. Game. Set. Match. Seahawks.