Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published September 22, 2013 at 7:52 PM | Page modified September 22, 2013 at 11:03 PM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

For Russell Wilson and Seahawks, one drive stirs memories of 2012

Russell Wilson called it the biggest drive of this infant season. You’re excused if you were too busy laughing at Jacksonville to notice the importance. It’s not often these days that anything of significance is attached to the Jaguars.

Times staff columnist

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
No comments have been posted to this article.
Start the conversation >

advertising

Russell Wilson called it the biggest drive of this infant season. You’re excused if you were too busy laughing at Jacksonville to notice the importance.

It’s not often these days that anything of significance is attached to the Jaguars. They signal vacation time, really. You don’t go fishing for relevance against an opponent this overmatched, but you know how thorough Wilson is.

When some unintentional Jacksonville comedy resulted in a Seahawks interception in the final minute of the first half, Wilson sensed the moment. Only 44 seconds remained after a silly play in which Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne threw a pass that ricocheted off the helmet of his center, Brad Meester. Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner jumped over running back Maurice Jones-Drew, tipped the deflected pass to himself and made an incredible diving catch. The Seahawks took possession at their 21-yard line, and with a 17-0 lead, you figured they would be conservative and cruise into halftime.

Instead, Wilson told his team in the huddle: “This is really open for us right here. We have to capitalize right here. Let’s try to make something out of it.”

Five plays, 34 seconds and 79 yards later, Sidney Rice was celebrating in the end zone, the recipient of Wilson’s third touchdown pass of the half. The Seahawks led 24-0, and an offense on its way to a 479-yard performance had enjoyed its most explosive series of the season.

Yes, it was against Jacksonville.

No, it wasn’t any less impressive.

“I think it’s the most important thing we did today,” Wilson declared after a 45-17 victory Sunday before 68,087 at CenturyLink Field.

For the first time this season, the offense resembled its form during the second half of last season, when the Seahawks averaged 32.4 points in their final 10 games (counting the playoffs). They didn’t hurt themselves by committing an excessive amount of penalties (only four in this game), and they didn’t start slowly. The run game was dominant early and produced 156 rushing yards, and that allowed the Seahawks to make big plays passing downfield.

Wilson threw four touchdown passes, two apiece to Rice and Zach Miller. He completed 14 of 21 passes for 202 yards in a little more than one half of play. Then Tarvaris Jackson came in and posted a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating by completing 7 of 8 passes for 129 yards and one spectacular touchdown to Doug Baldwin.

But the late second-quarter drive is what the players will celebrate the most.

“Everybody was so focused,” Baldwin said. “You could see in our eyes that nothing was going to stop us from getting downfield.”

First play: Wilson deep pass to Golden Tate, who went out of bounds after a 30-yard gain. Second play: Wilson to Tate for 5 yards. Timeout.

Third play: Wilson to Rice for 23 yards. Fourth play: Wilson scrambled out of bounds after gaining 10 yards. Fifth play: 11-yard touchdown pass to Rice.

Nothing stopped them.

It looked too easy.

“That’s awesome for us, and that’s the way we need to play football,” Wilson said.

It was so important because you hadn’t seen the offense’s quick-strike ability in the first two games. It was so important because Wilson wants the offense to trust him when he says, “If there is any time on the clock, I believe that we can score, and that’s the way I’ve always thought.”

After completing only 8 of 19 passes against San Francisco last week and posting his worst quarterback rating in nearly a year, Wilson wanted to return to his normal efficiency and production. He made it a point all week to do whatever he could to ensure the offense “stayed on schedule,” which is how he refers to the incremental execution required to put together long drives.

Sometimes, staying on schedule meant making amazing plays, such as Wilson’s spinning touchdown pass to Miller. Most times, it meant playing off the threat of Marshawn Lynch and making the play-action pass look laughably simple. Other times, it meant trusting the wide receivers to make athletic plays.

On Rice’s second touchdown reception, a 23-yarder that gave the Seahawks a 31-0 lead, the wide receiver reached the end zone and pointed for Wilson to throw it up, sort of like a basketball player calling for an alley-oop.

“So, I looked at the safety and said, ‘OK, here you go,’ ” Wilson said.

Rice, who looked as spry as he has all season, flew into the air and caught the pass in front of two Jacksonville defenders.

If he hadn’t thrown a third-quarter interception that resulted in a gift touchdown for Jacksonville against the Seahawks defense, Wilson would have very little to lament. Still, it was the kind of showing he wanted after struggling against San Francisco.

Wilson will remember that 34-second drive the most. It was odds-defying, and not just for its speed and precision.

Most stunning is that a seminal moment actually arose from playing Jacksonville.

Russell Wilson this season
After struggling against the 49ers last week, quarterback Russell Wilson bounced back against Jacksonville and tied a career high with four touchdown passes in less than three quarters.
OpponentStats
Jacksonville14 for 21, 202 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT
San Francisco8 for 19, 142 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Carolina25 for 33, 320 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Russell Wilson this season
After struggling against the 49ers last week, quarterback Russell Wilson bounced back against Jacksonville and tied a career high with four touchdown passes in less than three quarters.
OpponentStats
Jacksonville14 for 21, 202 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT
San Francisco8 for 19, 142 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Carolina25 for 33, 320 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT

Jerry Brewer: 206-464-2277 or jbrewer@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @JerryBrewer

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon


Advertising
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►