Doesn’t somebody have to write a song about Russell Wilson at some point?
“The Ballad of Russell Wilson,” perhaps?
Alas, no songs will be written about the Seahawks’ loss to the St. Louis Rams on Sunday, even though Wilson’s play was dramatic, historic, and maybe even lyrical.
But the defense didn’t help him write the final stanza in a 28-26 loss.
Wilson’s competitive valor isn’t new; he’s directed 11 comeback wins in the fourth quarter in his career already.
The rally in the second half on Sunday was a beaut, with three scoring drives of 80 yards or more on a succession of passes, runs and, most frequently, improvised evasions under duress that turned into passes.
It made him the first player in NFL history to pass for more than 300 yards and rush for more than 100 in one game.
Remember, NFL history includes quarterbacks like Steve Young, Fran Tarkenton, Michael Vick and Randall Cunningham. None of them accomplished this.
Sadly for Seahawks fans, and Wilson himself, big stats often are produced in losses, when teams’ best players are forced into the role of saviors.
Is that overstating it? Let Rams coach Jeff Fisher tell you about Wilson’s effort: “Russell, all by himself, made this quite a game.”
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who is probably more accustomed to seeing Wilson’s absurd skills, soft-sold the quarterback’s performance: “… (he) did a phenomenal job of carrying out the game plan.”
Huh? Here’s what the game plan must have looked like: 1. Protection breaks down; 2. Russell, run for your life; 3. Russell, throw ridiculous darts to receivers who are well-covered, even though you’re getting pummeled and harassed.
Time after time he unloaded passes to Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse, and even third-team tight end Cooper Helfet — particularly on a fourth-quarter touchdown that provided a perfect example of Wilson’s day.
Before he could finish his drop-back and plant a foot to deliver, Wilson had a flock of Rams in his face, forcing him to his left, where another defender charged at him. With no time to get his feet under him, he whip-snapped an off-balance pass 30 yards in the air to the one spot Helfet could reach it while being perfectly covered.
Wilson’s influence on the game defies statistical analysis, though, as he sometimes forces teams to make shaky decisions.
Why, for instance, would Fisher call for a fake punt on his own 18-yard line on fourth-and-3 with only a two-point lead? The situation almost totally negated a fake attempt. The cost of failing was to give the game away by setting up a short Seattle field goal.
It made no sense, until you heard Fisher’s explanation.
“You saw the flow of the game; we were having a hard time stopping Russell (Wilson). There was too much time left on the clock right there and I didn’t want to give the ball back to him.”
Yes, all this occurred during a loss. Imagine how bad it would have been without Wilson’s effort, though. His three sacks might have approached 10. And this could have been a rout.
Wilson will be sore this week, as he took more hits than usual. But again, more evidence of the human anomaly this guy is, he’s not only never missed a game in nearly two-and-a-half seasons, he’s never even been on a daily injury report.
Whatever money the Seahawks saved on shipping out Percy Harvin, they need to take it and put it in escrow right now so they’ll have it handy the second they can start putting together Wilson’s long-term contract.
This wasn’t just another good game by Wilson. It was historic.