After playing disorganized and sometimes head-scratching football in the first half of Sunday's game, Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks came out with vengeance for the final two quarters. Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson and tight end Zach Miller made play after player while inching closer to the NFC Championship Game.
A 20-0 deficit did nothing to Wilson's confidence as the Seahawks attempted to climb out of their largest hole yet. During the regular season, Seattle came from 13 points down against New England to secure its fourth victory of the season, and last week against Washington, the Seahawks came back from a 14-0 shortfall.
So what was 20 points to a team that had been doing it all season long? Apparently when this team gets down, Wilson feels nothing but excitement:
Wilson: "As a quarterback you got to bring that relentless mindset of not giving up. When others get nervous, I get excited." #SEAvsATL— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) January 13, 2013
His exciting nature turned Darrell Bevell's offense into an exciting group during the fourth quarter of today's game. Bevell's offense put 21 points on the board in the final quarter of play, which allowed Seattle to take its first lead of the game with just 31 seconds left to play.
Aside from the 21-point fourth quarter, it took 485 yards of total offense to get the Seahawks their first lead of the game. The third-round pick out of Wisconsin threw for a season high 385 yards and ran for 60 additional yards on the ground.
Wilson's 385 yards through the air became a new single-game rookie postseason record. The record was previously held by Sammy Baugh who set the record in 1937 as a member of the Washington Redskins:
Russell Wilson just set the postseason record for most pass yards in a game by a rookie (336).— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 13, 2013
Yet any record Wilson amassed along the way doesn't supersede the outcome of today's game. A loss is a loss, plain and simple. The Seahawks' effort in the final two quarters was outstanding, but where was that sense of urgency in quarters one and two?
Or where was their killer instinct on the Falcons' final possession of the game? You've probably heard someone say that one or two plays is all it takes to affect the outcome of the game. That statement couldn't be more true, especially today.
Ultimately, Seattle had its chances and so did the Falcons. The better team won today, but that doesn't mean Atlanta is the better team. It just means the team who wanted it more showed up and played sound football for all four quarters.
Without a doubt we all know that the Seahawks are in damn good hands under the tutelage of coach Carroll and general manager John Schneider. The future is as bright as it has ever been. They were three plays away from an NFC Championship Game with the seventh-youngest roster in the league.
Another offseason will help them accumulate even more talent and it will allow their rookies to mature even more as well. 2012 was just simply not their year, and that's OK because the best is yet to come.