SEATTLE — It was one of the few times this season Russell Wilson was legitimately almost caught.
It happened in the third quarter Sunday night with Seattle leading the Eagles 10-3.
Wilson was doing what he always does: carrying the team on his slim shoulders, and running both frantically and purposefully. This time, Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham gave chase, and just before Bradham caught him, Wilson threw the football downfield incomplete, avoiding the sack.
Bradham and Wilson began walking back to their respective huddles. Bradham moved close to Wilson, looked at him and smiled hugely, as if to say, "I almost got you."
Wilson reached out his right hand and gave Walker some dap, as if to say, "Yes, almost." But almost doesn't count.
Many players have almost gotten Wilson in the way many men are almost Denzel Washington.
We've seen Wilson do all kinds of Wilson things this year. And that's what we saw against maybe the best team in football, as the Seahawks beat Philadelphia 24-10.
On another play, when the Eagles ran a zero blitz, Wilson beat it with a precision throw for 47 yards to Doug Baldwin.
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Seattle goes up two scores after this bomb to @DougBaldwinJr sets up a short TD. #Seahawks #PHIvsSEA https://t.co/RHWL277cr72017-12-4 03:33:22
Then, later, Wilson was hit simultaneously by three Eagles defenders. One cracked him dead in the chest. He stood and jogged to the huddle. That is also part of the Wilson One-Man-Band Show. He gets pulverized and gets right back up.
On this night, however, Wilson wasn't the only quarterback putting on a show. Carson Wentz was, too.
While the Seahawks win might elevate Wilson to the top of the MVP scramble, the game showed two other things: First, we could easily see the Seahawks and Eagles battle again in the playoffs, maybe even the NFC title game. Second, Wentz is damn good, and if there is an heir to Wilson, it might be him.
Wentz made his own highlight play in the fourth quarter to pull the Eagles within a touchdown. He bounced right outside of the pocket, showing his Wilson-like footwork, and threw a deep strike for a touchdown.
The @Eagles! @CJ_Wentz making magic happen in Seattle. 27-yard TD to @NelsonAgholor! #FlyEaglesFly https://t.co/12igQb0PkN2017-12-4 03:57:41
It was a gorgeous game highlighted by two quarterbacks who are among the best at their position.
The difference is that Wilson is playing it better, and with far less help, than any other quarterback.
He passes, scrambles for his life...more passing, more scrambling...first-down runs, get a drink of water, do the grocery shopping...more passing, more running, maybe play a little offensive line and then the laundry.
He's rushed or passed for 29 of the Seahawks' 30 touchdowns this season. An NBC graphic showing Wilson as a one-man band, said that entering this game, Wilson had already passed for 3,029 yards and rushed for 401 more. That's an astounding 82 percent of the team's offense. If this percentage stayed the same for the remainder of the regular season, it would be the highest in NFL history.
Sunday night, Philadelphia's defense practically ignored the Seattle running game because there effectively isn't one (correction: Wilson is the running game). At one point late in the third quarter, according to my calculations (divide by two, carry the one), Wilson was accounting for 89.9 percent of the offense. That number ended up at 83.2 percent. He's such a slacker.
But what Wilson is doing goes beyond data. The eyes tell you a great deal about how this is unprecedented quarterback play.
"There are plays he makes," head coach Pete Carroll said, "that don't show up on the stat sheet."
"He had one of the best games I've seen him play," Carroll added.
On one play, Wilson was in the open field and lateraled to Mike Davis. It worked.
Whoa. 😱 #Seahawks https://t.co/aFihjtKGyw2017-12-4 04:06:28
"It's December," Wilson said. "It's time to be great."
This is what Wilson does, and has done, for years. This season, it's just reached ridiculous levels. The Seahawks are injured on defense, have no running game, have good but not great receivers and they've got Wilson doing in Seattle what Aaron Rodgers does in Green Bay—doing it all.
Wilson finished the game 20-of-31 for 227 yards and three touchdowns. His passer rating was 118.6. ESPN Stats & Info reported this was Wilson's 14th game since 2015 with three touchdown passes. Only Tom Brady, with 18 during that time span, has more.
The Seahawks alerted the rest of the NFC that they will not go away quietly. They will be around and they will be more than a nuisance.
They will be a problem because Wilson is a problem. Right now, he's practically unstoppable.
And he's doing it all.
Mike Freeman covers the NFL for Bleacher Report.