Russell Wilson Reminds NFL Why He's Special in Taking Down Rams

Mike Freeman@@mikefreemanNFLNFL National Lead WriterOctober 4, 2019

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson drops back to pass against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half of an NFL football game Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

This isn't the best Seattle Seahawks team we've ever seen. It's not filled with special players and doesn't have a great defense. There's no Marshawn Lynch or Richard Sherman. There is, however, a staple figure. The one component who, somehow and someway, year after year, always keeps the Seahawks in the Super Bowl conversation.

His name is Russell Wilson. Perhaps you've heard of him.

The game-winning Seattle touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night was typical Wilson. Fourth-and-goal from the 5-yard line, Seahawks trailing 29-24 with just over two minutes left. Wilson dropped back...nothing open...nothing open...then Wilson looked like he was going to scramble.

Rams defensive back Aqib Talib had a decision to make. Go after Wilson or stay in coverage. Don't fall for the move, Talib! Don't fall for the move!

He fell for the move.

Wilson, always a threat to run, faked like he was going to take off for the end zone. Then, suddenly, he braked the way the Space Shuttle used to after deploying its parachutes to land. He lobbed the football over Talib's head to running back Chris Carson. The Seahawks took the lead in a game they would win 30-29.

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Don't worry, Aqib. He's done this to plenty of your NFL counterparts before, and he'll do it again.

"I wanted to make sure I kept the play alive," the 30-year-old quarterback told Fox Sports after the game.

It's one of the things he does best: keeping plays alive and keeping the Seahawks alive game after game.

The move was prototypical, totally typical, special-typical, future-Hall-of-Fame-typical Wilson. And he's done it so many times it's hard not to take it for granted.

But it's also what this Seattle team needs if it hopes to be special.

These Seahawks are interesting in a lot of ways. They have a good receiver in Tyler Lockett, who had a spectacular toe-tap score on a perfectly placed football from Wilson on Thursday night. Yet their receiving group, while solid, doesn't scare anyone.

The run game can also be good. But again, there's no Christian McCaffrey in the backfield. And the defense toughened up when needed but also allowed the Rams to get into position for what should have been a game-winning field goal.

Wilson is what makes the Seahawks a force. Wilson is what has long made the Seahawks a force.

He finished the game completing 17 of 23 passes for 268 yards and four touchdowns. It was his ninth career game with four touchdown passes. He also added 32 rushing yards.

It's not that Wilson isn't recognized as special. It's that Wilson is still not always viewed as one of the greats in the game. He's often not mentioned in the same sentence as Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes or Aaron Rodgers, but he should be.

Wilson's accuracy is the most underrated part of his game. The touchdown pass to Lockett, according to NFL Next Gen Stats, had a 6.3 percent completion probability, the lowest on any touchdown pass in the last three seasons.

Wilson, as revealed on Thursday night's SportsCenter, threw for 130 yards and two touchdowns while on the run, and his passer rating while throwing on the run was 142.4.

Mahomes remains the gold standard (for now) when it comes to magical quarterbacks making magical plays.

Wilson isn't far behind, though, and in typical Wilson form, he also hasn't thrown an interception yet this season.

Typical Wilson. Typically great.

       

Mike Freeman covers the NFL for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter: @mikefreemanNFL.