Masterful Russell Wilson leads Seahawks past Eagles 24-10
SEATTLE (AP) The Seahawks felt they were being written off, with injuries and the schedule converging to create doubt about whether Seattle was still among the NFC’s elite.
With Russell Wilson, the Seahawks seemingly always have a chance.
”He was in the zone,” Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin said. ”I told him whatever that felt like, he’s got to hold on to it because we need him to be in that mode for the rest of the season, because if he does that, we’ll be unstoppable.”
Wilson was masterful while throwing three touchdown passes, the last a 15-yard strike to J.D. McKissic with 7:29 left, and the Seahawks stayed in the NFC playoff hunt with a 24-10 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night.
Seattle (8-4) snapped Philadelphia’s nine-game winning streak thanks largely to another brilliant performance by its quarterback. Wilson was 20 of 31 for 227 yards and threw touchdowns of 11 yards to Jimmy Graham, 1-yard to Tyler Lockett and the TD to McKissic after the Eagles had trimmed the lead to seven.
”I thought Russell was phenomenal tonight. I thought that was Russell showing you everything he’s all about,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. ”From start to finish, from the first play of the game he was on it.”
Philadelphia (10-2) was the highest-scoring team in the NFL with 31.9 points per game. But the Eagles got just 10 points out of seven drives that reached Seattle territory. Twice this year Seattle has faced what was the top scoring offense in the NFL at the time. Both times they scored 10 points against the Seahawks.
”I felt like everybody was sleeping on us and nobody expected us to win this game,” Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner said. ”But we expected to win this game. This is not a surprise to us.”
Carson Wentz was 29 of 45 for 348 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Wentz had a costly fumble at the Seattle 1 on the opening drive of the second half that could have pulled the Eagles even at 10-all.
Wentz was inches shy of breaking the plane when Sheldon Richardson ripped the ball free. The loose ball bounced around the end zone and eventually over the end line for a touchback and Seattle’s ball. It was a major turning point, as Seattle went 80 yards in 11 plays, capped by Wilson’s 1-yard pass to Lockett for a 17-3 Seattle lead. The touchdown was set up by a 47-yard pass to Doug Baldwin on third-and-10, beating a Philadelphia blitz.
”I make my big plays here and there,” Richardson said.
Seattle snapped a rare two-game losing streak at home mostly because of Wilson. It wasn’t his best game in numbers, but it might be one of his best performances. He came up with key throws when needed, kept plays alive with his legs and pulled out some unexpected improvisation just went the Seahawks needed it.
”We had a good game plan going against (Wilson),” Philadelphia safety Corey Graham said. ”But as you see, you know how it is, better in person than it is on film.”
Wentz started a Philadelphia rally on the first play of the fourth quarter. Facing third-and-13 at the 16, Wentz was pressured from the pocket. As he was about to be dragged down by Quinton Jefferson, Wentz hit Nelson Agholor for 51 yards. Four plays later, and again facing third-and-long, Agholor beat Maxwell again and Wentz found him for a 27-yard TD to pull the Eagles within 17-10.
Agholor had seven catches for 141 yards.
LATERAL OR PASS?
Wilson pulled out a little more magic on what proved to be Seattle’s decisive drive that ended in McKissic’s TD. Facing third-and-8 at the Philadelphia 42, Wilson was forced to scramble. Six yards downfield and short of the first down, Wilson lateraled the ball to Mike Davis as he was about to be hit. Davis took the lateral another 17 yards for a first down. It was a borderline play that appeared close to a forward pass, but Philadelphia didn’t challenge.
”Real time, it looked fine. It looked legit. We didn’t get all the necessary looks, because they hustled to the line,” Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson said. ”But at the same time, it looked good. I trust the guys upstairs in making those decisions.”
Graham had just three catches for 26 yards but continued to be Wilson’s favorite target near the goal line. Graham has touchdowns in four straight games and nine in the past seven games.
Philadelphia failed to score at least 20 points for the first time in 15 games, a streak dating to last season. The Eagles were the only team in the league to score at least 20 in every game this season.
FIRST QUARTER FINALLY
Seattle became the first team to score an offensive touchdown in the first quarter against the Eagles on Graham’s 11-yard TD catch. The Eagles had allowed just 18 points in the first quarter coming into the game, but allowed points on two of Seattle’s first three possessions.
Philadelphia tight end Zach Ertz left in the third quarter to be evaluated for a head injury and did not return. Ertz was injured trying to make a difficult catch across the middle that was broken up by Bradley McDougald.
Eagles: At the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
Seahawks: At Jacksonville on Sunday.
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