Wilson, Lynch combine to help rally Seahawks
Russell Wilson got out in front for Marshawn Lynch, and Lynch picked things up for Wilson.
Together they took turns carrying the Seattle Seahawks to their first road playoff victory since 1983, a 24-14 victory over the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field on Sunday.
Wilson (15-for-26, 187 yards passing, eight rushes for 67 yards) played the role of lead blocker as Lynch (20 rushes, 132 yards, TD) cut back and pounded 27 yards into the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter.
"Marshawn always tells me all the time, 'Russ, I got your back no matter what. I got your back,'?" Wilson said. "I just try to help him out every once in a while when he gets down the field. I just try to make a play for him and help our football team win."
Earlier in the game it had been the veteran running back who bailed out his rookie quarterback. Seattle was still down 14-3 in the second quarter when Wilson lost the ball on a fake handoff. He tried desperately to bat it away, but instead it was Lynch who circled behind him, picked up the ball with one hand and raced 20 yards downfield. Seattle then crucially put the ball in the end zone on a wide open 4-yard pass to Michael Robinson to complete the eight-play, 73-yard drive.
It was vindication for an offense that finished the first quarter with a net total of nine yards.
"As much momentum that they had, it is a marvelous statement," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "It ain't about how you start but about how you finish, and we've been saying that forever."
Wilson went into halftime with 123 yards on 9-for-14 passing along with 35 yards on the ground.
Lynch nearly matched his first-half total of 33 yards on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter when he found a hole for 26. He also fumbled at the Washington 2-yard line when he was popped by Barry Cofield.
"One thing about 24, you don't ever have to worry about his mindset," said Robinson, the self-appointed spokesman for Lynch, who declined to talk to reporters after the game. "He got to the sideline, he was upset about it and he just said, 'Give it to me again. Keep feeding me.' He's one of those guys that seems to get stronger as the game goes on."
The same can be said for Wilson, who wasn't fazed by his first career playoff game or the friends and family who had to travel only from his native Richmond to see him.
"I'm done referring to Russell as a rookie," Seahawks receiver Golden Tate said. "He's not playing like a rookie, doesn't act like a rookie. We're 17 games in. He's not a rookie no more. I'm very happy with how he's playing, and he's been productive every single week."
Wilson's understanding and determination were both clear on Lynch's touchdown run as he blocked his way right through the end zone.
"That's not even his assignment," Robinson said. "He's just supposed to carry out the fake. But he understands the concept of the play. He knew that Marshawn was going to be coming back. He did a great job."