Wilson finds way to shake road woes
December, 2, 2012
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com
AP Photo/Nam Y. HuhRussell Wilson threw for a career-high 293 yards and rushed for a career-high 71 yards.CHICAGO -- Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll never doubted that Russell Wilson was capable of leading his team to a comeback win on the road, but Carroll wasn't sure if Wilson believed that.
A rookie's confidence can be shaken with five road losses that were decided by seven points or less.
But with less than four minutes remaining Sunday and the Seahawks trailing the Chicago Bears 14-10, Wilson justified Carroll's confidence with two critical drives to lead the Seahawks to a 23-17 overtime road win at Soldier Field.
'I think everybody realizes in our locker room, too, that the kid playing quarterback is an amazing kid,' Carroll said. "We've seen signs of it all along, but he needed this, in my mind. He would never say that, but, just because, he needed it. He's really exciting and I love the way he pulled this off today."
With the Bears leading by four points with 3:40 left in regulation, Wilson faced a daunting task as the drive started on his own three-yard line.
'I just told the guys, 'You know guys this is what the season comes down to,'' Wilson said. ''Right here, right now. We have 97 yards to go. We have to make one play at a time, stay in the now and execute and just make the plays when we need them.''
The drive culminated with Wilson finding Golden Tate for a 14-yard score to put the Seahawks ahead.
'He was huge,' Tate said. 'I think he played really well. Kept the chains moving, with his speed, so athletic, making playing throwing on the run, hitting the right guys. Then when it mattered most, you saw him shine.'
After the Bears forced overtime, Seattle won the toss and started what would be the winning drive at its own 20. And like the first time, Wilson used his arm and his legs by completing 6-of-9 passes and rushing for 19 yards on two carries. The finishing touch on the game-winning score came on 13-yard touchdown pass to Rice.
'It was just extraordinary, exquisite poise,' Carroll said. 'It really is. For a young kid like him, it was just exquisite poise. There were so many plays in there where he had to do something special on the play -- to move, to find the guy, to locate the receiver and to use the right throw and the right decision or to take off and run.
'He was just so beautifully poised tonight and so confident that it gives himself the kind of chance to play at this level.'
Carroll wasn't the only coach impressed.
'Russell Wilson, you have to give him a lot of credit,' Bears coach Lovie Smith said. 'He played well. He had a great game. A lot of the success that they had was kind of based on what he did. On those last two drives, they just kept the ball moving. It was passing there for a while, running the football.'
In the end, Wilson threw for a career-high 293 yards and rushed for a career-high 71 yards. He was also 23-of-37 passing for two touchdowns and for the fourth consecutive game didn't throw an interception.
Through all the ups and downs this season, Wilson came out of Sunday's win with a continued belief that he and his team can pull out such close games.
'Like I said last week, we have to continue to believe,' said Wilson, whose team lost to the Miami Dolphins on the road last week. 'The situation, we've been in tough circumstances and we had some great opportunities as well. So I think the process, just trusting the process, trusting what we do on a daily basis.
'Obviously, some of these games we've lost have come down to the last minute, last 30 seconds on the road or at home or whatever. Obviously, we have won big games at home, all of them really. I think the biggest thing is focusing on the now, focusing on what we can do to control the game when the game is on the line. Like I said over and over again, guys were really focused; guys were paying attention to detail, and it was a spectacular win for us.'