Seattle Seahawks: Russell Wilson's great escape leaves both sides impressed

By The Sports Xchange  |  Nov. 10, 2017 at 12:23 PM
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson saw Arizona Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones barreling down on him, and immediately one thought popped into his head.

"Whenever you see him right there, it's never a good thing," Wilson said.

Wilson danced his way out of danger as he has so many other times before, darting in and then out of trouble again before fleeing and then unleashing a pass deep down the field. Initially, it looked as if the ball would sail out of bounds.

Instead, at a critical juncture early in the fourth quarter on Thursday night, Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin leapt, Cardinals safety Antoine Bethea slipped and fell, and Baldwin had himself a 54-yard catch and run down to the Arizona 2-yard line.

The big play set up the game-breaking touchdown in Seattle's 22-16 victory at University of Phoenix Stadium.

"I thought the defense played lights out -- other than one play," Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said.

It is never an easy task, however, trying to bring down a scrambling Wilson, even though he was sacked five times overall in the game.

"You can watch film, you can prepare for it, but then actually playing against it, it's just a different beast," Cardinals defensive tackle Josh Mauro said about defending against Wilson. "He just made a play. I'll take him throwing off his back foot into coverage every time.

"Credit them. They made a play. We had him hemmed up, but he just made the play. Simple as that."

Arizona rookie linebacker Haason Reddick had never previously seen Wilson in person.

"Oh man, he's just rubbery slippery, man," Reddick said. "He's just a slippery, elusive guy. We've got to contain him in the pocket, we've got to keep him in the pocket. When he gets outside of that pocket, that's when he makes the big plays.

"He's a great player, man."

Bethea initially thought Wilson was trying to throw the ball away, but after he slipped while defending Baldwin, there was nothing he could do but watch.

"It was just one of those plays," Bethea said. "Scrambling is what we always talk about when playing him, and he made a play. ...

"We knew that coming in. We knew he could do that in the backfield, prolonging plays with his legs. We knew that. They just made more plays than we did tonight."

How did Wilson do it? Simple, he just bought himself enough time as he often does, extended the play, and made magic.

"I was trying to find a way to get some space and get away from (Jones)," said Wilson, who completed 22 of 32 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns. "I think I spun back twice or whatever and gave Doug a chance to make a play when he was one-on-one.

"I don't think anyone can cover Doug one-on-one. He's pretty special, so I gave him a chance, and he made a play."

It might have been different had Bethea not slipped, but then again, maybe it wouldn't have changed things a bit. So said Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby.

"He made a great play," Dansby said of Wilson. "You can't do nothing else -- nothing. You just have to get him on the ground. That's it. We weren't able to get him on the ground in that moment, and he made a play that will probably go down in history."

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he couldn't wait to watch replays of the play on the flight back to Seattle.

"That was an extraordinary play," he said. "I need to see it again. I can't imagine all those spins and all that stuff he was doing just to find the time."

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