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Focus on: Extending plays
The Seahawks and the Panthers have faced off 11 times, including three postseason matchups. The Seahawks currently own seven wins in the series and will play the Panthers again this Sunday at CenturyLink Field during Week 13 on Sunday Night Football. View
Russell Wilson’s ability to extend plays comes with extensions.
For the best example of the magic the Seahawks’ second-year quarterback can weave when everything seems to be coming apart at the seams all around him, see his round-about scramble for a first down on a fourth-and-3 play to extend a 14-play, 98-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter last Sunday to pull his team back into what turned out to be an overtime victory against the Texans in Houston.
“His ability to extend plays scares the heck out of you,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said this week as his team prepares for Sunday’s game against the Seahawks in Indianapolis – and everything that Wilson brings.
That run against the Texans wasn’t Wilson’s only how-did-he-do-that extension of a play this season, or during in his 1¼ seasons with the Seahawks. It was just the latest, and perhaps the greatest – when you factor in down, distance and situation.
“We had to get it, obviously,” Wilson said. “It’s just one of those things where we had to find a way to make a play. We’re right there in the red zone. We’re close to scoring. We’re close to getting something going.
“We had a guy in the flat. We had a guy in the corner. We had an over-route. Pretty much everybody was covered up. Kellen Davis actually kind of came open early. But the only problem was I had a guy in my face blitzing off the edge. I just had to try to extend the play and get a first down. I continued to look downfield, but I realized I was getting closer and closer to the first down. I just tried to make a play, and Zach Miller did a great job of blocking and securing that block for me so I get a first down.”
It sounds almost as easy as Wilson made it look. But, of course, it wasn’t.
“It’s normal,” said Lemuel Jeanpierre, who filled in at center for All-Pro Max Unger last week and will start against the Colts if Unger’s injured triceps won’t allow him to play.
When that comment was greeted by a say-what expression, Jeanpierre added, “The only reason why I say that is because Russell does it in practice. It’s not like when he does it on game day it comes as a shock to us.
“They preach competing and finishing, so practice is that same way. So when Russell is doing stuff it’s all about finishing. You get big plays out of it. It’s fun. It’s football.”
Or at least it’s Seahawks football since Wilson arrived last season. Expecting the unexpected has become the norm.
“It shows his competitive nature,” Jeanpierre said. “He says he has faith in us. Well, we have faith in him. Everybody on this team is here to do his job. That’s Russell’s job. So when he does that, we’re not surprised by it at all. That’s just his nature.”