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Russell Wilson Tackle On Interception Return "A Big-Time Play" For Seahawks
LOS ANGELES — In a Pete Carroll-led program that preaches non-stop about taking care of the football, one would think an offensive turnover from his team would not be high on the list of plays the Seattle head coach would prefer to talk about postgame. But on Sunday afternoon, following the Seahawks’ 16-10 win over the Rams, Carroll couldn’t wait to rave about the effort he saw from his quarterback after Russell Wilson tossed a second-quarter pick inside the red zone on a back-shoulder ball intended for tight end Luke Willson.
“That was a phenomenal play. There was a point there where there's nobody in the stadium that thought that guy’s not scoring,” Carroll began, referencing Wilson’s tackle on a play that would amount to a 69-yard interception return for Rams safety John Johnson III. “Then out of nowhere Russell just kicks it in high gear and turns him and then also a great effort by [running back J.D.] McKissic too to stay with it so we get him on the ground.
"That was a fantastic effort by Russ to show you never give up,” Carroll added.
Wilson said the tackle “took me back to my high school days when I used to play corner.”
“They made a good play and I just put my head down and started running as fast as I could,” Wilson recalled. "Did a little form tackle, tried to wrap him up and get him down on the ground.
"What really was great about that was our defense, our defense being able to stop them in a huge drive after a crappy play by me,” Wilson added. "The defense being able to make a huge, huge stop and make them kick a field goal, that was really big."
As Wilson notes, his post-pick takedown not only helped keep six points off the board in a close game, but also gave the Seattle defense another shot to defend its turf in the red zone, something the unit did exceptionally well Sunday, allowing just the three points that came on a Rams field goal following Wilson’s interception as Los Angeles finished 0-4 on trips inside the 20 yard-line.
"It was amazing,” said Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner. "It was a big-time play. If they get points on the board, the game could have been totally different. So Russell getting down there, getting the guy turned back and getting him down was big-time for us.”
Added Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman: “We appreciate it. We appreciate it. But he has a lot of pride. He cares as much as we do and he cares about winning the ballgame, so if he can do anything to give us another chance at it, give the defense a shot to get on the field and get a stop, then he did that.”
Following Wilson’s interception, a Seahawks offense that was held scoreless through the game’s first quarter started to find its rhythm. On their very next offensive possession, the Seahawks orchestrated their most impressive series of the day to put seven points on the board, as Wilson led a 15-play, 75-yard drive capped by a 4-yard touchdown toss on a jump ball to tight end Jimmy Graham.
"The second quarter there we really started rolling,” said Wilson. "The first quarter they were able to stop us, had a couple three-and-outs, then we had that [interception]. But after that we really got rolling and were able to move the ball down the field. I thought Jimmy Graham had an unbelievable day today. Him going down there and scoring the touchdown, just being big and catching the football, he looked special today.”
Added Carroll: "I thought Russell was all over the place to make his plays. The drive before half was crazy, the touchdown drive. He was all over the place to make that happen. That’s just Russell being Russell, what we love about him.”
Before halftime, Seattle managed to put three more points on the board off the foot of Blair Walsh, who connected on kicks from 48, 49, and 35 yards out on Sunday, points that proved pivotal in the Seahawks' victory.
“Blair Walsh played a great game kicking some big field goals for us,” Wilson said. "That’s why we love him so much. He looked great.”
While the Seahawks' game against the Rams at L.A. Coliseum may have looked to be a high-scoring affair heading into Week 5 — Los Angeles came into the game leading the NFL in points per game (35.5) — the matchup played out like many of the low-scoring, physical, and defensive affairs fans have seen between the two NFC West foes in recent years.
"We knew it was going to be a long game,” said Wilson. "It always is a tough one against the Rams, but we knew that if we just kept battling and kept battling and kept battling that we were going to make our plays and hopefully come out with a 'W,' and that’s what we were able to do.”Read