|The Russell Bunch
After Sunday's Immaculate Comeback win over the Packers in the NFC Championship game, Russell Wilson is 10-0 against Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks:
Russell Wilson went from a for-crying-out-loud performance in the first 56 minutes of Sunday's NFC Championship game to actually crying out loud.
Just after making the plays that helped the Seahawks pull off their great-escape overtime victory against the Green Bay Packers, the team's usually cool, calm and collected quarterback showed his emotions. Tears were streaming down his cheeks as Wilson did a postgame interview with FOX sideline report Erin Andrews.
"I'm usually pretty calm," Wilson explained 90 minutes later, during his stint at the podium. "This is just an emotional time for me. I think about my dad right away. I wish he was here. But he's watching – he's got the best seat in the house."
Wilson's father, Harrison Wilson III, died in 2010 from complications of diabetes. So he never got to see, in the physical sense, his son be selected in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Seahawks. Or lead the team to its first road playoff victory since 1983 as a rookie. Or lead the team to the franchise's first Super Bowl championship last season. Or lead the team back to the Super Bowl with Sunday's 28-22 victory over the Packers. Or, for that matter, the man his son has become.
But Russell talks of his father – and talks to his father – often. It happened after everything that had transpired on Sunday.
And the pride that Harrison Wilson must have had was palpable, because his son refused to lose – when everything that took place in the first 3¾ quarters was pointing to that happening.
Russell Wilson threw a career-high four interceptions, and the ineffectiveness of the Seahawks' offense was just as bad.
In the first quarter, the Seahawks ran just three plays, had only 6 yards and Wilson was 0 for 3, with his first pick, for a passer rating of 0.0.
In the second quarter, Wilson was 2 of 6 for 12 yards, with two more picks, for a passer rating of 2.8 – and the Packers had a 16-0 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, Wilson was 4 of 6 for 49 yards, and did not have an interception, for a that's-more-like-it passer rating of 91.7.
On the Seahawks' first two possessions in the fourth quarter, Wilson was 2 of 7 for 14 yards and that fourth interception.
Even Wilson had to admit, "The game started out kind of ugly, huh?"
It was enough to conjure that old clip of former Packers coach Vince Lombardi on the sideline yelling to no one in particular, "What the hell's going on out there?"
For the answer to that, we turned to coach Pete Carroll.
"Well, there's two of them that go off us and there's nothing he can do about those," Carroll said on Monday. "He challenged them on the deep ball down the middle and really just underestimated the wind. It was a ball that was going to be challenged from the start. He took a shot to Jermaine, because that's what we do. But the ball just didn't travel like he'd hoped.
"And it kind of happened on the one up the sideline to Jermaine. The ball just didn't travel as well as he hoped it would. Both became underthrows, just by a hair. They were both aggressive plays. We were going after it, and they made nice plays on the ball."
But with the game, not to mention the season, on the line, Wilson flipped the switch and starting making nice plays with the ball – which allowed him to look a lot more like the quarterback who entered the game as the highest-rating passer in NFL postseason history (109.6) and had thrown only one interception in his first six playoff games.
When the Seahawks got the ball back with 3:52 left in regulation, and the Packers leading 19-7, Wilson was 2 of 3 for 46 yards on the drive that ended with his 1-yard run of the Seahawks' first offensive TD.
Then, after a successful onside kick, Wilson was 1 of 1 for 8 yards and also ran for 15 yards on the short possession that ended with Marshawn Lynch's 24-yard TD run to give the Seahawks their first lead. Wilson then looped a pass to tight end Luke Willson for the two-point conversion that was needed to give the Seahawks a three-point lead with 93 seconds left.
The Packers tied the game at the end of regulation on Mason Crosby's fifth field goal – a 48-yarder – but lost the coin toss before the start of the overtime period. So the Seahawks got the ball and all Wilson did was go 3 of 3 for 80 yards, including back-to-back 35-yard completions to Doug Baldwin and Kearse, for the game-winner.
In case you've lost track, Wilson was 6 of 7 for 114 yards and the TD on those final three possessions – for a passer rating of 158.3.
Has there been a better example of coach Carroll's it's-not-how-you-start-it's-how-you-finish mantra?
Wilson did it for his father, who was watching, and also his adopted family.
"That's why I got emotional, just the guys we have around us," Wilson said. "I've been in a lot of games and played a lot of sports, and I've seen a lot of great games and I've seen a lot of sports, and I think the resilience of our team is unmatchable. And the character of the guys that we have and the belief of the guys that we have, that's what makes the difference."