“I think that I have to find a way to be clutch and always be clutch,” he said. “It’s something that I look forward to. It’s calling for that time right now, so I’m looking forward to that.”
On Sunday, he was as clutch as it gets, playing probably his best game of the season — considering the opponent, the team’s situation and the personal slump Wilson was trying to bust out of.
The question is: Can he continue to do it?
Despite being harried and hassled for nearly the entire game by Arizona, which sacked him a season-high seven times (tying a career high), Wilson still managed to complete a season-high 77.3 percent of his passes and post his second-best passer rating of the year.
With two starting linemen out, the Hawks had trouble against Arizona’s blitzing defense, which also was very focused on shutting down Seattle’s designed runs.
With Marshawn Lynch ailing and bottled up unlike he has been in any game this season — averaging just 2.6 yards on 15 carries — Wilson took charge of the offense and made it move against all odds.
It wasn’t always pretty or completely effective — the Hawks continued to stall in the red zone, going just 1 for 5. But Wilson managed to move the offense within field goal range on three of the first four drives. And then he engineered a 75-yard touchdown drive late in the third quarter and an 11-play, 64-yard drive to the doorstep of the Cardinals’ goal line to finish the game.
With 73 rushing yards, he accounted for 284 of the team’s 334 gross yards (before 42 lost yards on the sacks).
“I thought it was a really difficult game for a quarterback — enormously difficult, challenging game for a quarterback in that position,” coach Pete Carroll said Monday, “and I think, under the circumstances, he played really well and was even able to play even better during the later part of the game after all the stuff that happened. So I was really proud of that effort by him.”
Carroll added, “We had all kinds of problems. We got beat one-on-one, we had some scheme issues, and we held the ball too long. To have that kind of an onslaught, it took a lot of stuff. This was a really, really difficult defense and they played really good football.
“They caused a lot of problems, but it didn’t break us. We hung in there,” he said. “The coaches stayed with the plan, kept working and tweaking and saw what we were able to do. Russell stayed true, did a great job of maintaining his poise and staying with the adjustments as we went through the game and we found our way. We found out ways to move the ball and start to convert and get him some time and play off the running game — all of the things worked together really well and got us a good win against a very difficult team.”
Now they will have to do it again, Thursday in San Francisco.
The Seahawks should get a little better on the line, with left guard James Carpenter expected to return Thursday and recently signed center Lemuel Jeanpierre expected to play his way into the starting spot soon.
“We have to keep working to fix everything. We have to fix everything,” Carroll said. “It’s hugely important. We can’t survive those kinds of games, game in and game out. We have to find a way to get the ball out and make sure that we’re not getting hit. We need to run it better. It really goes back to the other side of it. You think it’s the passing game; it’s really the running game. We have to run the ball more effectively to get that done.”
And they need Wilson to keep playing like he did against Arizona.