With the NFC playoff race as tight as it is, Russell Wilson had a message for his teammates when they took possession of the ball at their own three-yard line, down 14-10 late in the fourth quarter.
"I just told the guys, 'This is what the season comes down to, right here and right now,'" Wilson said.
Wilson led the Seattle Seahawks 97 yards for a score, giving his team a 17-14 lead with just 24 seconds remaining. He used both his arm and his legs and capped the drive with a 14-yard touchdown strike to Golden Tate. The lead didn't last as Jay Cutler connected with Brandon Marshall deep down field, setting up a game-tying Robbie Gould field goal sending the contest into overtime.
Once Wilson got the ball in the final frame, though, it was all over.
Seattle won the coin toss and started the ball at their own 20-yard line. Once again, Wilson utilized all his skill sets, as he moved Seattle down field. He eventually found Sidney Rice on a 13-yard touchdown to win the game, 23-17. Rice received a shoulder-to-helmet hit as he entered the end zone and lost the ball in the process.
Chicago scooped the ball just in case, but the play was upheld as a touchdown after further review as Rice crossed the goal line.
Rice remained down after the play but eventually was able to walk off the field on his own power.
But the story of this game was young Russell Wilson. On the final two drives, he ran for 47 of his career-high 71 yards and completed 9-of-12 passes, including both his touchdowns. He has now thrown 19 touchdowns this year, tied for sixth most as a rookie, and in striking distance of Peyton Manning's record of 26.
"He's just so beautifully poised and so confident that it gives himself a chance to play at this level," coach Pete Carroll said of Wilson.
This win was a statement win for the Seahawks, as it proved that they could win a game on the road. Not only on the road, but in a tough, playoff-like environment like Soldier Field.
"The ball didn't fall our way in some of the games this year," cornerback Richard Sherman said. "I don't think we are 1-5 road team. I don't think we've ever been out of the game at the end. I don't think there was ever a blowout, it always comes down to the last drive, the last play. The football gods were with us today and they helped us out."
Cutler had a Total QBR of 94.1 in the game, marking the highest QBR for a quarterback in a losing effort this season. Ten of his 17 completions went to Marshall for 165 yards, but the duo failed to find the end zone. Instead, Cutler hit Earl Bennett (he was concussed on the play) and Matt Forte for scores.
Also for Chicago, Brian Urlacher and Tim Jennings were hurt on Seattle's final drive, while Chris Conte left the game due to an illness.
The loss drops Chicago out of first place in the NFC North once again, as both Chicago and Seattle currently occupy both NFC wildcard slots.
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