Seattle Seahawks (6-5) quarterback Russel Wilson threw a career high five touchdowns passes, as the Seahawks put themselves smack dab in the middle of the NFC wild card playoff race with a wild 39 to 30 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5) Sunday afternoon at Century Link Field . The match up between Super Bowl XL foes had seven lead changes and the atmosphere of a playoff game.
In addition to Wilson’s stellar performance on his birthday of all days, the Seattle defense bent, twisted, and torqued but did not break when the moment of truth was at hand. The Seattle defense finished the game with four interceptions as Richard Sherman, Jeremy Lane and Ahtya Rubin each collected their first picks of the season and Kam Chancellor snagged his second of the season.
Pittsburg quarter back Ben Roethlisberger torched the Seattle defense for 456 passing yards the most by any quarter back in franchise history. Despite the passing yards, Roethlisberger managed just one aerial touch down and was unable to finish the game after being diagnosed with concussion like symptoms late in the fourth quarter. After sputtering in it’s first two drives, the Seattle offense found it’s rhythm in the second quarter when Wilson hit receiver Doug Baldwin for the first of his three touchdowns to give Seattle an early 7-3 early in the second quarter.
In addition to the career high five touchdown throws, Wilsons 345 passing yards was a career high for most yards in a regular season game and his 147.9 passer rating was the second highest in his career. The aerial mastery by Wilson earned him high praise from head coach Pete Carroll.
“Russell played like crazy, he had a fantastic game today,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. His receivers were all over it and did magnificent stuff catching the ball, making plays, making first downs.”
While the Seattle offense had it most productive day of the season, the success came at a high price as Tight End Jimmy Graham left the game in the fourth quarter with a leg injury that was later diagnosed with a torn patellar tendon in his right knee. While the injury will sideline Graham for the rest of the season, head coach Peter Carroll said on his Monday morning radio show with 710 ESPN Seattle, while Graham was down beat regarding the injury,he expects his TE will fully recover from the injury.
“He’s broken hearted. He wants to play. He loves this game and he wants to play for his teammates and play the game he loves, and he’s not going to get to do that. It’s really the first time he has faced a major injury like this, so it’s devastating at this point. He was pretty broken up last night, and we spent a little time with him just to show him the love, because he needs it and deserves it.”
With the win the Seahawks moved into the sixth and final NFC Playoff spot. Six teams make the playoffs, the four division winners and two wild card teams. Sundays game was the third consecutive game in which Doug Baldwin had six or more receptions. Baldwin finished Sundays game with six receptions, 145 yards and three touchdowns. The three touchdowns in a game are is a career high for the fifth year receiver from Stanford.