Russell Wilson, the rookie Seattle Seahawks quarterback football experts thought was too short to be successful in the NFL, led the Seahawks to the franchise’s first road playoff victory in nearly 30 years on Sunday when they beat the Washington Redskins 24-14.
The Redskins’ offense was ineffective after franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III re-injured his knee moments before he threw his second touchdown pass in the first quarter. Griffin had to leave the game in the fourth quarter, in visible pain, after his knee buckled after he fumbled a snap. Griffin was down on the ground for some time as trainers looked on and players from both sides prayed on the field.
Earlier, Redskins team doctor James Andrews said he was a “nervous wreck” watching Griffin play on an injured knee and said he had not given the franchise signal caller clearance to go back into the game on Dec. 9, when Griffin initially injured his knee against the Ravens.
Andrews said the Redskins and the NFL had to ensure that Griffin would be “OK for the next 15 years” and not allow Griffin to decide whether he could play with a severe injury because Griffin is such a competitor — and not the type to come off the field.
“That’s what you have to watch out for for players, because they don’t know,” Andrews told USA Today.
Wilson, who, along with Griffin, broke many rookie passing records this season, led the Seahawks to the comeback after Washington jumped out to a 14-point lead in the first quarter.
The Richmond, Virginia native, Wilson, was making his homecoming and threw a touchdown pass and, showing the elusiveness that has drawn comparisons to Fran Tarkenton, also rushed for 67 yards on 8 carries.
He also made two impressive downfield blocks. His second block allowed Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch, the bruising running back who ran for 132 yards, to score the touchdown that put Seattle ahead of Washington midway through the fourth quarter.
These are the types of plays, which stats from combines and analytics often fail to take into account, that have endeared Wilson to his teammates and made Wilson a winner at every level. They also often prove to be decisive in playoff games.
This was Seattle’s first road playoff victory in nearly 30 years. The last the time the franchise won a road playoff game was in December of 1983, when Seattle beat the Miami Dolphins in Florida in Seattle’s first playoff game. Seattle was also the first road team to win in this year’s NFL playoffs. Home teams had gone 3-0 this year before Seattle defeated Washington.
Seattle plays next week in Atlanta against the Falcons.