I remember thinking to myself during the game that the above reaction to Seattle's late 1st-half score was out of Russell Wilson's typical on-field demeanor and character. Most of the time, you just see him jog downfield, point to the sky, give a firm handshake as if to emulate human interaction, then run back to the sideline to look at printouts. I've seen Wilson get this pumped up about something maybe two other times ever, so it really stuck out.
As Wilson pointed out post-game, the drive meant a lot to the Seahawks' previously arhythmic passing offense.
"Sidney and I were talking after that drive, and that was the biggest drive we've had so far. I think it was the most important thing that we did today in terms of offense."
Let's break down, quickly, how it played out.
Seattle Seahawks at 0:44
1-10-SEA 21 (:44) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass deep left to G.Tate pushed ob at JAX 49 for 30 yards (D.McCray).
This is another redline throw to Golden Tate down the sideline. The read by Wilson is pretty easy - it looks like the Jaguars are in quarters coverage. With a two-deep safety shell, Wilson's read is on the play-side safety. If he drifts to the sideline to help out on Tate, the throw may not be there, but if he stays in the middle, it's a one-on-one back shoulder situation.
Zach Miller's route up the seam draws the attention of the weakside safety and Wilson knows that this is a fairly high-percentage throw down the sideline. In fact, Seattle threw this pass probably five or six times during this game - connecting with Tate here, Kearse earlier, and it helped draw a pass interference on Stephen Williams as well. Wilson trusts his receivers to make a play on the football and he puts it in a place where they can.
The two-minute drive (in this case, 44 second drive) is off to a good start with a pickup of 30 yards on the first play. Better yet, they call Tate out of bounds and the clock stops.
1-10-JAX 49 (:35) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short left to G.Tate to JAX 44 for 5 yards (D.McCray).
The second play of the drive is a simple one - hit Tate underneath and give him some room to move. It looks like Tate made the mistake of not getting himself out of bounds and Russ ran over to tell him something right after the Hawks called timeout. I'm guessing he told him to just get out of bounds next time.
The throwing lane opened up by Max Unger and James Carpenter is key for this throw. In what you often see from Seattle's offensive line, Carp kind of 'sits down' into the nose tackle almost like a box out, and Wilson has a huge lane to see and throw through. This is not by accident.
Timeout #2 by SEA at 00:29.
2-5-JAX 44 (:29) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass deep left to S.Rice ran ob at JAX 21 for 23 yards [S.Marks].
This may be my favorite play of the whole game. As Seattle is wont to do, they run Sidney Rice on a long-developing drag route across the field, and he's picked up at the hashes by a linebacker. Whether this is zone or man, Rice is going to have a man trailing him, most likely, so Wilson can feel good about leading him down the field (Stephen Williams' route pulls the cornerback to the playside out of the action).
Watch Rice's subtle upfield juke that gets the linebacker to turn his hips. At this point, he's toast, and Wilson knows it.
The pocket opens up like the Red Sea, Wilson steps ups, climbs, and delivers a pass almost at a jog. Beautiful ball location too.
See it from the endzone view.
I mean, you couldn't put the ball in a better spot for Rice. Impressive.
1-10-JAX 21 (:23) (Shotgun) R.Wilson scrambles right end pushed ob at JAX 11 for 10 yards (W.Blackmon).
It's easy to see that Breno Giacomini had gotten hurt on this play or a few before it. I believe he sat most of the 2nd half, if not all of it, and he's so slow out of his stance and into his kick-slide that it's apparent something is up. He whiffs completely on the defensive end (as does McQuistan, who has no excuse other than he's slow into his kick-slide), but as I broke down earlier this week, Wilson's quick reaction almost makes both defensive ends ram into each other comically.
He runs for a first down and stops the clock, taking only a slight hit/push.
1-10-JAX 11 (:14) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short middle to S.Rice for 11 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
The Jags respect Tate on the outside and that draws the attention of the play-side safety. Once Sidney Rice slips in behind the dropping linebacker, Wilson just has to thread the needle past him. It's a brilliant throw and a great cover-2 beater in the redzone.
Watch the false step of the play-side safety toward Tate. That's the respect he's starting to get as an outside go-to guy.
Even cooler is how Wilson sticks in the pocket even as it's closing in, and makes the throw. Note James Carpenter's block up front - after being walked back a few steps, he stops in his tracks and stonewalls the pressure, allowing Wilson to step into the throw and deliver it with good form. This interior protection is what Thomas Beekers has been talking about in reference to Russ' development. You can have speed rushers close in on the outside, but if the pocket is collapsing into Wilson from the middle, he's going to have a ton of trouble seeing and throwing.
For their part, on the backside of the interior, Unger and Sweezy hold their ground as well.
JAX 0 SEA 24, 5 plays, 79 yards, 0:34 drive, 14:50 elapsed
79 yards in 34 seconds on five plays. Not shabby.