Sports

Extra Points: No doubting Wilson now

(SportsNetwork.com) - After 30 minutes of the NFC Championship Game, it looked as if Russell Wilson had turned from Curt Hennig into John Blutarksy over one week's time.

The third-year pro, who entered the game as the NFL's all-time postseason leader in passer rating, was nearly "Mr. Perfect" in the divisional round against Carolina with a 149.2 rating but Dean Wormer could have been called in to announce Wilson's report card at intermission of the Seahawks' improbable 28-22 comeback win over Green Bay because it read "zero point zero."

It took Wilson 26 minutes to complete a pass to someone other than the Packers' Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix and he finished the first two quarters a dismal 2- for-9 for 14 yards with the 0.0 rating.

The one thing that has defined Wilson during his short NFL career, however, is his steadiness and the signal caller persevered against a tough Packers defense before striking late, with the final salvo coming in overtime when Wilson went over the top of the Green Bay defense to find Jermaine Kearse for a 35-yard walk-off touchdown just 3:19 into the extra frame.

With the triumph the Seahawks became the first defending champion to make it back the Super Bowl in 10 years.

Statistically, it may have been Wilson's worst game as he finished 14-of-29 for 209 yards but he may have never proven more.

"We started off a little slow," Wilson understated, "but our defense kept hanging in there and making plays for us. We just kept believing."

Few who weren't on the Seahawks sideline had that same outlook.

Seattle is usually the home of "The 12th Man" but on Sunday, the NFL's noisiest crowd decided to sublet to Murphy's Law, at least early on.

Anything that could have gone wrong, went wrong for the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field as the Packers seemed primed to become just the third team to win in the Emerald City since Wilson took control of his team in the 2012 season.

Outclassed for much of the afternoon by a perfect storm of penalties and five turnovers, including four interceptions by Wilson, all when he was trying to target Kearse, Seattle trailed 19-7 with only 2:09 remaining in its season.

Wilson gave the Seahawks life from a yard out on a zone-read play and that heartbeat turned into euphoria on the ensuing kickoff when Seattle recovered an onside attempt at the 50 when Packers backup tight end Brandon Bostick bumbled what looked like an easy recovery.

With the momentum shifting, the Seahawks needed just four plays, culminating with a brilliant Marshawn Lynch 24-yard TD run to take its first lead of the game.

Wilson's desperate 2-point conversion heave across the formation was snared by Luke Willson to make it 22-19 with 1:25 left, an important play because Aaron Rodgers did his part, leading the Packers into position for a 48-yard Mason Crosby field goal in the waning seconds of regulation.

The Seahawks won the overtime coin toss, though, and Wilson proved he wasn't getting paid by the hour. On a 3rd-and-7 play Doug Baldwin beat Casey Heyward on a go route from the slot and Wilson dropped it in the bucket for a 35-yard gain. On the next play, with the Green Bay defense on its heels, Wilson went right back to the well and hit Kearse on a post for the game-winner.

"I even told (offensive coordinator Darrell) BevelI I was going to hit Kearse with a touchdown," Wilson said.

"There was no doubt in this team. When we were 3-3 (on the season), there was no doubt," he continued. "When we were 6-4, there was no doubt. When the score was whatever the score was and we needed two touchdowns, there was no doubt. When I threw that ball to Doug Baldwin, and I threw it to Kearse there was no doubt."

There was plenty of doubt in the rest of us and that turned out to be a specious line of thinking.

A guy who completed more passes to the Packers in the first half (three) than his own teammates (two) figured it out and extended his career record as a starter against Super Bowl-winning QBs to 10-0.

There is no doubting Russell Wilson ... not anymore.

"It's because of this 12th man, God is too good man," an emotional Wilson said. "I'm just glad to be here on this team, and we're going back to the Super Bowl."