Russell Wilson fumbled three times Thursday night and lost two of them, which resulted in 10 points for the Arizona Cardinals.
If that’s what you take away from his performance, you’ve greatly missed the point. You just have to see it to believe it.
Despite constant pressure that caused Wilson to take a beating, the Seattle Seahawks quarterback was remarkable once again in leading his team to a 34-22 victory at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Wilson threw three touchdown passes and no interceptions, completing 18 of 29 throws for 235 yards and ending the night with a 122.1 passer rating. And while those numbers won’t wow anyone — Wilson is not going to put up the gaudy stats of a Peyton Manning or a Drew Brees — he is going to do whatever it takes to win.
“It’s an honor to play alongside him,” Seattle receiver Golden Tate said about Wilson. “He’s grown tremendously. I’m very proud of him. He’s such a dangerous quarterback with his speed and his arm. He’s definitely our leader.”
Yes, Wilson has a lot of help. He plays on one of the best teams in the NFL. His running back, Marshawn Lynch, rushed for a rugged 91 yards and dragged would-be tacklers down the field at times.
His receivers made huge plays — a leaping touchdown grab by tight end Zach Miller, a touchdown and a drive-saving scoop-catch by Sidney Rice and 77 receiving yards for Tate. And the Seattle defense had a season-high seven sacks along with two interceptions.
Wilson, as always, gave his teammates all of the credit. He praised Rice for getting open consistently and said it was huge to have Miller back. Of Lynch, he asked, “Can anybody be any tougher?”
Yes, one man can. Wilson is the guy who makes this team special, the one player who each week overcomes every obstacle placed in front of him.
“Russell does what he does,’’ Rice said. “He extends plays, gets outside the pocket and gets first downs. He just makes plays happen.”
The last time Wilson played in this stadium was the first game of his NFL career, a 20-16 loss in last season’s opener. He is 18-6 since that day.
“I think I’ve grown so much since then,” Wilson said. “And our football team has grown, too. We’re just trying to be the best team every week.”
Seattle coach Pete Carroll marvels at what he sees from Wilson.
“I don’t know what we would do without him,” Carroll said. “We would be a much different team. I don’t know how you can measure it at this point. He has become such a special aspect of our team. He’s instrumental to everything we do.”
There might not be another player in the NFL whose statistical numbers are less reflective of how much he does and how well he does it. Wilson consistently makes the key play that keeps a drive alive and puts points on the scoreboard.