Zach Miller comes up big for Seahawks
By Brady Henderson
This game will be most remembered for how the usual suspects helped the Seahawks overcome a 14-0 deficit to win a road playoff game for the first time since 1983.
There was Russell Wilson outdueling fellow rookie sensation Robert Griffin III, Marshawn Lynch powering his way for 132 yards and the winning touchdown, and Seattle’s defense shutting out Washington after an inauspicious start.
Zach Miller was the unsung hero of the Seahawks’ win over Washington. (AP)
But consider tight end Zach Miller the unsung hero of Sunday’s 24-14 wild-card win over the Redskins.
“Zach Miller’s tremendous,” Wilson told reporters afterward. “He came up huge tonight, once again.”
Did he ever. Multiple times.
The Seahawks’ offense was in danger of opening the game with consecutive three-and-outs, but Miller snagged a third-down pass inches from the turf and and picked up 12 yards thanks to a tremendous second effort.
He came up with another key third-down grab in the fourth quarter. Miller stayed in to block as the Redskins brought extra pressure. When Wilson couldn’t find an open receiver downfield, Miller slipped out of the backfield, catching a short pass from Wilson and gaining 22 yards for another first down.
“He was my last read and he was there for me,” Wilson said of Miller. “He did a great job of making that big-time catch and continuing on for a big first down. He had a tremendous game tonight.”
Said coach Pete Carroll: “Just a marvelous job of Russell doing his thing and then Zach coming through again.”
Seattle took the lead three plays later on Marshawn Lynch’s 27-yard touchdown run. And Miller had a hand in that play, too, delivering a flattening block in the backfield that helped spring Lynch to the second level.
Miller led the Seahawks with 48 yards receiving on four catches. That’s not counting the two-point conversion he scored after Lynch’s touchdown.
And if he hadn’t already made enough key catches in critical situations, Miller helped Seattle seal the victory with a six-yard reception on fourth down in the closing minutes of the game.
Miller finished the regular season as Seattle’s third-leading receiver. The numbers aren’t flashy – 396 yards and three touchdowns on 38 receptions – but then again, neither is Miller. For all the dirty work he does to help make the Seahawks’ offense move, Miller delivered Sunday with the ball in his hands.
“Zach just continues to do cool stuff and play really well,” Carroll said.