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Carroll calls Seahawks’ late rally ‘a big group effort’


By Brady Henderson

Leading late touchdown drives of 97 and 80 yards and playing perhaps his best game yet naturally made quarterback Russell Wilson the focus of coach Pete Carroll’s praise after the Seahawks’ overtime win over Chicago on Sunday.

But during his conversation with “Brock and Salk” on Monday, Carroll made sure others were recognized for their efforts, too.

Golden Tate broke three tackles before diving into the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. (AP)

“We talked so much about Russell, [but] 11 guys in that huddle and the 13, 14 guys that were rotating in played incredible football down the stretch along with him, and it took everybody,” he said. “The offensive line protected great, we were doing cadence things, we were checking plays off, we were changing protections from one side to the other. All of that happened.

“That was a beautiful dance that went on out there, and everybody was part of that.”

There’s no denying Wilson’s brilliance, especially while leading two long touchdown drives in crunch time – and doing it on the road against a good defense.

He deserves all the praise he’s received, but he certainly didn’t do it alone.

Others made key plays during those final two drives, starting with Anthony McCoy leaping for a first down on the second play of the first one. Doug Baldwin made an 11-yard reception on third down, cutting down the distance Seattle would need to gain on fourth down. That’s when Wilson found Zach Miller for a 7-yard gain to keep the Seahawks alive. Sidney Rice’s 27-yard catch put them on Chicago’s 14, setting up the go-ahead touchdown.

Golden Tate caught a slant pass at the 10-yard line and found his way into the end zone despite five defenders in the area who could have brought him down.

It was more of the same on the overtime touchdown drive.

There was Marshawn Lynch picking up 14 yards on the second play, then Michael Robinson catching a pass in the flats and running over a defender for a 13-yard gain, giving Seattle a much easier third-and-2 after a delay of game penalty made it second-and-15. Baldwin’s leaping catch near the sideline gained 12 yards and set up Rice’s winning touchdown.

The Seahawks went with another read-option play, and Rice sold the run action by pretending to set up for a block. Cornerback Charles Tillman hesitated, allowing Rice to break free across the middle. Rice held on just long enough to cross the goal line before taking a huge hit from Chicago’s Major Wright.

Wilson’s numbers on those final two drives were stellar: 9-of-12 passing for 115 yards and two touchdowns and five carries for 47 yards.

“Russell, he’s the guy that’s getting all the focus and all of that and he’d be the first to tell you that it was a big group effort,” Carroll said. “It was really marvelous execution by the whole [group].”