MINNEAPOLIS – Typically measured in his responses, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was unequivocal when asked about the acrobatic one-handed grab that receiver Doug Baldwin made Sunday during Seattle’s wild-card victory over Minnesota.
“Greatest catch I’ve ever seen,” Wilson said. “Hands down.”
That distinction has belonged and still will to the one that Odell Beckham Jr. of the Giants made last season. Baldwin’s catch had some similarities with the way he twisted his body in mid-air and reached with one outstretched right arm to snag the football.
Wilson reiterated his declaration.
“Greatest catch I’ve ever seen. Odell’s was pretty cool last year to watch his catch,” Wilson said before noting how Beckham caught the nose of the football with his fingers. “But to catch it in that circumstance, I mean, that catch right there was remarkable.”
At minus-6 degrees in Minneapolis, Sunday’s game was the third-coldest in NFL history. The sub-zero temperature hardened the footballs hard and numbed fingers, factors that make even routine catches more of a challenge.
Not on this play.
Seattle faced a third-and-10 on the opening possession of the third quarter when Wilson threw to Baldwin, who was running up the seam. The pass was high, forcing Baldwin to turn his body in mid-air back toward the line of scrimmage and elevate to get it.
“Russell put it in a perfect spot where only I can make a play on it,” Baldwin said.
The catch produced 17 yards and some amazed reactions.
Said free safety Earl Thomas: “I hoped somebody got a picture of that.”
The Seahawks got a few of them, including one seen above and another that’s posted on the team’s website.
Baldwin led all receivers with 42 yards on five catches, including one that produced the game’s only touchdown. That catch was the most impactful. His one-handed grab was the most impressive.
“What a remarkable catch he made. Just spectacular,” coach Pete Carroll said before putting it in historical context. “It’s got to be one of the plays of the playoffs, I would think. It would stay right up there with the rest of them.”