Role reversal: Doug Baldwin hits Russell Wilson for Seahawks touchdown on trick play
As one of the NFL’s most prolific quarterback-wide receiver combos, Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin entered Sunday’s game having hooked up for 18 touchdown passes since the start of last season.
Make that 19, only this time with the roles reversed.
The Seahawks were leading 16-7 midway through the third quarter when offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell reached into his bag of trick plays, dialing up one that would help the Seahawks put Philadelphia away. Baldwin took a pitch while running to the right on an end-around and threw back to Wilson, who had leaked out the left side then caught the pass in stride for a 15-yard touchdown.
“It was fun. I’ve been begging for that play for the past two or three weeks,” Baldwin said before jokingly playing the disrespect card. “They doubted my arm ability, they doubted that I could make the throw, so I’m glad that I could prove them wrong.”
The Seahawks have had this play installed in their game plan and at the ready for several weeks. Wilson said they even called it a few times but had to check out of it at the line of scrimmage because the defense wasn’t giving them the right look. They finally got it Sunday.
Tight end Jimmy Graham was lined up outside on the left then motioned inward, settling next to Baldwin in the slot. Safety Malcom Jenkins followed him, seemingly an indication of man coverage. So when Baldwin took the pitch while running to his right and Graham went with him, no defender stayed put to cover the left side of the field, allowing Wilson to sneak out uncovered.
The Seahawks ran this same play in a 2014 win over Denver. The situation was similar – facing first-and-10 deep in the opponent’s territory – as was the defensive look. That time it was Jermaine Kearse who hit Wilson for a 17-yard gain. His throw wobbled and hung up in the air long enough for a Broncos safety to hammer Wilson as he made the catch.
Baldwin’s throw on Sunday was much better, and he delivered it off his back foot with a defender bearing down on him. He also caught four passes for 104 yards.
Here was Doug Baldwin on his 15-yard TD pass to Russell Wilson. pic.twitter.com/I0qcPxiAcA
— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) November 21, 2016
“It was on point. You saw it,” he said with a laugh when asked to assess his throw. “Perfect spiral, dropped it in the bucket. Honestly, I just kind of chucked it up there and Russell made it looked pretty.”
Wilson caught a touchdown pass from a running back at Wisconsin. This was the first time Baldwin had ever thrown for one.
“I was talking to him saying we can switch jobs if he wants,” Wilson joked. “It may not be pretty, but we can switch jobs. Obviously it was a great job by him, great throw. He got some heat over there on the right side and he still made a great throw and a good call by Coach Bevell. We executed it well there.”
What if Wilson had dropped it?
“He would have never heard the end of it,” Baldwin said.