Jimmy Graham’s 2-TD performance in Seahawks’ win a perfect response to trade rumor
Oct 30, 2017, 8:21 AM | Updated: 2:05 pm
Jimmy Graham was raving from the podium as he spoke about the Seahawks’ pivotal final drive of their win over the Texans on Sunday.
“I mean, first off, 3 (Russell Wilson) is special. I knew right then, when he made a mistake (throwing a late interception) he was going to come back and make up for it. His will to win and his will to overcome is like no other… He called a perfect play, he just opened up in the middle and for some reason, and no one guarded me, which is awesome. So, I scored.”
Graham’s game-winning touchdown was his second score of the night. Down four points with 1:39 remaining, the Seahawks needed 80 yards to get into the end zone. Two passes to Paul Richardson and Tyler Lockett landed them at the Texans’ 18-yard line. On the next play, Wilson dropped back and threw a pass down the middle to a wide-open Graham, who ran into the end zone to give the Seahawks their’ 41-38 win.
“You know, I haven’t been that open over the middle in a while,” Graham said postgame. “Really, it was a perfect play call.”
We’re also not sure how no one was watching the 6-feet-7 Pro Bowler, but you won’t hear anyone in Seattle’s locker room complaining.
In storybook fashion, Graham’s two-touchdown performance came on a day when, hours earlier, all eyes were on him. News of a possible trade broke hours before the game, Ian Rapaport of the NFL Network reporting that Seattle was toying with trading Graham to the Texans – the Seahawks’ opponent that day – for left tackle Duane Brown.
The rumor was quickly squashed by general manager John Schneider during the 710 ESPN Seattle pregame show.
“We talk about this all the time that we’re in as many deals as we can possibly can be in, so we’re listening to every scenario we possibly can, and what I can tell you is Jimmy’s not being traded,” Schneider said. “He’ll be here.”
By then, though, the report had spread and stories were emerging on dozens of news outlets.
It was certainly a trying way to start a game, as was noted by cornerback Richard Sherman.
“Jimmy made big catches, in the middle of some drama,” Sherman told reporters after the game. “There are fake reports out there that say we are trading Jimmy Graham. He has to deal with that kind of stress which is untrue.
“Thankfully our GM and our head coach come out and they are very transparent about everything and put those to rest because he’s a great player and a great teammate and he’s played that way this season.”
For all the criticism the Seahawks have received concerning Graham’s tenure with Seattle, Graham – and other members of Seattle’s offense – have shown up when it was most needed on key drives this season. The Seahawks are 5-2 and on a four-game winning streak, and Graham has at least one touchdown in each of his last three showings.
“I think with Jimmy, we love the guy to death,” Wilson said when asked about Graham’s performance on the day of the trade rumor. “I hope he never goes anywhere. He is a special player, special friend, special worker and he brings an enthusiasm to the game. … When he catches the ball the whole stadium lights up.”