BY Steve Rudman 06:30AM 12/12/2017

Wilson’s 2 long TDs in 4th quarter an NFL rarity

Russell Wilson had three interceptions Sunday, then took his place among the NFL’s all-time fourth-quarter legends with two long-distance TD passes.

WR Paul Richardson had a 61-yard TD against Jacksonville. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

QB Russell Wilson exercised poor decision-making on two deep throws against Jacksonville Sunday, neither of which had much chance of succeeding. CB Jalen Ramsey picked off the first one in the second quarter on what was essentially a jump ball in the end zone with WR Doug Baldwin, and CB A.J. Bouye collected the other one in the third quarter on another 50-50 ball to Baldwin.

Playing possum in the third quarter, Bouye also baited Wilson into throwing a third pick when Wilson targeted TE Jimmy Graham near the sidelines. By the time Wilson made that turnover – only the fourth time in his career he tossed three or more in a game – the Seahawks trailed 24-10. Jacksonville quickly made it 27-10 by parlaying INT No. 3 into a 51-yard field goal.

“The interceptions were game-changing,” Ramsey said. “Super game-changing. Game-changing because it stopped their momentum and gave us momentum.”

Wilson entered the fourth quarter having, by his standards, an historically bad passing game with fewer than 150 yards and a rating under 50.0, vs. a career mark of 99.1.

But Wilson’s first pass of the fourth quarter went for 61 yards and a touchdown to WR Paul Richardson, cutting the lead to 27-17. After the Jaguars increased their lead to 30-17 on a 32-yard field goal, Wilson’s third pass of the period went 74 yards for a TD to WR Tyler Lockett, pulling Seattle to within 30-24.

For a variety of reasons, including a hold on Richardson during a pass attempt that wasn’t called, and some game-ending bedlam that colleague Art Thiel describes here and here, Wilson did not get another successful high-wire act in the closing minutes.

But the TD to Richardson, as was widely reported, was Wilson’s 16th of the year in the fourth quarter, breaking a tie with Eli Manning (2011) for most in NFL history. The TD to Lockett was Wilson’s 17th,  eight more than runner-up Matthew Stafford.

The bombs to Richardson and Lockett marked the first time in franchise history that a Seattle quarterback threw two fourth-quarter TD passes of at least 60 yards in the same game, and only the fourth time any quarterback did that once.

Wilson also did it in 2015 against Pittsburgh with an 80-yard, fourth-quarter TD to Baldwin. John Friesz teamed with Brian Blades for an 80-yard TD against Miami in 1996, and Dave Krieg connected with Ray Butler on a 67-yard TD at New England in 1986.

Before Wilson executed the double in the fourth quarter Sunday, no NFL quarterback had done that in 17 years. Kurt Warner of the Rams tossed TDs of 85 and 66 yards in the fourth quarter to Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce, respectively in 2000. Before that, it hadn’t been done in nine years.

Since 1920, when the league included the Akron Pros and Rock Island Independents, it’s been done seven times:

Year Date Quarterback Team Foe Dis. W-L
1962 Dec. 2 Cotton Davidson Raiders Chargers 65, 90 L 31-21
1972 Sept. 24 Joe Namath Jets Colts 79, 80 W 44-34
1972 Nov. 19 Fran Tarkenton Vikings Rams 70, 66 W 45-41
1974 Nov. 3 Dan Fouts Chargers Browns 70, 75 W 36-35
1991 Nov. 10 Mark Rypien Redskins Falcons 82, 64 W 56-17
2000 Sept. 24 Kurt Warner Cardinals Falcons 85, 66 W 41-20
2017 Dec. 10 Russell Wilson Seahawks Jaguars 61, 74 L 30-24

Davidson threw both TDs to Dick Dorsey, and were the only two TDs of Dorsey’s 11-game pro career. Davidson went 10-for-25 for 273 yards. Davidson and Wilson are the only quarterbacks to do the feat in a loss. In 1962, Davidson had seven TDs all season against 23 interceptions.

Namath threw for 496 yards and six touchdowns in a head-to-head duel with Baltimore’s Johnny Unitas (376 yards, two TDs). Namath tossed both of his to Rich Caster. Namath also had a 67-yard TD to John Riggins in the second quarter.

Tarkenton’s TDs went to John Henderson (70 yards) and John Gilliam (66), famous in New Orleans for returning the first kickoff in Saints’ history (1967) 94 yards for a TD.

Fouts, who threw 30 career TDs against Seattle, teamed with Harrison Davis on a 70-yard score and with Don Woods on a 75-yarder.

Rypien, the former Washington State star, had an 82-yard TD to Gary Clark and a 64-yarder to Art Monk, finishing with 442 yards and a career-high six TD passes.

Warner, who also threw an 80-yard TD to Holt in the second quarter, finished with 366 yards. He opposed Atlanta’s Chris Chandler, who starred at the University of Washington in the mid-1980s.

The Blair Walsh Project

Blair Walsh is not the worst kicker in Seahawks history, but he’s in the conversation after missing (again) from 38 yards Sunday on an attempt that would have tied the score 3-3 heading into intermission. Walsh has missed seven field goal tries. In case you forgot: 37 yards vs. Indianapolis, 39, 49 and 44 vs. Washington (in a 17-14 loss), 52 vs. Atlanta, 48 vs. San Francisco and 38 vs the Jaguars.

For the season, his 74.1 percent accuracy (2o of 27) has Seattle tied with Tampa Bay for 27th in the NFL.

Going back 20 years, Walsh is in a three-way tie for third place on the list of most field goals missed in a season. He still has three games remaining to pass Josh Brown (2003-07) for No. 2 and Rian Lindell (2000-03) for No. 1.

Walsh needs one to tie Brown with eight whiffs. To eclipse Lindell, Walsh would have to miss five field goal tries in three games, certainly doable given his three clanks against the Redskins.

Most missed field goals in a season over the past two decades (<40=number of missed field goals under 40 yards):

Year Kicker Misses <40 Skinny
2001 Rian Lindell 11 2 Whiffed from 28 yards vs. Dolphins
2003 Josh Brown 8 1 6 misses from 45 or more yards
2002 Rian Lindell 7 2 3 misses from 50 or more yards
2005 Josh Brown 7 1 3 misses from 50 or more yards
2017 Blair Walsh 7 3 3 misses came vs. Redskins
1997 Todd Petersen 6 2 Had 33-yard miss vs. Saints
1999 Todd Peterson 6 3 Had 30-yard miss at Pittsburgh
2006 Josh Brown 6 2 Had 30-yard miss vs. Arizona
2007 Josh Brown 6 0 2 misses from beyond 50 yards
2014 Steven Hauschka 6 0 All 6 misses from 45-plus yards

Walsh and Peterson (1999) are the only kickers on this list to miss three in a season attempted from fewer than 40 yards.

The franchise mark for most misses in a season under 40 yards is four, by John Kasay in 1992 (eight total misses). So Walsh has a great shot at breaking that record.

Finally, Walsh has as many missed field goals this season – seven – as Steven Hauschka, (Seattle 2011-16), now of Buffalo, has makes of 50-plus yards (7-for-8).

 


YourThoughts

  • DB

    (Maybe you’ve done this and I missed it), but I would love to see an article comparing injuries and wins. -Seems like winning in the NFL is as much about being lucky on the injury front as anything else. Think 2005 or 2013 Seahawks. No significant starter injuries were a key to getting to the SB.

    • art thiel

      Degree and kind of injuries make all the data subjective. But it has always been the case, especially since the 1994 invention of a hard salary camp, that luck with health in football is critical. You’re right about 2013.

  • Bruce McDermott

    Walsh kicked no “clanks” against Washington. Those balls were nowhere close to the posts.

    • art thiel

      Could be that the clank began at his foot.

  • Steed

    “Elite” qbs throw interceptions. They are given a pass for at least 2 INTs a game, as long as they win and put up other big numbers.

    • art thiel

      Lots of Wilson skeptics presume he has to be nearly perfect, which I’ve never understood.

  • Kevin Lynch

    Right, Cotton Davidson was not Al Davis’ dream of a legitimate QB. He traded for Daryl Lamonica, I believe, after the ’63 season. The ‘mad bomber’ then helped produced the storied run through 1984. Lamonica to Stabler to Plunkett, with help from Willie Brown, Jack Tatum, Ted Hendricks, Art Shell, Freddie Biletnikoff, Dave Casper, Marcus Allen, Cliff Branch, Warren Wells, Hewritt Dixon, George Atkinson, Pete Banaszak, and one of the greatest lock-down corners of all time, whom my senior mind is somehow forgetting. Lil’ help here…

    • art thiel

      Look at you, Raiders hound. You left off one of my faves, Lyle Alzado.

      • Kevin Lynch

        A close friend worked with Alzado’s brother recently. They performed in a play together in Ashland, Oregon. Lyle was memorable. His rookie card showed him without the beard. Weird. Baby face. All these guys started with other teams and Davis, astute, acquired them. Lamonica started with Buffalo, Alzado with Denver (I believe) and Haynes with New England? The Stork (Hendricks) was with Baltimore.

    • Tian Biao

      there was a Hayes and a Haynes, as I remember, in the early eighties. Lester Hayes and Mike Haynes (I just looked them up). you’ll see them in lists of top cornerback duos of all time. those were great games, back in the old AFC. Seahawks always played their best against the Oakland/LA/Oakland/Las Vegas/??? Raiders.

      • Kevin Lynch

        Thank you Tian! Yes, Mike Haynes. Unbelievable cover guy. Came over from the Patriots, I think. Lester the Molester was very flashy, great ball hawk. Not in Mike’s class as a corner.

        • John M

          Haynes was great, Lester had to be paying the Zebras. And sorry Art, but Alzado was a dirty player and maybe made good copy, but he was hated and deserved it . . .

          • art thiel

            Fortunately. I didn’t have to play against him. Just write about him. He never failed to deliver.