During a strange Seahawks-Cowboys game, perhaps the most normal thing was Russell Wilson once again engineering a game-winning drive to lift Seattle to a 13-12 victory that got the Seahawks back to .500 at 4-4 entering their bye week.
ARLINGTON, Texas — There was the surreal — the sight of Ricardo Lockette prone on the ground, Seattle players circling him in support and fear before he began to show signs of movement after taking a mammoth hit while covering a punt.
There was the bizarre — the running of 33-year-old Matt Cassel, described by Seattle safety Earl Thomas as timing “like a 5.9” 40, suddenly emerging as the most dangerous weapon of the Dallas offense.
And finally, there was what on this day passed for normal — Russell Wilson leading a fourth-quarter comeback, one that undoubtedly saved the day, and possibly a whole lot more than that.
Wilson salvaged a slog of an afternoon for the offense by accounting for 73 yards as the Seahawks drove 79 yards in 17 plays on their way to a winning 24-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka that pushed Seattle past the Cowboys 13-12. It was the 16th time since Wilson became Seattle’s quarterback in 2012 that he led a fourth-quarter or overtime drive to win a game, the most in the NFL.
It was a drive that started with 6:41 left and came after Hauschka had a field-goal attempt blocked a few minutes earlier — snapping a streak of 19 consecutive made field goals dating to last season — that left Seattle staring defeat straight in the face.
A Seattle defense that has now gone eight quarters without allowing a touchdown held Dallas to a three-and-out, and the Seahawks then got the ball back at their own 15 following a holding penalty on Richard Sherman that wiped out a return by Tyler Lockett to the Cowboys’ 49.
“I’d like to see the film of that,” protested Sherman afterward. “I felt like I just blocked as hard as I could on that play.”
As the officials sorted it out, Wilson turned to Seattle coach Pete Carroll and his teammates and said: “We’ve been here before. Let’s go win it. Let’s go find a way.”
Wilson found that way largely by using his legs.
Wilson had rushed two times for 2 yards before the final drive.
But at that point, as Seattle tight end Luke Willson said, “It’s by any means necessary.”
And with the game, and maybe a whole lot more, on the line, Wilson carried four times for 30 yards, notably a 10-yard scramble on third-and-seven with 3:01 left that allowed the Seahawks to run the clock down to 1:10 before attempting the final field goal.
Wilson likes to downplay that he sometimes saves his running for when it’s needed most, but it seemed undeniable on this day.
With Seattle facing a second-and-10 at its own 38, he scrambled for 7 yards. And after handing off to Marshawn Lynch on a zone read, the Seahawks came right back to that play and this time Wilson ran for 8 yards to make it first-and-10 at the 20 with 3:17 left. Then came the 10-yard run on third-and-seven.
“We appreciate Russell putting his body on the line, running the football like that,” Sherman said.
Said Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell: “He’s a gamer and we have that luxury … where all of a sudden he brings his legs alive.”
And in the process, he pumped life back into the Seahawks’ season. Seattle now is 4-4, two games behind Arizona in the NFC West after the Cardinals rallied from a 20-7 first-half deficit to win 34-20 at Cleveland and improve to 6-2.
Each team now has a bye before Arizona comes to Seattle on Nov. 15.
“It feels like a real big win, to keep our season going in the right direction,” said linebacker K.J. Wright. “We’ve been playing a little bit of catch up.”
Then Wright asked if the Cardinals had won. Told that they had, he said: “OK, it’s cool, it’s cool. We’ve got a long season.”
One the Seahawks insisted looked better after what happened against the Cowboys.
The offensive line, playing with Alvin Bailey at left tackle in place of an injured Russell Okung, allowed no sacks in a game for the first time since the Super Bowl victory over Denver.
“Awesome,” Bevell said. “We didn’t change anything but they blocked well.”
The defense, meanwhile, held the Tony Romo-less Cowboys to 220 yards and have allowed 256 or less in each of Seattle’s four victories this season.
Thomas said Seattle’s only issue was the running of Cassel, the quarterback who had 43 yards on four attempts.
“We wasn’t ready for that,” he said.
Sherman, though, shut down Dez Bryant in the much-hyped battle of one of the best corners and receivers in the NFL, holding him to two receptions for 12 yards.
And at halftime, Sherman talked to his teammates following the harrowing scene with Lockette, who was motionless after taking a hard hit from Jeff Heath.
Initially, Seattle players reacted with anger at what they thought was a cheap shot — Heath drew a flag for a personal foul. Sherman told his teammates the best way to get back at the Cowboys was to simply go win the game.
“That’s how we are going to honor him,” Sherman said. “We are going to win this game for him. Not by being crazy and fighting, but by winning one-on-one battles, winning that way.”
Finally, they did just that.
|Wilson leads the way|
|Quarterback Russell Wilson saved his best for last to guide the Seahawks to a comeback victory.|
|Category||Comp.-Att.-Int., yards||Rushes, yards||Comment|
|Game-winning drive||4-6-0, 43||4, 30||Was catalyst on a drive that led to FG|
|Entire game||19-30-1. 210||6, 32||Threw one TD, and one pick to Hardy|