The Seattle Seahawks return to the scene of the Super Bowl XLIX crime on Sunday. But QB Russell Wilson said he is embracing the challenge rather than fearing it.
The Seahawks’ game at Arizona Sunday also marks the first return for the team since the shocking and forever-controversial ending to Super Bowl XLIX,.
Or, as Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson put it rather mildly this week “the last time we were on that turf, it didn’t work out the way we wanted it to.”
Wilson said that play and game will undoubtedly be on his mind Sunday.
But he also said it’s not a memory he’ll run away from.
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“I look forward to those type of challenges and the excitement,” he said. “It’s going to be an awesome experience. I just look forward to playing football too. Any time you get to go on the field, any time you get to prepare throughout the week and study with the guys, and get ready to go and practice and go out and play the game you love. How could you not look forward to it?”
And as might be expected for anyone who has followed Wilson’s career, he’s tried since the play to try to learn something from the experience.
“I think it builds you up,” he said of the aftermath of the interception. “I think it helps you understand that sometimes the ball doesn’t always bounce your way. We’ve had it bounce our way a lot, hopefully we can keep that going. I think that this game is so much bigger than just a game. Like I’ve said, winning is what it’s all about. We all come here to win. That’s why we’re here in this building and that’s why we practice and get ready to go every week and prepare that way. When it doesn’t work out, how can you use that, how can you use that for encouragement for others, how can you use that for yourself, how can you continue to build and evolve and progress?
“It’s been a constant progression, just this journey. It’s been exciting. For four years, it’s been a whirlwind, a good whirlwind. It’s a joyride that you want to keep going on. You want to keep winning, you want to keep finding ways. I want to keep using that as much as possible, those experiences, the good and the bad.”
The Seahawks are also viewing the game as something of a primer for the playoffs.
Seattle usually leaves for games at Arizona on the day before. But for this one, the Seahawks left late Friday afternoon to replicate the experience of playing on the road in Central of Eastern time zones — when the Seahawks usually leave two days before to get acclimated to the time change.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll also said the team also tried to use the back-to-back trips at Minnesota and Baltimore in December as a dry run for the playoffs, knowing that as a No. 5 or No. 6 seed they would have to win at least two straight road games to begin the post-season.
“Obviously going on the road, playing in Arizona, doesn’t get much tougher than that, in terms of environment,” Wilson said. “It’ll be a great setup for the playoffs, in terms of getting prepared for going on the road again. We’ve done a great job of going on the road this year.”
Seattle, in fact, can finish the season with equal 5-3 records both home and on the road with a victory Sunday.
The Seahawks finished their home slate 5-3 and can get to 5-3 on the road by beating Arizona, having won at San Francisco, Dallas, Minnesota and Baltimore while losing at St. Louis, Green Bay and Cincinnati.