Chris Carson goes airborne to avoid a Panthers defender, and the gutsy move pays off as the Seahawks march downfield to score on the Panthers. “I would give him a nine out of 10,” Russell Wilson said when asked to judge Carson’s landing.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Once Chris Carson got back to the sideline on Sunday after a play that left the NFL buzzing, his teammates all had one question.
“Everybody was talking about ‘what was I thinking?’ ” Carson said of his 15-yard third-quarter run in which he tried to leap over Carolina safety Eric Reid, only to get clipped by Reid, which resulted in a front flip and Carson then landing on his feet and taking off running again.
He didn’t really have a good answer.
“It was just one of those things,” he said. “I don’t even know.”
It may have been “just one of those things.”
But Carson’s vault over Reid on a first down run from the 20 in the third quarter, and the way he landed on his feet to continue running, was something coach Pete Carroll, 67, said he’d never seen on a football field before.
“That was out of this world,” Carroll said. “All of us said we’d never seen that happen before. Maybe it has. But I’ve never seen a guy flip, land on his feet and make some more yards after that. It was extraordinary. I don’t know if that will happen again.”
Carson said on reflection he might not have tried it.
Reid was coming up from the deep middle of the field and as he approached, Carson said Reid “just went low.” So, the tailback figured he’d try to jump over Reid.
Only one problem. “I didn’t realize that Reid is like 6-3,” Carson said. (Reid is actually listed at 6-1 on Carolina’s roster).
Reid got just enough of Carson’s feet, sending him head over, well, feet before Carson landed in a standing position and took off running again.
While the front flip essentially netted Carson only two more yards than he would have had if he’d been tackled, it may have been worth it alone in the memories it created for his coaches and teammates.
“I would give him a nine out of 10,” Wilson said when asked to judge Carson’s landing.
The Seahawks ended up scoring on that drive with Wilson finding Tyler Lockett on a 12-yard touchdown pass to go up 17-13 on the Panthers.
What also may have ended are Carson’s leaping days.
Once the hubbub died down, Carson sidled up to teammate Rashaad Penny on the sidelines.
“I told Penny, ‘That’s my last time jumping,’ ” Carson said. “You only get lucky like that once in, whatever, a million times. I’m done with that.”