The Seattle Seahawks are 1-0 to start their 2016 season after a 12-10 win over the Miami Dolphins.
Seattle held the lead for most of low-scoring affair – right up until the end of the fourth quarter, when quarterback Ryan Tannehill rushed up the middle for a touchdown to put Miami ahead.
Quarterback Russell Wilson, who was hobbled after having his ankle stepped on by Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, had four minutes and eight seconds to lead a game-winning drive. And after a slow start, in true Seahawks form, that’s what happened.
With just over thirty seconds left in regulation, Wilson heaved a pass toward the corner of the end zone where it was hauled in by wide receiver Doug Baldwin for a touchdown. It was a 14-play, 75-yard drive that lasted 3:37 and didn’t leave the Dolphins much time to stage a comeback (that attempt that fell short when Tannehill was sacked by linebacker Cassius Marsh as time expired.)
“There’s definitely a feeling of familiarity,” cornerback Richard Sherman said of Wilson’s performance. “He’s been coming through in those situations since Chicago [in 2012] in overtime. There is some confidence since you believe in your guys. I think everyone played admirably and I think for the mistakes we made and the holes that we kept digging ourselves into, it’s a blessing that we came out with a win.”
Baldwin told reporters after the game that Wilson called an audible on the final play — it was to a play the team had never before used with the original call.
“In that moment, I’m thinking ‘what is he doing?’ but he has shown the propensity to do miraculous things and that play was no different.”
Wilson had nine targets for 258 yards over the game, with Baldwin being the top target (9 receptions on 11 targets, for 92 yards). The offensive line, which has been reshuffled this season, faltered at time with pass protection; Wilson was hit nine times, and sacked three times.
Baldwin didn’t shy away from noting those mistakes postgame.
“It doesn’t matter how you start, but how you finish. So yeah, our offense looked ugly in the first half. We weren’t consistent and we weren’t completing drives. However, when the plays count, we know how to finish.”