LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — All Robert Griffin III did was throw some passes to another injured player on the sideline before the game started.
All Russell Wilson did was run, throw, scramble — and simply amaze.
Wilson has left his fellow 2012 draft-mate in the dust, just as the Seattle Seahawks have risen to a level far above the current state of affairs with the Washington Redskins. Even on a Monday night when the reigning Super Bowl champs were stopping themselves early and often with ill-timed penalties, they were still easily the better team in a 27-17 victory.
“It could’ve been a very big night for us,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “We came out flying, but we were just a little bit out of whack.”
Wilson dazzled throughout, whether it was a designed run or a scramble out of the pocket. He had rushes of 16, 29, 13 and 22 in the first two drives. He headed for the pylon on a clinical zone-read run for a 9-yard score in the second quarter, giving Seattle a 17-0 lead, and pulled off two incredible scrambles in the second half after the Redskins threatened to make a game of it.
“It was like he wasn’t Superman in the second half,” Redskins safety Ryan Clark said. “He was, like, Clark Kent, half-Superman. He still did his thing.”
Wilson ran for a career-high 122 yards and a touchdown and completed 18 of 24 passes for 201 yards with two scores. Marshawn Lynch ran for 72 yards on 17 carries despite missing the first series because he needed extra time to loosen some tight muscles. Percy Harvin was robbed of a big day with three touchdowns called back because of penalties.
Wilson’s Seahawks and Griffin’s Redskins met in the first round of the playoffs two seasons ago, when both were rookies. Griffin is now sidelined with a dislocated left ankle, and his replacement, Kirk Cousins, is 1-6 as a starter.
“Overall, as a group offensively, our running game’s not quite good enough,” Washington coach Jay Gruden said. “Obviously our deep passing game’s not quite good enough. We’re not quite good enough anywhere.”
The mood in Washington’s locker room was surprisingly light despite the team’s 17th loss in 21 games, with some players shouting jokes to each other and laughing heartily.
Here are some more takeaways from a game that improved the Seahawks to 3-1 and dropped the Redskins to 1-4:
FLAG ON THE PLAY: The Seahawks finished with 13 penalties for 90 yards. In the fourth quarter, after Harvin’s third would-be touchdown was called back, the offense decided they’d had enough.
“It got to the point where he had a little talk in the huddle,” Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin said. “Like, ‘We need to get things straight — because this is ridiculous.'”
Notably, the Seahawks’ final drive went eight plays, 55 yards and produced a game-clinching field goal with 21 seconds to play — with no Seattle penalties.
RUN, RUSSELL, RUN: That final drive also produced Wilson’s final how-did-he-do-that highlight, when he converted a third-and-4 by evading Ryan Kerrigan and tumbling backward as he found Lynch for a 30-yard gain.
“I don’t know what the heck happened on that play,” Carroll said.
PUNTER MVP: Carroll suggested that his punter might have been the game’s MVP, and he has a point.
Jon Ryan put five punts inside the 20, including one that was downed at the 1-yard line, to help Seattle win the field-position battle. The Redskins’ average drive started at their own 17.
There’s more: Ryan was the holder who ran 5 yards for a first down on a fake field goal that led to the Seahawks’ final touchdown.
“I was trying to play it cool,” Ryan said, “but I was pretty excited whenever I get to carry the ball.”
PIERRE WHO? It wouldn’t be a Seahawks game without hearing from All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman, who seemed to take some joy in helping hold Pierre Garcon to two catches for 23 yards.
Asked if he was trash-talking Garcon, Sherman replied: “Pierre doesn’t matter in this league, so we don’t get into it.”
Notably, Garcon was among the Redskins loudly trading one-liners and laughs after their loss.
NO TAKEAWAYS: For the second time this season, the Redskins managed to play an entire game without turning the ball over. They also failed to take the ball away, though, and have a minus-5 turnover differential.
“I see ESPN highlights all the time,” Gruden said. “And I see blocked kicks for touchdowns and interceptions for touchdowns. We’ve got to figure out a way to get some of those.”
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