The Seattle Seahawks kept quarterback Russell Wilson on a short leash in the first third of his rookie season. Through five games, Wilson averaged just 163 passing yards to go with five touchdowns and six interceptions.
But over the final 11 regular-season games, Wilson's numbers jumped to 209.3 yards per game with 19 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He was the NFL's highest-rated quarterback (120.3) in the second half of the season, on his way to tying Peyton Manning's rookie record with 26 touchdown passes.
So what happened in Week 6 to light a fire under Wilson?
He orchestrated a furious comeback victory over the New England Patriots after falling behind 23-10 with nine minutes and 21 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The victory lead coach Pete Carroll to put more responsibility in Wilson's hands the rest of the season.
Wilson also expounded on the season's turning point in a recent interview with the Charlotte Observer.
"That was a crazy, crazy game," Wilson explained. "To come back and win like we did, against a quarterback like Tom Brady -- who I have so much respect for -- it really started clicking after that. That game gave me some credibility and it showed me that coach truly believed in me."
NFL Films analyst Greg Cosell is fond of saying NFL coaches tell us what they think about a player by how he's utilized. After viewing Wilson as a liability before the Patriots game, the coaching staff realized thereafter that his unique skill set would keep opposing defensive coordinators up at night.
Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.