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Pete Carroll: Russell Wilson nearing 100 percent

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The Seahawks have become reliant upon Russell Wilson's magic.

When an injury-ravaged Wilson limped into Arizona for a mid-October 6-6 tie on Sunday Night Football, Seattle's offense was dysfunctional. Minus Wilson's unparalleled elusiveness, the offensive line was exposed as a liability and the running game was easily stifled by a Cardinals defense with no respect for the quarterback's legs.

Four weeks later, the same national television audience saw a robust Seahawks onslaught in New England.

A vintage Wilson out-dueled peak Tom Brady, repeatedly spinning away from oncoming rushers to bedevil the Patriots defense with sandlot-style broken plays capped off by feathery touch passes that dropped into the outstretched hands of his receivers.

The highlight came on the last play before halftime. Down 14-12 with no timeouts remaining, Wilson entered riverboat-gambler mode, slipped away from pressure, faded to his left and tossed an against-the-grain gem to Doug Baldwin at the right pylon for the go-ahead score.

"What happened," Baldwin told The MMQB's Peter King, "is so against Football 101."

A whirling dervish with a mensa-level football IQ, Wilson can't maximize his "uncanny sense of awareness of what's around him" unless his legs are healthy enough to bail him out of trouble.

Last week, Pete Carroll noted that his quarterback ran full speed in practice for the first time since suffering a high-ankle sprain all the way back in the season opener. After Sunday night's thrilling victory, Seattle's head coach acknowledged that Wilson is finally nearing full proficiency.

"He looks like he's just about back," Carroll said, via the New York Daily News. "As we make the turn here, I think our guys are really ready to push and see how far we can take this season.

"We had been waiting. We really had been in waiting to get healthy. Maybe we waited a couple weeks too long, but we were waiting on Russ to be right and kicked it in last week, and you saw the change."

Wilson's Houdini-like escapability is reminiscent of Hall of Fame scramblers such as Fran Tarkenton and Roger Staubach. While he has regained that trademark pocket movement, he has rushed for fewer yards than the 39-year-old Brady over the past two weeks.

In other words, Wilson has yet to start stressing defenses with run-pass option plays as he did late last season during the hottest stretch of his career.

Judging by Carroll's comments and the recent game film, it's an untapped facet of Wilson's game with which the Eagles, Buccaneers, Panthers and Packers will have to contend over the next month.

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