Russell Wilson has best game yet in best season

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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In the days ahead of the Russell Wilson-led Seahawks' NFC West showdown with the Rams, Seattle coach Pete Carroll mused that this was the best version of his Super Bowl-winning quarterback that we have yet to see.

When the lights had begun to dim on an exhilarating evening, the veteran coach found himself once more pondering about the best of the best his celebrated QB has to offer.

"I thought Russell played one of the best games I've ever seen him play," Carroll said.

Upon a star-studded Thursday night that produced a riveting 30-29 Seahawks triumph over the Rams, Wilson provided further evidence to support his coach's grand claim.

"I love playing here," Wilson said on the broadcast following the game, clearly emotional on a night when former Seahawks owner Paul Allen was posthumously inducted into the team's Ring of Honor. "It's a good team over there that we played tonight. And we're a great team, too. We found a way. We found a way. I'm just grateful that I got the opportunity to play here."

With his arm, legs and mind, Wilson did everything he could to propel his 'Hawks to victory, turning in a spotless performance highlighted by four touchdowns and a phenomenal 151.8 rating, accentuated by a fourth-and-goal, five-yard touchdown pass to Chris Carson that stood as the game-winner with 2:34 remaining in the nailbiter. It began with Wilson scrambling and searching and ended with celebration.

"I wanted to make sure that I kept the play alive, cause it wasn't there right away," Wilson said. "They covered it pretty good. I just kinda moved around, trying to find something. I was about to run. Out of my peripheral, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Chris. And he played great all night."

Following five games, Wilson's season line is a synopsis of spectacular, as it boasts a 73.1 completion percentage on 114-of-156 passing for 1,409 yards with 12 touchdowns, a sparkling 126.3 rating and not an interception to speak ill of.

On this particular pulse-pounding night, the calm and cool Wilson had connections with eight receivers, throwing touchdowns to four (Carson, Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf and David Moore).

As questions loomed following the retirement of Doug Baldwin, Wilson has grown his chemistry with Lockett. In jaw-dropping fashion, Wilson raised his passer rating to 158.3 when targeting Lockett following the former's simply astounding 13-yard touchdown grab along the end zone sideline in the first quarter -- which stands as the "most improbable" completion of the season so far, per Next Gen Stats.

"Everyone's raving about how it's one of the greatest catches they've ever seen, but it's also one of the greatest throws," Carroll said of the toss that came from a play that looked to offer nothing and concluded with six sensational points.

Wilson continued to build a rapport with tight end Will Dissly (four catches for 81 yards) and ran the ball eight times for 32 yards. He elongated plays and escaped pressure time after time. Even his incompletions were excellent, case in point when he threw safely into center field on third and 17 from the Rams' 24-yard line early in the fourth quarter. On the ensuing play, Jason Myers kicked a 42-yarder to cut the deficit to 26-24. Wilson couldn't take a sack on the play and he stood strong in the pocket, took a hit and held the yardage.

"I can't even remember all of those plays; there were so many plays," Carroll said. "So many huge plays.

"I just thought he was spectacular and I don't remember him ever being that on."

Perhaps most impressively, Wilson did so against a rival Rams team that more often than not has had his number. Especially early on, Wilson was under an abundance of pressure from the Aaron Donald-led pass rush. Coming into the contest, Wilson's eight losses against the Rams were more than against any other team, just as his 55 sacks and 108 QB hits told the tale of taking more abuse from the Rams than any other team.

This was a night of magnificence for Wilson that was easily a microcosm of a season that's thus far been a spectacle.

And it was truly a great game that offered up special plays on both sides of the ball, drama, along with controversy, puzzling calls down the stretch and stars shining bright. It was Wilson who was consistently outstanding from start to finish, though -- just as he's been in this, his best season yet.

And it was a ridiculously fun game to spend a Thursday evening drinking in. But, hey Seattle, this was Wilson at his best once more.

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