Continuing to believe is at the root of Seahawks' 5-0 start
SEATTLE (AP) - Amid the celebration and chaos of another heartbreaking final second, Pete Carroll's attention turned to the empty seats of CenturyLink Field.
In a season where the Seattle Seahawks got off to their best start 5-0, the head coach wished things were different.
"It's so unfortunate that you couldn't enjoy it because you never went home tonight," said Carroll. "So, I'm just talking to our fans, I hope you had a ball with it, at home or wherever you do it. And I hope you guys believe as our boys believe."
Carroll might eventually get his wish for a bigger celebration. The Seahawks were the first team in the league to score 5-0 after Sunday's 27:26 win over Minnesota. It was another night of last-minute drama, this time with Russell Wilson's vart-and-goal dart to DK Metcalf, 15 seconds before the win.
Despite some serious shortcomings, particularly on the defensive, the Seahawks have taken control of the toughest division in the league. Wilson was the elixir for all ailments in Seattle at five weeks, which put him at the top of the MVP talk and made the Seahawks a favorite in the NFC.
Wilson has 19 touchdown passes in five games, the second highest in league history. But the statistics are secondary. Wilson's game made the Seahawks feel like they'll find a way to get it out of it regardless of the situation - whether it's a vicious defense stopping Cam Newton at the 1-yard line in week 2, to the Patriots beating, or driving 94 yards for beating the Vikings.
"It was really special that we could just keep believing," said Wilson. "I have always told you that so that I have no doubt, just keep believing that something great is going to happen."
For the 34th time in his career, Wilson led a winning run in the fourth quarter or in extra time, with the Seahawks either tied or trailing. It's a remarkable number when you consider that it's a third of all wins in his career. Sunday was Wilson's 100th win, regular season and playoffs combined.
What he did on Sunday will be among his best, going 94 meters in less than two minutes. It was the second time in his career that Wilson completed a TD ride of 80 meters or more in less than two minutes.
WHAT NEEDS HELP?
While Seattle gave up big chunks through the air in the first four games, the run defense had remained solid, despite not having been extensively tested. Minnesota wasn't afraid to run and that defense was exposed. The Vikings finished rushing 201 yards, only the 10th time since Carroll's arrival in 2010 that the Seahawks have rushed at least 200 yards into an opponent. The reunion comes at a great time for Seattle to reconsider some of its defensive issues.
It's getting harder and harder for Metcalf to meet growing expectations, but the sophomore recipient appears to be on the verge of becoming a league star. He had six catches for 93 yards against the Vikings. He's second in the league behind Arizona's DeAndre Hopkins for the most yards received in five weeks, but he's still averaged a whopping 22.5 yards per reception.
Sunday was his second winning touchdown catch of the season after scoring the winning result against Dallas in Week 3.
"Then Russ continues. There will be a game changer. If the ball is in the air, it's always mine," said Metcalf.
Cody Barton deserves credit for playing Minnesota fourth and first run that left 2:00, which was full, and gave Wilson a chance to make a comeback. But apart from this game, it was a rough night for the linebacker in his sophomore year, who was often torn from the game despite 14 tackles.
Defensive tackle Anthony Rush was the only player to leave Sunday's game with an injury. Carroll said Rush's knee was swollen and he had removed fluid. The Seahawks hope to get S Jamal Adams (groin), RB Carlos Hyde (shoulder) and G Mike Iupati (knee / back) back after parting.
21 - Seattle became the 21st team since 1991 that failed to convert a third loss and win anyway. The Seahawks were 0 of 7 against the Vikings, but had the two most important modifications on the last voyage. The last team that doesn't get third-down conversions and wins? The Seahawks in a 2018 win over Arizona.
Seattle will have a necessary week off to heal some key players - Adams in particular. It will take the Seahawks with the toughest stretch of their schedule, which begins October 25th in Arizona.
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