SEATTLE (Reuters) - Four interceptions, no touchdowns and barely a decent drive to his name, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was having a nightmare in the NFC Championship game on Sunday.
But with the Green Bay Packers looking set for a Super Bowl place, Wilson found the skill and the spirit to lead his team to a memorable victory.
With a touchdown run of his own, a crazy pass for a two-point conversion and then a superb drive in overtime ending with a beautiful 35 yard game-winning touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse, Wilson delivered an astounding turnaround.
And after all of that and after the emotion on the field, the 26-year-old could still find time for a laugh.
“The game started off pretty ugly huh?” he asked reporters.
“But that last three minutes plus the overtime is probably as good a game as you can get. You can’t get any better than that.”
The key to the Seahawks win was, according to head coach Peter Carroll, the way Wilson and the team kept their cool as their faced a 16-point deficit, avoiding panic.
“Patience was really important, it always is when you come from behind. You have to wait it out and not force the issue and get yourself in trouble trying to get back too fast,” Carroll said.
“That took tremendous faith by everybody, not just Russell. But he’s in the huddle, he’s leading and has to stand for that — and he did. He did a remarkable job to finish that game.”
It was certainly impressive how Wilson coped with the shock of having thrown four picks.
“I’ve never thrown four interceptions in a game but I’d rather do it that way. If we are going to go down, I’m going to go down swinging that’s for sure. Just to find a way, no excuse for me,” he added.
“I am the first to say there is no excuse for interceptions but at the same time the resilience of our football, that’s what makes the day so special,” he said.
“I’ve been in a lot of games and I’ve played a lot of sports. I’ve seen a lot of sports and I think the resilience of our team is unmatchable. The character of the guys that we have and the belief of the guys, that is what makes the difference.”
Editing by John O'Brien