The Seattle Seahawks became the first NFL team to clinch a spot in the playoffs this year with a dominant 34-7 win over the New Orleans Saints, in no small part thanks to a three-touch down effort from second-year quarterback Russell Wilson.
After a Steven Hauschka field goal opened the Seahawks' scoring and Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett returned a sack-fumble from New Orleans QB Drew Brees 22 yards for a TD, Russell Wilson tossed a short touch down pass to tight end Zach Miller to put his team up 17-0 through the end of the first quarter, a lead Wilson and the Seahawks would never surrender.
Wilson threw another TD strike in the second, this one to wide receiver Doug Baldwin, from the four-yard line. An eight-yard catch-and-run to running back Derrick Coleman in the third quarter capped the scoring in a game that saw Russell Wilson complete 22 of 30 pass attempts while throwing for 310 yards. With 47 yards on the ground, Wilson put up his best rushing numbers since facing the Tennessee Titans in mid-October.
"To come out on Monday Night, against a great football team, the New Orleans Saints have a great defense... they have an unbelievable offense, and for us to come out in that fashion and win that game the way we did was pretty awesome," Wilson said after the game, via the Seattle Times.
Russell Wilson's 310 passing yards are the second most any QB has thrown against the notoriously stingy New Orleans defense this year; only Chicago's Jay Cutler has thrown for more yards in a losing effort on October 6. Wilson and the entire Seahawks squad shut down the Saints on both sides of the ball, with Seattle's defense holding Brees to a season-low 147 passing yards.
In fact, you'd have to go back seven years to find a game in Brees' career with less offensive output; he threw for 132 years on December 24, 2006 in a loss to the New York Giants. Such was not lost on Russell Wilson.
"Our defense really stepped up tonight and made a lot of great plays against them, which is hard to do," Wilson said. "Drew is one of the best quarterbacks, if not the best, in the league right now. You understand what our defense did tonight, to be able to stop their offense, was a great effort."
With the win, Seattle improves to 11-1 on the year and clinches a playoff spot, something Russell Wilson's been a part of for both of his first two years in the league.
What do you think of Russell Wilson's performance Monday night? Can Russell Wilson take the Seahawks further in the playoffs this year? Has Russell Wilson entered the MVP conversation?