Many players stepped up for the Seahawks this season, and some of those performances came right when the team most needed it. Here are the four performances which stood out most.
Week 8, Golden Tate at the St. Louis Rams – 5 receptions, 93 yards, 2 touchdowns: Nothing clicked for the Seahawks’ offense on Monday night against the Rams outside of Russell Wilson throwing to Golden Tate. The quarterback was just 10 of 18 for 139 yards, while Marshawn Lynch ran for just 23 yards. The Seahawks offense gained just 135 yards. Tate saved the day, scoring two touchdowns, including the longest play of the Seahawks season – an 80-yard catch for his second touchdown of the game. Without Tate, the Seahawks would have left St. Louis with their second loss of the season.
Week 13, Russell Wilson vs. the New Orleans Saints – 22 of 30, 310 yards, 3 touchdowns, 47 rushing yards: Going into the Monday night game against the Saints, people wondered if the Seahawks could stop Drew Brees. Wilson stole the show, though, with his best game of the season. Wilson was efficient and elusive. Lynch only carried the ball 16 times because he didn’t need to carry the load this time. In what was the team’s biggest challenge up to that point in the season, Wilson led the Seahawks over the Saints in memorable fashion.
NFC Divisional Playoff Round, Marshawn Lynch vs. the New Orleans Saints - 28 carries, 140 yards, 2 touchdowns: The stage was set for Lynch to unleash “beast mode” again. The Seahawks offense was efficient and dominant in the first half, leading 16-0 at halftime. Wide receiver Percy Harvin suffered a concussion, though, and the offense then slowed down in need of a spark. Up 16-8, Lynch delivered more of an explosion than a spark, capping his impressive game with a 31-yard touchdown run. Right when the Seahawks needed it, beast mode was unleashed.
NFC Championship Game, Doug Baldwin vs. the San Francisco 49ers – 6 catches, 106 yards, 109 kick return yards (including a 69-yard return in the second half): Whenever Wilson needed a first down or was in trouble, it seemed like he could always find Baldwin. In the second quarter of the NFC Championship Game, Wilson found him for a crucial 51-yard reception the drive following a 49ers touchdown. That put the Seahawks in field goal range when the offense was stagnant and the team was down 10-3. Hauschka’s field goal cut the deficit then. In the third quarter after another 49ers touchdown to give San Francisco a 17-10 lead, Baldwin delivered another big play, this time through a 69-yard kickoff return. The offense could only muster a field goal, but because of Baldwin’s return they at least got something out of it. Without those two big plays, the Seahawks might not be playing in Super Bowl XLVIII.