The reason for Wilson’s emotion in his on-field interview with FOX’s Kristina Pink — he had the late Paul Allen on his mind with the Seahawks inducting their former owner into the team’s Ring of Honor during a pregame ceremony.
“I think about what he meant to this world and what he meant to just me personally and my family,” Wilson said later in his news conference. “He gave me an opportunity to play here. I always say to you guys that I’m one of 32 men in the world that get to do what I get to do, and I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful for that.”
The Seahawks (4-1) seemed headed for defeat when Jared Goff drove the Rams (3-2) down the field and into position for a 44-yard field-goal attempt with 15 seconds left. But Greg Zuerlein’s kick just missed wide right. It snapped the Seahawks’ three-game losing streak against the two-time defending NFC West champions and made Seattle the division’s first team to four wins with the San Francisco 49ers sitting at 3-0 heading into their Monday night against Cleveland.
The Seahawks made Allen the 12th member of their Ring of Honor in a pregame ceremony that included his sister, Seahawks chair Jody Allen, raising the 12 Flag. Paul Allen, the Microsoft co-founder who also owned the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers, died last October of complications from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Wilson gave the game ball to Bert Kolde, the Seahawks’ vice chair and a longtime close friend of Allen.
“I called Bert up, and I just was telling the guys — for the guys who didn’t know Paul — Paul was a person who believed big,” Wilson said. “I was telling the guys you’ve got to think big, you’ve got to believe big. That’s what we’ve been saying. And he was exactly that, Paul Allen. He was a person who created Microsoft, he was a person who made a difference in the world, cared about the world, cared about others, cared about animals, people, loved music.”
Wilson told a story of a moment he shared with Allen after the Seahawks advanced to Super Bowl XLVIII with their win over the 49ers in the 2014 NFC Championship Game. With the Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium that year, Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” was blaring over the CenturyLink Field loudspeakers during the postgame celebration. Wilson was singing along on stage when Allen leaned in and told him, “I didn’t know you like Frank.”
“The next morning I get a knock on my door,” Wilson said. “I’m like, who’s knocking on my door? The car leaves, and I’ve got a set of Frank Sinatra CDs, tapes and everything else, the Rat Pack. That’s the kind of person he was. He was a person of love, a person who cared about others. It was just emotional.”
Wilson continued what has been the best start of his career Thursday night with another near-flawless performance, going 17 of 23 for 268 yards and no interceptions. He had a perfect passer rating through three quarters, finished at 151.8 and added 32 rushing yards on eight attempts.
According to NFL NextGen Stats, Wilson’s first touchdown – which went to Tyler Lockett in the back corner of the end zone – had a completion probability of only 6.3%, the lowest on any passing TD across the NFL in the past three seasons. His other TDs were to rookie DK Metcalf, David Moore and Chris Carson, who ran for 118 yards on 27 attempts.
Wilson has thrown 12 touchdowns (to zero interceptions) while completing 73 percent of his passes and averaging 9.0 yards per attempt. Those are all career-bests through five games as are his 1,409 passing yards.
Carroll said Wilson “stole the show” Thursday night.
“I thought he was spectacular,” Carroll said. “I don’t remember him being that on, that thoroughly in the game in really difficult situations. It wasn’t just a classic in-the-pocket-throw-the-football. He was having to create and do stuff all night long. I thought his play was exquisite, awesome.”
Asked if he felt this was his best game ever, Wilson responded: “I left it all out on the field. Coach and I were just talking about that. It was one of the best I think. I think through guys were making plays like crazy tonight.”
Wilson told teammates that Allen must have blown a little wind on Greg Zuerlein‘s kick to push it wide. Carroll made a similar comment.
“And so it was a big night for the [Allen] family,” Carroll said. “And I’m so happy we were able to get a good win and have fun with it and all that.”