The Seattle Seahawks came away with a 26-15 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in large due to their success on explosive plays offensively and defensively. This is a closer look at one of those plays and how it unfolded with a little bit of trickery and ended in Russell Wilson catching a touchdown pass.
Halfway through the third quarter, Seahawks’ offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell called a trick play involving Doug Baldwin as the de facto QB and Wilson as the receiver; I wanted to take a deeper look into this play and see why the Eagles fell for it. Here’s the play:
— Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold) November 21, 2016
It was 1st and 10 on the Philadelphia 15-yard line. Seattle is in shotgun and motion tight end (88) Jimmy Graham inside and behind (89) Baldwin. Safety (27) Malcolm Jenkins follows him signaling to Wilson man-to-man coverage by the defense. This is a good sign for the offense.
After the snap, Wilson fakes the handoff to running back (34) Thomas Rawls before tossing the ball to Baldwin. Both Graham and Rawls block right faking the wide receiver end-around.
Since the defense is in man coverage, they also follow across the formation which is what opens the left side of the field for Wilson. After the toss, Baldwin continues around the edge on the fake end-around before launching the ball deep as he was getting hit. The pass was a beautiful spiral right on point allowing Wilson to reach across the goal line for the score.
Where’s the safety?
He was busy watching tight end (86) Brandon Williams who ran a streak right into the middle of the end zone. This is why he did not crash on Wilson’s wheel-route.
This is a great play design by Bevell to take advantage of the Eagles’ defense in man coverage.
Some people might argue that Wilson’s catch should have been called incomplete based on how it bounces out of his hands going into the end zone … I disagree. Wilson catches the ball, takes multiple steps, and then reaches the ball past the goal line which is why it was not reversed even though it fell out of his hands at the end.
Wilson is the eighth QB in the modern era to throw a touchdown and catch one in the same game, joining such other quarterbacks as John Elway, Drew Brees, Jim McMahon, and … Tyler Thigpen. Former Dallas Cowboys QB Danny White actually did it twice.
Going forward you have to assume that Russell Wilson is finally healthy after being injured for most of the season. The reason I say this is because the Seahawks’ coaching staff wouldn’t have risked their franchise quarterback getting hit on the reception.