Entering Sunday night, Russell Wilson hadn’t thrown multiple interceptions in a regular-season game since the 2018 opener. Only three times in his nine-year career had he thrown more than two.
His uncharacteristic performance led to an uncharacteristic postgame news conference after the Seattle Seahawks‘ 37-34 overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Wilson is rarely as down on himself as he was after the Cardinals picked him off three times, the last of which set up their game-winning field goal in the extra period.
“I thought we played a great game except for those three plays, honestly,” Wilson said. “Those are my fault. There’s so much that we can do, and we have so much confidence. Our confidence is not going to waiver. They’re a great football team, too. We knew it was going to be a battle. It always is down here and whenever we play. So nothing really changes except for the fact that we just have to tighten up some things. I have to be better, which I’m looking forward to.”
The clear front-runner for MVP through the Seahawks’ (5-1) first five games, Wilson had some brilliant moments Sunday while completing 33 of 50 attempts for 388 yards and three touchdowns. He also led Seattle with 84 rushing yards on six attempts.
Wilson’s three touchdowns give him 22 on the season, tying Peyton Manning’s record from 2013 for the most in NFL history through a team’s first six games.
All three TDs were to Tyler Lockett. The second, a 47-yarder in the second quarter, was another display of Wilson’s deep-ball proficiency. Per NFL Next Gen Stats, it had an air distance of 58.8 yards, and Lockett had 0.73 yards of separation when he caught it, making it the longest tight-window touchdown pass (less than 1 yard of separation) in the NFL the past two seasons.
Wilson’s third touchdown pass to Lockett gave the Seahawks a 34-24 lead with 6:50 left in the fourth quarter. But they couldn’t convert on a third-and-2 Carlos Hyde run after Arizona scored a touchdown on its ensuring possession. Seattle punted on its first OT possession after nearly reaching midfield, then had a game-winning touchdown pass to DK Metcalf negated by a penalty one play before Wilson’s third interception.
“We had some mistakes as a team, and just you can’t have those mistakes in close matchups like this,” Wilson said. “We had the lead and kinda lost it there in terms of just not staying on schedule, especially for us on offense. We had an opportunity to close out the game really kind of twice, and we just didn’t do our job as a team. So it’s a team effort, and it starts with me. I look at me first. I’ve got to be better, and I’m looking forward to being better.”
Of his first interception, Wilson said he was trying to zip a pass to Chris Carson, but the defensive end affected the trajectory of his throw. Metcalf saved a touchdown by chasing down Budda Baker in what Wilson called “one of the most remarkable plays I’ve ever seen.”
“Just the play, the effort by DK … I really respect him for that,” Wilson said.
Of his final interception, Wilson said he thought he had an angle to fit a quick throw to Lockett with a blitz coming.
The second interception, Wilson said, was the result of miscommunication with Metcalf, who broke off his route in the end zone.
“We do such a good job in those scramble situations, and I thought he was spinning out to go deep, and as soon as I threw it, he stopped on a dime,” Wilson said. “That’s just timing, and Patrick [Peterson] made a good play. But we’re confident in those. I don’t think you can be frustrated about those because we’ve made so many of those great plays in moments like that. That was just an unfortunate play, and that was on me.”
Lockett tied Steve Largent’s franchise record with 15 catches and became the only receiver in franchise history other than Largent with 200 receiving yards in a game. He finished with 200 even.
“We can always help him out more,” Lockett said of Wilson. “We can always get open more. We can always make those blocks more to move the chains more. It’s not on him. It’s on all of us. We put ourselves in a hole, and like I said, we could have won this game. We could have won this game at the fourth quarter if we got the third down. We wouldn’t have even had to go to overtime. But these are learning experiences, and it might turn out to be one of the best things to happen to us if you really think about it. We could have been 6-0, or we could have been 5-1, and sometimes you’ve got to have a wake-up call.”