JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Once again, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks showed they are a gritty team that doesn’t give up easily.
It was 27-10 Jacksonville with 10 minutes remaining Sunday when Seattle’s typical second-half rally began.
Wilson escaped a sack by ducking his head, stood up and fired a strike to streaking Paul Richardson deep down the middle. Richardson juked the last Jaguar between him and the goal line, safety Tashaun Gipson, to finish a 61-yard touchdown pass, and Seattle was within 27-17 with 9:48 remaining.
Wilson set an NFL record with his 16th touchdown pass in the fourth quarter this season, then added a 17th to get Seattle within 30-24 inside the final 4 minutes.
“I think there’s a lot of things to it. Sense of urgency. I think there’s a determination. I think there’s a competitor’s side,” Wilson said of his and his team’s fourth-quarter brilliance. “This is the reality of the situation. This is the truth. We’re down. Let’s find a way to keep coming back.
“Next thing you know, we’re in the game. They’re terrified for a second there. We just got to be a little more precise there at the end.”
Wilson also threw the three interceptions, two he just chucked up deep into the secondary of the NFL’s top-ranked pass defense and top scoring defense.
Wilson’s second interception came early in the third quarter while trying to reach Jimmy Graham near midfield. That and the frustrated Graham’s extra push of A.J. Bouye after the Jaguars cornerback’s interception set up the game’s first touchdown.
Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles threw 18 yards to Dede Westbrook behind Terence Garvin, on one of his first plays replacing injured Bobby Wagner. The Jaguars led 10-0.
Seattle answered with 10 points in a minute. Doug Baldwin’s first catch, for 43 yards tumbling near the left sideline, set up Blair Walsh’s 28-yard field goal. On the ensuing kickoff Garvin forced a fumble that rookie safety Tedric Thompson recovered at the Jacksonville 25. Two plays later, Wilson’s pass to Baldwin for 26 yards tied the game.
Then on the next scrimmage play, Bortles again had tons of time on a play-action pass. Bortles threw a dart to streaking rookie Keelan Cole. Rookie right cornerback Shaquill Griffin followed a route inside and Cole sprinted behind him. The 75-yard touchdown made it 17-10 Jacksonville.
The Seahawks then went three and out, allowing the game’s first sack on third down. Jon Ryan punted to former University of Washington wide receiver Jaydon Mickens. Mickens sprinted 72 yards past stumbling Justin Coleman, diving snapper Tyler Ott and Ryan to the 2-yard line. Leonard Fournette ran for the touchdown on the next play, then started a bowling celebration with teammates in the end zone. Seattle was suddenly gutter-balling a 24-10 game.