Earlier this season, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll told reporters that whenever Seattle has Russell Wilson on the field, the team has a chance to win, "no matter what's going on."
And as it turned out in Seattle's 17-9 Wild-Card weekend win over the Eagles on Sunday, Wilson was the game's only starting quarterback that gave his team a legitimate chance to prevail. Philadelphia starter Carson Wentz entered the contest looking to star in his postseason debut, but after suffering a head injury with just 6:59 to go in the first quarter, the former No. 2 pick in the 2016 NFL draft was knocked out of the game entirely.
In Wentz's absence, 40-year-old backup Josh McCown took almost every snap for the Eagles, becoming the oldest QB ever to make a postseason debut. McCown completed 18 of his 24 pass attempts for 174 yards but failed to get his team into the end zone.
Instead, it was Wilson and the Seattle offense that was able to muster up enough production against Philadelphia's defense. Wilson finished with 325 passing yards and one touchdown on 18 of 30 attempts, adding 45 yards on the ground.
While Sunday's win was far from his best postseason performance, Wilson's unit did just enough and watched the team's defense stifle an under-manned Eagles offense.
“I think more than anything else we believe," Wilson told NBC's Michelle Tafoya after the game. "There’s no doubt in us. We believe. We have everything that we want. Everything that we need.”
The Seahawks led 10-3 at halftime, snatching the lead after scoring a late touchdown on a five-yard run from the recently unretired Marshawn Lynch. Coming out of the locker room, Philadelphia was able to chip away, nailing a 26-yard field goal. But the Seahawks quickly answered behind a 53-yard bomb from Wilson to rookie receiver D.K. Metcalf—the only touchdown of the second half. Metcalf, a second-round pick from Ole Miss, would set a playoff record for most receiving yards by a rookie, finishing with 160 yards on seven catches.
Philadelphia would add a third field goal with just under three minutes to go in the third quarter. And while its defense largely limited Wilson's big-play ability, the Eagles attempted to summon some additional offense. Philadelphia's 10-play, 64-yard drive midway through the fourth quarter resulted in a turnover-on-downs. And the team's drive one series later resulted in a similar result despite being in the red zone.
For Eagles fans, Sunday's Wild-Card weekend loss to Seattle might always feature an asterisk, a question about what could have been had Wentz been on the field.
But no matter, Wilson and his Seahawks will march on. A date with Green Bay next weekend awaits.