SEATTLE – After spending the first half of the season hearing about their late-game failures, the Seattle Seahawks once again controlled the fourth quarter.
And no one had more ownership on Sunday than Russell Wilson.
"That was a lot of fun. It can't get any more fun," Wilson said.
Wilson passed for a career-high five touchdown, including two TDs to Doug Baldwin in the final 8 minutes, 12 seconds, and the Seahawks held on for a wild 39-30 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Wilson threw three touchdowns to Baldwin, including an 80-yard catch-and-run score with 2:01 left after Pittsburgh had trimmed Seattle's lead to 32-30.
Baldwin caught a crossing route on third-and-10 at the 20, broke two tackles and raced for the clinching score. Baldwin also had a 16-yard TD catch in the first half and caught a 30-yard TD midway through the fourth quarter after Pittsburgh had taken a 27-26 lead.
In all five of its losses this season, Seattle held a fourth-quarter lead at some point. Except there was no crumbling on Sunday, no wondering who was going to make the critical play.
Instead, the list was lengthy of everyone who came through late for the Seahawks (6-5), from Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor grabbing interceptions in the fourth quarter, to the touchdown catches of Jermaine Kearse and Baldwin.
Even rookie Tyler Lockett received praise for his hustle downfield to block on Baldwin's late TD that gave Seattle a nine-point lead.
But most of the credit falls to Wilson for one of the finest regular-season performances of his career. He was 21-for-30 passing for 345 yards, Wilson's most in a regular-season game, topped only by a playoff performance at Atlanta in his rookie season. He finished with a 147.9 passer rating and was seven of nine for 164 yards and three TDs in the fourth quarter.
The performance came on Wilson's 27th birthday and started early when he awoke at the team hotel feeling ill. He needed three IVs to make it through the game.
"It's kind of an unorthodox way to play and win the football game, but that's what we had to do [Sunday]," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.