Wilson: ‘I put the blame on me’
After throwing an interception at the goal line to cement the Patriots’ Super Bowl victory, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson says of his New England counterpart Tom Brady, “I want to be that guy one day.”
Seattle Times staff reporter
Russell Wilson by the numbers
2 Quarter in which he completed his first pass of the game. Wilson did not attempt a pass in the first quarter.
247 Passing yards for Wilson, 163 in the second half.
2 Touchdown passes for Wilson, one in each half.
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson had nowhere to go.
A mob of photographers formed a wall of bodies four deep in the middle of the field. In the center of that horde was New England quarterback Tom Brady, the Super Bowl MVP and reigning hero who only minutes earlier was headed for almost certain defeat.
Wilson picked his way through the crowd, slowly, until he reached Brady. The two embraced and talked for a few moments, then hugged and parted ways: Brady to answer more questions about tying Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw for the most Super Bowl wins in NFL history, Wilson to the stone-silent locker room flanked by a couple of security guards.
“I admire the guy because he plays with his heart out, he plays with true grit,” Wilson said. “I want to be that guy one day.”
For all but 20 seconds in the desert on Sunday, Wilson was that guy. He threw two touchdown passes. He threw for 247 yards. He led the Seahawks down the field in less than two minutes, down four, the comeback scenario he prepares for in his head and in practice every day.
And then, in three seconds, it was gone.
Wilson’s interception from the 1-yard line with 20 seconds left will be the lasting memory of this game, and it started the celebration for the New England Patriots as the champions of Super Bowl XLIX.
“I love the guys that I have around me, I love the people that I have around me,” Wilson said. “I hate feeling like I’m the one that lost it in a way. I keep my head up, though. I know that I prepare. I know I get ready. I know I play my heart out.”
After the interception, Wilson stuck his mouthpiece in his facemask, took off his helmet and started his long walk back to the sideline — maybe the longest walk of his career.
Normally, protocol is for Wilson and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell to review an interception on a tablet or flip through the screenshots of the play on the bench. But there was no time for that.
“I really want to see it,” Wilson said. “I tried to look on the field, but it hadn’t popped up yet.”
Had he completed that pass to receiver Ricardo Lockette, chances are good that Wilson would have been named Super Bowl MVP. He would own two Super Bowl rings. And he would have cemented his legacy, in just his third year, as one of the game’s great comeback artists.
Instead, Wilson spent 10 minutes after the game answering for the interception.
“I put the blame on me,” he said. “I’m the one that threw it.”
Wilson shook off a slow start — he didn’t complete his first pass until five minutes remained in the first half — and found a rhythm in the second half. He was sharp, decisive and on target, the traits he displays when he is at his best.
But that will fade deep into the shadow of his only interception in a game that even Wilson admitted was decided by one play.
“One inch too far, I guess,” he said at one point.
“This could be a completely different situation right now,” he added later.
Wilson and Bevell stood on the sideline wearing hats after the interception, discussing what had just happened and what went wrong. On the field, the Patriots ran out the remaining few seconds. Bevell said Wilson made the right read on the play, and Wilson’s confidence in the play’s success didn’t shake as he let the ball go.
“I thought it was going to be a touchdown, honestly,” he said.
Wilson spoke with the same tone, the same platitudes, that have become a part of his reputation in Seattle. He ended with “Go Hawks”, then stood and walked back to the locker room, an opportunity that he has so often taken advantage of suddenly gone.