Russell Wilson barely out-duels Deshaun Watson in a show for the ages

Shutdown Corner

This was the modern version of the classic Joe Montana-John Elway game at Mile High Stadium. Deshaun Watson would do something amazing, and Russell Wilson would answer right back.

The Seattle Seahawks‘ unbelievable 41-38 win against the Houston Texans is one of the best regular-season games you’ll ever see. Watson, who continues to amaze during this incredible rookie season, was great. Wilson was great too, and happened to make the last big play. Wilson led his team on a frenetic final drive in the last two minutes, and capped it with a touchdown pass over the middle to Jimmy Graham with 21 seconds left to give the Seahawks the lead. It was an incredible battle between two of the league’s star quarterbacks.

Yes, put Watson in the star category already. He answered a lot of questions on Sunday with a 400-yard, four-touchdown game against the Seahawks’ famous secondary. CBS said Watson became the first player in NFL history with 400 yards passing, four passing touchdowns and 50 rushing yards in a single game. Watson finished with 402 yards on only 19 completions, a testament to the big throws he made downfield. Watson made plays in every way imaginable, often escaping the Seahawks’ rush and keeping his eyes downfield to gouge the Seahawks for a big pass.

Of course, Wilson perfected that style. Wilson has been constantly under pressure behind the Seahawks’ porous offensive line for years but he just makes things happen amid the chaos. And he did so Sunday, but it seemed for a while like one big mistake would doom him. Wilson made a telegraphed pass with Seattle driving late in the game, and Texans cornerback Marcus Williams undercut Paul Richardson’s route and picked it off with 2:49 left. The Seahawks trailed 38-34, but the defense got a stop. The way the game was going, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Wilson would find some way to pull out a win. He did.

The Seahawks had no timeouts, 1:39 to go and needed to go 80 yards for a touchdown. Wilson, as he had done all game, made an enormous deep throw to Richardson to get the drive going. That was good for 48 yards. Then he hit Tyler Lockett for 19 more. Wilson hurried the Seahawks to the line and had Graham wide open over the middle for a 18-yard score.

And still, Watson had a shot to answer. But he took a sack, then his desperation pass in the final seconds was picked off by Richard Sherman.

Wilson finished with 452 yards, four touchdowns and led the Seahawks with 30 rushing yards. Watson had 402 yards, four touchdowns and led the Texans with 67 yards. Watson is emerging, but Wilson is already in that superstar category. Watson’s day will come, but Wilson wouldn’t let him win on Sunday.

It’s too bad Sunday’s game had to end. It’s rare to see two quarterbacks put on that kind of a show.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 452 yards in an amazing win over the Houston Texans. (AP)
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 452 yards in an amazing win over the Houston Texans. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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