Russell Wilson plays on while more heralded rookie QBs go home
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LANDOVER, Md. -- Once again, Russell Wilson is the other rookie quarterback. From now on, though, he'll be the only one.
While Robert Griffin III's knee injury and the Redskins' decision to stick with him for most of Sunday's NFC wild- card game grabbed the headlines, it was Wilson whose team will advance to play in the divisional round against the Falcons next weekend.
On a day that featured three rookie quarterbacks starting playoff games for the first time in NFL history, the two most high-profile of them -- Andrew Luck and Griffin -- were eliminated. Wilson will play on.
"People always ask me if I have a chip on my shoulder because I was a third-round draft pick," Wilson said after guiding the Seahawks to a 24-14 comeback win over the Redskins at FedEx Field. "For our football team, I do believe we play with a chip on our shoulder . . . We want to prove ourselves every week. We can play with anyone, any time, any place. That is our mentality."
Wilson completed 15 of 26 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown and ran for 67 yards on eight carries. Perhaps most impressively, he was the lead blocker on the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter.
After a handoff to Marshawn Lynch, Wilson sprinted toward the goal line while Lynch was busy eluding Redskins defenders. That set up the quarterback in front of Lynch, and he was able to run some interference against cornerback Josh Wilson to escort Lynch into the end zone.
"Marshawn always tells me, 'Russ, I got your back. No matter what, I got your back,' " Wilson said. "So I try to help him out every once in a while."
Wilson became only the sixth rookie quarterback in the Super Bowl era to win a playoff game. On Sunday against the Falcons, he'll try to become the third to win two. That ought to be enough for him to emerge from the shadow of Luck and Griffin.
"Because," Carroll said, "I don't think he was ever in the shadow."