Russell Wilson equaled a series of NFL records as the Seattle Seahawks snapped a two-game losing streak to defeat the Arizona Cardinals 28-21 on Thursday Night Football to reclaim control of the NFC West.
Having established himself as the MVP favorite in the first half of the season, Wilson arrived into the game against the Cardinals on the back of worryingly shaky run of form, which yielded 10 turnovers in the previous four games. The Seahawks quarterback protected the ball a lot better against the Cardinals, conceding no turnovers as he completed 23 of his 28 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns.
Wilson hit DK Metcalf for a 25-yard touchdown halfway through the first quarter for the first score of the game, before throwing an 11-yard pass to Tyler Lockett in the second quarter as Seattle took a 13-7 lead.
The second of those two touchdown passes took Wilson’s tally for the season to 30, making him only the third quarterback in NFL history alongside Brett Favre and Drew Brees to throw at least 30 touchdown passes in four consecutive seasons, as per NFL Research.
Brees, who currently holds the all-time record for touchdown passes with 565, threw at least 30 touchdown passes for nine consecutive seasons between 2008 and 2016, a stretch which included 46 and 43 touchdown passes in 2011 and 2012.
Favre, who ranks fourth in the all-time list for touchdown passes with 508, achieved the feat in five straight seasons between 1994 and 1998.
The win against the Cardinals on Thursday night was Wilson’s 93rd career win as a starter, which vaulted him above Peyton Manning for the most career wins as a starter in NFL history in his first nine seasons in the league.
By finishing with a 119.8 passer rating against the Cardinals, Wilson also joined Manning in the elite group of quarterbacks who have thrown at least 30 touchdown passes and average a passer rating of at least 110 through the first 10 games of a season.
Since the NFL merger in 1970, only four quarterbacks achieved the feat. Manning accomplished it in 2013, while Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers did in 2007 and in 2011 and Patrick Mahomes managed it in 2018, his first season as a starter.
Wilson added 42 rushing yards over 10 carries, as the Seahawks running game showed signs of life after a moribund few weeks. In his first start since being injured against the Cardinals in Week 7, Carlos Hyde rushed for 79 yards and a touchdown over 14 carries, as Seattle piled up 165 rushing yards, the second most of its season so far.
“I think that we’re capable of anything all the time,” Wilson told NFL Network when asked whether the win over the Cardinals suggested a more balanced offensive approach was key for Seattle’s playoff chances this season.
“We want to be able to obviously throw it and do our things in the passing game but obviously to we want to be able to run it. We love running it. We had a lot of amazing runs and that controls the game.”
By defeating Arizona, Seattle avoided losing three games in a row for the first time since 2011 and improved to 7-3, breaking a three-team tie at the top of the NFC West, as the Cardinals slipped to 6-4 with the Los Angeles Rams still at 6-3 ahead of their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football.