There comes a game in every Super Bowl participant's season that is looked back on as a watershed moment. For the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday's game against the Houston Texans may be that moment. Trailing 20-3 at the half, the Hawks staged a huge rally in the second half to tie the game. In overtime, aided by a controversial personal foul penalty, the Hawks beat the Texans with a 45 yard Steven Hauschka field goal. The final score was 23-20, and the Seahawks are 4-0 for the first time in franchise history.
Seattle was unable to mount a consistent offensive effort in the first half. Houston's standout linebacker Brian Cushing left the game with a concussion in the third quarter and the Hawks were in business. Held to only 56 yards in the first half, the Hawks exploded for 212 yards in the second half.
For all of the offensive resilience the game will be remembered for two plays. First, the contest became the Hawks' to tie with just 2:40 left in the fourth quarter. Cornerback Richard Sherman picked off an ill-advised Matt Schaub swing pass and returned it 58 yards for a touchdown to tie the game.
Late in the overtime period, Kareem Jackson's was whistled for a personal foul for throwing Doug Baldwin to the ground after the play was whistled dead. This play will be discussed at length in the Lone Star State. Texans' coaches vehemently denied that the whistle had blown, but the flag was out and the Hawks were soon on their way to the airport undefeated and untied.
Russell Wilson came out of the University of Wisconsin known more for his mobility than his arm. While his throwing has certainly improved, on this day it was back to the future for the second year pro. Wilson managed only 123 yards through the air while facing a fierce Texans' rush, but his scrambling in the second half was the key to the Hawks comeback. Wilson finished with 77 yards rushing, his high water mark for the season. Marshawn Lynch led the Hawks with 98 yards on 17 carries, and added three receptions for 45 yards.
The Seahawks ride their undefeated streak to Indinapolis next week for another early start, this time against the resurgent Colts. Indy will be coming off of back to back dominating performances, but it is a game in which the Seahawks are likely to be favored. Watershed moments do that for a team. Four down, and 12 to go.