MINNEAPOLIS —Russell Wilson's elusiveness loomed large for the Seahawks against the Vikings on Sunday.
Just when it appeared a defender had a beat on Wilson, his blend of quickness, speed and ability to improvise with moves like a double spin turned what appeared to be a big play about to happen for the Vikings into a gain for the Seahawks in their 38-7 win.
Wilson rushed a total of nine times for 51 yards as Seattle racked up 173 rush yards on 36 attempts against a defense that was missing three starters (Linval Joseph, Harrison Smith and Anthony Barr). Some runs were by design, using fakes and motion to get defenders going one way. Others were on plays began with Wilson surveying where to throw the ball, then scrambling when coverage didn't allow him to do so.
"He's definitely got elite skills," Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said. "His feet are his best ability, and his ability to escape pressure and make throws. He's got a very strong arm. He made every throw, almost. He did a great job today."
Three of the Vikings four losses this season are against quarterbacks known for ability to run by design or scramble, including San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick and Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers.
Wilson added to the challenge by completing 21 of 27 passes for 274 yards with three passing TDs for a rating of 146.
"He's obviously a unique talent and has got a great ability to get away from and evade the rush," linebacker Chad Greenway said. "Everybody that watches the game can see that. He's tough to bring down. He's good at what he does. We just were on our heels all day. It felt that way on the field, just kind of trying to react to what they were doing."
Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said Wilson was "probably better" than even anticipated.
"He moved around good in the pocket; he's hard to get down," Zimmer said. "We hurt ourselves with some penalties defensively as well. They did a good job on the naked [runs] and the [bootlegs]."
One penalty occurred after the Vikings lone sack of Wilson.
Brian Robison was flagged for unnecessary roughness because officials ruled Robison held on to Wilson too long after a whistle. Wilson, however, got up and ran into the end zone, acting like the play wasn't over.
Instead of second-and-17 at the Minnesota 21, the Seahawks were awarded first-and-10 at the Minnesota 11. Wilson scrambled for an 8-yard TD on third-and-7 three plays later. It was the first of two touchdowns in the final 2:04 of the first half.
"They told me he was down and I lifted him up. I don't know," Robison said. "Obviously, he didn't think he was down. He took off running, but the refs made the call they feel like was the right call, and we've just got to roll with it."
Like Robison, Zimmer also asked for an explanation.
View game action images from Sunday's game vs. Seattle.
"The explanation I got was that they warned one of our players on a previous play and when the guy was down, he was down, you should let him go," Zimmer said.
Greenway said, "I didn't see what happened other than Russell Wilson got up and tried to run away, and they said he tried to hold him down.
"They were in the red zone, moving in to score," Greenway added. "Obviously it didn't help us, but the call is what it is. Unless you start reviewing every penalty, the reality is you can't dwell on it. You've got to continue to move on to the next play."
The Vikings (8-4) also must move on to the next game, which will be a visit to Arizona against the 10-2 Cardinals on Thursday Night Football.