SEATTLE — Fair or not, quarterbacks Ryan Tannehill and Russell Wilson will always be linked, the result of being selected in the same NFL draft and the positions they play. Tannehill was selected eighth overall by Miami, while Wilson went 67 selections later to Seattle and the opposite corner of the country.
For a period on Sunday, it appeared Tannehill was going to get the better of Wilson. In a career where Wilson has garnered the most success, Tannehill was on the cusp of winning on Seattle’s home field.
Just as quick, that opportunity for the Dolphins to pull off a stunning upset to open the season was gone at the hands of Wilson as Seattle rallied in the closing seconds for a 12-10 win over Miami.
Playing through an ankle injury suffered in the third quarter, Wilson took Seattle 75 yards the final time the ball was in his hands. The Seahawks converted a pair of fourth downs on the drive and capped the winning march with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin with 31 seconds left.
Another game-winning drive for Wilson to add to his resume, but one that wasn’t expected against the Dolphins.
“Without question, he’s great at it. He’s just great at it,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.
Tannehill did his part in the fourth quarter, leading the Dolphins 86 yards and bulling in from the 2 to take a 10-6 lead with 4:08 remaining.
What is yet to be decided is how well Tannehill and the rest of Miami’s offense will function under new head coach Adam Gase. Was the three quarters of struggles on Sunday the result of the opponent or issues adapting to Gase’s system? The surge in the fourth quarter clearly provided optimism that Tannehill has a chance to thrive.
“Every time he came off a series he just said ‘What do we got to do now?'” Gase said. “What was really big for us as far as this being our first go as a group was, let’s not be the group that pointing fingers and complaining about something that happened. Let’s be the group that’s finding solutions on the sidelines and I felt like that’s what that group was doing.”
Here’s what else to know from Seattle’s late rally to knock off the Dolphins:
ANKLE WATCH : Plenty of attention will now be placed on Wilson’s right ankle. He was injured being sacked by Ndamukong Suh in the third quarter, appearing to get accidentally stepped on and twisting the ankle awkwardly. Wilson said he has no doubts he’ll be able to play next week against Los Angeles, but it may be an issue that lingers into Seattle’s bye in Week 5
AREA OF CONCERN: Seattle felt good about the progress of its offensive line through training camp. Then it was thrown into flux this week when rookie guard Germain Ifedi went down with an ankle injury. Veteran J’Marcus Webb stepped in on Sunday for Ifedi and the results were mixed facing one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. Wilson was sacked three times and hit nine times. The Seahawks run game struggled to establish a rhythm, though they combined to rush for 112 yards between Christine Michael, Thomas Rawls and Wilson.
The challenge doesn’t get any easier next week taking on the Rams.
DOMINANT LINE: If Miami isn’t in the conversation among the best defensive lines in the NFL it needs to be there. The additions of Mario Williams and Jason Jones and the return of Cameron Wake give the Dolphins depth to be disruptive around Suh. The Dolphins could have used Williams on Seattle’s final drive. Williams was out of the game going through concussion protocol.
FOSTER HOPE: Arian Foster had flashes of his old burst in his Miami debut. Foster had a 50-yard catch-and-run reception, but finding room in the running game was difficult. Foster was held 38 yards and 13 carries and no rush longer than 9 yards.
MARSH’S MARK: It’s worth noting the contribution of Seattle reserve linebacker Cassius Marsh, who blocked Andrew Franks’ 27-yard field goal attempt in the third quarter and sacked Tannehill in the closing seconds.
With Mike Morgan winning the starting outside linebacker job, the Seahawks needed someone to inherit Morgan’s role on special teams. That looks to be Marsh, who had three special teams tackles along with the field goal block.
“I was going out there and trying to take advantage of every opportunity I had on every play. I was able to make some big plays for the team,” Marsh said.