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Thursday, December 27, 2012
Rams vs. Russell Wilson: The chase is on

By Mike Sando

A jet traveling at 600 mph could have covered 2.6 miles in the time Russell Wilson was scrambling behind the line of scrimmage on one memorable play Sunday night.

Sprinter Usain Bolt could have run 150 meters with time to spare.

The time Wilson spent scrambling in the Seattle Seahawks' backfield before running for a 6-yard gain -- 15.7 seconds -- made this play the most time-consuming of its kind in the NFL this season.

"Unfortunately, we didn’t get the first down, but that was an exciting play," Wilson told reporters Thursday.

As the chart from Hank Garguilo of ESPN Stats & Information shows below, Wilson owns four of the five most time-consuming scrambles this season. The time is measured from the snap until the player crosses the line of scrimmage.

Dave McGinnis, assistant head coach for the St. Louis Rams, knows the coverage might have to hold up a little longer when his team visits Seattle in Week 17.

"The thing about him is, it's not panic scrambles," McGinnis told reporters in St. Louis. "He's moving and he's improvising, but he’s doing it with a purpose. He’s always looking down field and most all of those types of plays that he makes, they’re all positive plays."

Wilson also owns the second-longest scramble before throwing a pass. That one, delivered after 9.2 seconds, fell incomplete against San Francisco in Week 7.

The Rams picked off Russell Wilson three times in Week 4, all on throws from inside the pocket. They limited him to 14 yards and one first down on seven rushes. They sacked Wilson twice, both times when Wilson got outside the pocket.

Approximating similar success in the rematch figures to be tougher. Wilson has improved. The Seahawks' coaches have armed him with more of the playbook. The game is also in Seattle, where the Seahawks are 7-0 this season.

Wilson has 21 touchdowns passing, three more rushing and six interceptions since that Week 4 game.

"It looks like since about the Chicago game on, that they’ve opened up the whole offense to him and he’s done a tremendous job," McGinnis said. "He's extremely poised for a first-year quarterback. All of this offense now runs through him. They’ve got the read option in now. He’s got a beast of a back to hand it to.

"He’s doing a great job improvising. His off-schedule plays are really off the chart with what he can do. There’s a reason they’ve scored 150 points in the last three weeks and this guy is the trigger man."