Russell Wilson’s career-best day proved better than a record-setting performance by Ben Roethlisberger.
Wilson threw a career-high five touchdown passes, including two TDs to Doug Baldwin in the final 8:12, and the Seattle Seahawks held on for a wild 39-30 win over Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
Wilson threw three touchdowns to Baldwin, including an 80-yard catch-and-run score with 2:01 left after Pittsburgh had trimmed Seattle’s lead to 32-30.
Baldwin caught a crossing route on third-and-10 at the 20, broke two tackles and raced for the clinching score. Baldwin caught a 30-yard TD midway through the fourth quarter after Pittsburgh had taken a 27-26 lead.
Wilson also threw two touchdowns to Jermaine Kearse and Seattle (6-5) picked up a huge victory in its hopes of getting back to the postseason.
Roethlisberger threw for 456 yards – the most ever against the Seahawks – but was pulled with 2 minutes left and taken to the locker room for concussion protocol. The Steelers (6-5) had a two-game win streak end.
Roethlisberger was intercepted twice, including Richard Sherman’s first of the season, and Landry Jones’ attempt at a late rally ended on Kam Chancellor’s pick at the Seattle 6 with 1:37 left.
It was the second interception thrown by Jones after a fake field goal in the first half went horribly wrong for Pittsburgh as the pass intended for tackle-eligible Alejandro Villanueva was intercepted by Jeremy Lane.
Wilson finished 21 of 30 for 345 yards passing and Seattle’s offense came through on a day its defense was picked apart by Roethlisberger. Seattle won for the first time in Wilson’s career when the opponent scored more than 24 points.
Wilson’s first TD toss to Baldwin in the fourth quarter was a response to Markus Wheaton’s 69-yard touchdown reception that had put the Steelers in front 27-26.
With Antonio Brown being hounded by Sherman most of the game, Wheaton was the beneficiary with nine catches for 201 yards, just the second wide receiver to top 200 yards receiving against the Seahawks.
Brown finished with six catches for 51 yards, but the Steelers couldn’t overcome four turnovers.
Visiting Seattle for the first time in his career, Roethlisberger ignored the noise of the ”12th Man” and put together the best passing performance ever against the Seahawks. His 456 yards topped the 455 of Philip Rivers in 2010, but wasn’t enough for Pittsburgh to keep pace with Cincinnati in the AFC North.
Seattle kept pace in the NFC wild-card race, but may have suffered a significant loss with Jimmy Graham injuring his right knee in the fourth quarter.
Graham landed awkwardly as he attempted to reach behind him and catch a pass from Wilson in the end zone. Graham immediately signaled for trainers and was in significant discomfort on the ground. Trainers placed an air cast on Graham’s right leg and he was taken off the field on a cart.
Wilson capped that drive with a 9-yard TD pass to Kearse, but the lead lasted all of 26 seconds. Roethlisberger scrambled from pressure and hit Wheaton behind Lane for a 69-yard score and a 27-26 lead with 11:40 remaining.
Back came Seattle with Wilson and Baldwin connecting on a 30-yard TD with 8:12 left to put the Seahawks back in front, only to see Roethlisberger put together one more drive.
Roethlisberger drove the Steelers inside the Seattle 10 with less than 4 minutes remaining, but the drive stalled when he was tackled at the 4 on a third-down scramble. Rather than go for the lead, Mike Tomlin chose for a 22-yard field goal from Chris Boswell and a two-point deficit with 3 minutes left.
The move backfired. On third-and-10 at the 20, Wilson found Baldwin on a crossing route and raced for the longest pass play of his career. Baldwin finished with six catches for 145 yards.