Russell Wilson’s feet help set up Seahawks with field goal to beat Panthers


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Tyler Lockett knew if Russell Wilson bought him a few more seconds, he could spring himself for a big play.

Wilson did just that, sidestepping a few pass rushers in the pocket and enabling Lockett to slip behind cornerback Captain Munnerlyn and haul in a 43-yard completion at the Carolina 10. Wilson then took a knee twice and spiked the ball once to set up Sebastian Janikowski’s 31-yard field goal as time expired, allowing Seattle to complete a 30-27 come-from-behind win over the Panthers on Sunday.

“When Russell keeps it alive, we understand how hard it is for defenders to try to guard somebody more than five seconds,” Lockett said. “If it is longer than four or five seconds, it puts us in a better position to get open.”

Wilson threw for 339 yards and two touchdowns, putting the Seahawks (6-5) firmly in contention for an NFC wild card spot. Lockett finished with five catches for 107 yards and a touchdown. David Moore had four receptions for 103 yards and a score.

Wilson said Lockett was working on a move in Friday’s walk-through practice when he broke off the play and went deep.

“There was a play where he kind of stuttered and then went. He said, ‘Hey, I’m just working on something, just in case we need it,’” Wilson said of Lockett. “The funny thing is we needed it.”

The Panthers, also 6-5, suddenly find themselves on the outside looking in at the NFC playoff picture after losing three straight and having their 10-game home winning streak snapped. The prospect of Carolina missing the playoffs would have been hard to imagine at the beginning of the month.

“Three weeks ago, if somebody had said this was going to happen, I would have slapped them,” said quarterback Cam Newton, who completed 25 of 30 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns.

Wilson tied the game with 3:26 remaining when he gambled on a 4th-and-3, lofting a 35-yard touchdown pass to Moore, who beat Corn Elder in the corner of the end zone. Carolina starting cornerback Donte Jackson injured his quad on the first play from scrimmage, which proved to be an issue for the Panthers.

Newton completed all 14 pass attempts in the first half for 159 yards, including a 7-yard touchdown pass to Curtis Samuel to give the Panthers a 13-10 lead at halftime. Eight of those passes went to Christian McCaffrey, mostly on check-downs.

Wilson’s big completion to Lockett came after Graham Gano missed a 52-yard field-goal trywith 1:40 left in the game that would have given the Panthers the lead. It snapped a string of 41 field-goal attempts converted at home for Gano, including a 63-yarder this year to beat the Giants.

Steve Reed is an Associated Press writer.

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