Russell Wilson wowed handing to Adrian Peterson. His Seahawks lead blocker hasn't met him




After 10 mostly wondrous years, a Super Bowl ring, a $140 million contract and, really, more than any man can reasonably hope for, Russell Wilson doesn't get wowed too easily.

But the 33-year-old franchise quarterback looked and sounded in awe Sunday at being Adrian Peterson's teammate for the first time.

"Adrian Peterson? I mean, c'mon," Wilson said after Peterson scored his 126th touchdown of his Hall-of-Fame career during his debut for the Seahawks, their 30-23 win over San Francisco.

"Think about this: I was fortunate to be able to hand off the ball to Adrian Peterson where he ties Jim Brown," Wilson said.

He extended and looked at his hand that gave Peterson the ball for the score that ties the 36-year-old running back with the immortal Brown for the 10th-most TDs in NFL history.

"Just what a remarkable, remarkable experience for me, personally," Wilson said. "I've been able to play with some amazing players. But to be able to hand off the ball to Adrian Peterson there to let him score there was pretty special. I've always admired his work ethic, and everything else."

Seattle Seahawks running back Adrian Peterson (21) and quarterback Russell Wilson (3) shake hands prior to the start of an NFL game against against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at Lumen Field in Seattle.
Seattle Seahawks running back Adrian Peterson (21) and quarterback Russell Wilson (3) shake hands prior to the start of an NFL game against against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at Lumen Field in Seattle.  

Midway through the second quarter, with Seattle trailing 17-7, Peterson dragged multiple 49ers across the line to gain 4 yards and a first down. Left tackle Duane Brown and wide receiver Penny Hart helped him off the ground.. Hart gave Peterson a hearty pat on his backside.

A pass-interference penalty on 49ers fill-in cornerback Deommodore Lenoir in the back of the end zone, when Wilson threw late from the 4 to Freddie Swain, gave Seattle first down at the 2.

Then, Peterson got the ball in, of all Seahawks things, rare I formation. He dashed around left end on a sweep and outran the 49ers to the goal line for the touchdown.

Despite being out-gained 124-7 into the second quarter on plays that weren't Travis Homer's 73-yard fake punt run for a Seattle touchdown, the Seahawks trailed only 17-14.

Fullback Nick Bellore did a leaping chest bump with Peterson in the end zone. Bellore and Brown shared a roar over Peterson passing Walter Payton on the NFL's all-time TDs list with the score.

"It was exciting for our guys to get AP a touchdown today so he could tie the great Jim Brown," coach Pete Carroll said. "It was just for fun. Thrilled that he got a chance to do that and have him with us on this game

Bellore, Seattle's special-teams captain, was the fullback in the I formation on the TD. He had spent almost all practice week with the kicking teams and in his other role as backup middle linebacker.

When he entered the offense's huddle near the goal line, Peterson did a double take.

"He was probably wondering who I was," Bellore said, "because I haven't actually got to meet him yet."

No matter. Peterson followed a same-blue jersey then ran around everyone outside left for his 120th rushing touchdown.

Only four players have scored 120 or more rushing TDs in NFL history: Emmitt Smith, LaDainian Tomlinson, Marcus Allen and now Peterson.

Seattle Seahawks running back Adrian Peterson (21) celebrates with wide receiver Freddie Swain (18) after Peterson scored a touchdown in the second quarter of an NFL game on Sunday at Lumen Field in Seattle.
Seattle Seahawks running back Adrian Peterson (21) celebrates with wide receiver Freddie Swain (18) after Peterson scored a touchdown in the second quarter of an NFL game on Sunday at Lumen Field in Seattle.  

Hours later when Carlos Dunlap batted down Jimmy Garoppolo's fourth-down pass with 18 seconds left and the Seahawks exited the field winners for only the second time in two months, Peterson flashed a peace sign to cheering fans as he entered the tunnel to his new locker room.

Released by Tennessee Nov. 23 after 82 yards in three games, Peterson was tailgating at the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State game and watching his Sooners play in Stillwater when his agent called on a Saturday to say the Seahawks were interested in signing him. Wednesday last week, he signed a deal onto Seattle's practice squad. The Seahawks wanted him because Chris Carson was on injured reserve, fill-in starter Alex Collins was out injured and backs Rashaad Penny and Homer were also banged up.

Saturday, with Collins out for this game, the Seahawks promoted Peterson to the roster to play the 49ers.

General manager John Schneider said on the Seahawks' radio network's pregame show Sunday he has a great relationship with Peterson's agent, who is also the agent for Josh Johnson. The undrafted rookie is having his chance to prove over these final six games blocked by Peterson's arrival.

"We just thought bringing him in, his passion, the way that he works, we thought it was the appropriate time. Really cool for the young guys to see this guy," Schneider said of Peterson.

"I remember scouting him at Oklahoma (when Schneider was in the personnel department of his hometown Green Bay Packers). I feel like I was 21 years old. This guy is amazing...It's unbelievable. This guy's awesome.

"You wouldn't even know he has a big ol' chew in his mouth, too. That's old-school."

Peterson finished with 16 yards on 11 carries. What else is new? Seahawks running backs rushed from scrimmage 23 times for 58 yards on Sunday, 2.5 yards per rush.

Peterson's Seahawks career started the way the team's other running backs have gone most of this season.

Backward.

His first carry went for a loss of 5 yards. Pocic got beaten decisively off the snap and his man dumped Peterson, who had no chance.

His second carry, Peterson had room behind three tight ends lined up right to gain the first down. But he lost the ball for a fumble just after Wilson handed it to him. Pocic recovered for a loss of 1 yard instead of the first down.

At least play caller Shane Waldron finally ran it more, to help the offensive line pass protect Wilson against a more honest-playing defense. The previous three games, before Peterson arrived, Seattle's running backs carried the ball 11 times at Washington, 17 times against Arizona and just 10 times in Green Bay. The Seahawks lost all those games.

What did the offense and team get from Peterson beyond his milestone touchdown and 1.5 yards per rush?

"Really, I just wanted to bring him in and give a chance to see our guys and be with our team," said Carroll, who's been wanting Peterson for about 20 years, since going to Palestine High School in east Texas trying to recruit him to USC. "I thought it was just such a rare opportunity, and he totally exceeded my expectations of his influence of just being in the locker room and on the practice field. He was so much the consummate pro about taking this opportunity to heart and going for it.

"He's played a lot of football and he was so serious about it and so strict about the way he did everything. He executed beautifully. He had a great week of practice.

"He needed to play, and we knew he had that touchdown thing that we were trying to get."

Seattle Seahawks running back Adrian Peterson (21) stretches prior to the start of an NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at Lumen Field in Seattle.
Seattle Seahawks running back Adrian Peterson (21) stretches prior to the start of an NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at Lumen Field in Seattle.  

Peterson won't get to Jerry Rice's touchdown record of 207; who will? But he could get into the top 10 all-time in total yards. Peterson has 17,3792 total yards, 38 yards from Curtis Martin for 10th place.

Peterson is fifth all-time in rushing yards, with 14,918. He's 351 yards behind Barry Sanders for fourth.

This wasn't a one-game deal with Peterson and the Seahawks.

Asked if he will be in Seattle's plans when the team heads back to Peterson's native Texas this coming weekend to play at Houston (2-10) Sunday, Carroll said: "He's coming to meetings on Monday.

"Let's go."

Bellore and Peterson's new, looking-up mates on the 15-year running back's sixth NFL team sound all for that.

"I'm really old," the 32-year-old Bellore said, "and he's even older. I remember watching him when I was in college, high school, all of that. Some guys were in elementary school watching him in the pros.

"A legend like that, you have a little extra juice for, to try to get him in the end zone."

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