SEATTLE -- Tom Brady and the best offense in the NFL got upstaged by an undersized rookie.
In the final minutes, it was Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks making all the big plays.
"If guys didn’t believe in him," Seattle safety Earl Thomas said, "I guarantee they believe in him now."
Wilson found Sidney Rice behind the secondary for a 46-yard touchdown with 1:18 remaining, and the Seahawks rallied for 14 points in the final 7:31 to stun the New England Patriots 24-23 Sunday.
The matchup between the Patriots’ No. 1 ranked offense and Seattle’s No. 1 defense instead turned in to a starring performance for Wilson. And a shocking rally that gave Pete Carroll a win in the first matchup against the franchise he coached for three seasons in the late 1990s. Carroll was bouncing around the sideline in celebration after one of his biggest pro victories.
"I hadn’t even thought about that. That was a long time ago and there have been a lot of games," Carroll said. "I really love Robert Kraft, he’s a great man and he’s been great throughout the years about our separation of sorts. I respect the heck out of him. But I’m a competitor and, heck yeah, I want to win against those guys."
Wilson hit Braylon Edwards on fourth down for a 10-yard TD to get the Seahawks within 23-17. After a pair of holds by Seattle’s defense, Wilson found Rice streaking
Brady had a final chance to make up for all the opportunities the Patriots (3-3) squandered. Starting at his 20 with 1:14 left, Brady missed Brandon Lloyd then was sacked by Jason Jones, the first sack all day by Seattle. His pass for Aaron Hernandez, back after being out since Week 2 with an ankle injury, was incomplete, and Wes Welker was stopped short on fourth down.
Seattle’s winning touchdown came after Carroll showed confidence in his defense. The Seahawks went three-and-out with 3:20 left and Carroll risked never seeing the ball again and punted.
Even though Seattle had three timeouts and the two-minute warning, it was still a risky proposition.