SEATTLE (AP) — Russell Wilson was the last off the field, waving his arms and stopping to sign a few autographs for the Seahawks fans who lingered in the rain.
Heading into an offseason with expected changes that may include the franchise quarterback, Wilson provided at least one bright spot in Seattle’s home finale of an otherwise disappointing season.
“I was just thinking about joy and I was thinking about our fans,” Wilson said. “I was thinking about just, what a special moment to be able to, you know, win this game at home for our fans and for them to feel that energy again.”
Rashaad Penny rushed for a career-high 170 yards and two touchdowns, Wilson threw three of his four TD passes to DK Metcalf, and the Seattle Seahawks routed the Detroit Lions 51-29 on Sunday.
Seattle (6-10) closed out its home schedule with its most impressive offensive showing of the season, raising questions about where those fireworks have been for most of an underachieving year.
Penny rumbled for 144 yards in the first half, while Wilson threw TD passes to Metcalf and Tyler Lockett as Seattle built a 31-7 halftime lead.
Penny has 481 yards rushing over the past four weeks and praised the performance of his offensive line.
“It means a lot having them guys and then my job is easy,” Penny said. “There’s a big hole there, all you have to do is hit it.”
Wilson added a third TD to Metcalf on the third play of the second half. Wilson finished 20 of 29 for 236 yards, while Metcalf had a career-high three touchdown catches. Metcalf has 12 TD catches this season, also a career best.
It was the fifth 50-point game in franchise history and first since 2012 when Seattle beat Buffalo 50-17 in a game played in Toronto.
“When we were really at our very best we were at our most balanced,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “That’s maybe hard to get excited about it. Whatever, I don’t care. That’s a great way to play this game.”
Despite the offensive fireworks, it wasn’t all good for Seattle. On Detroit’s first offensive play, Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner suffered a sprained knee when he slipped and fell awkwardly trying to defend a screen pass for Jamaal Williams. He eventually walked to the sideline and then to the locker room but never returned.
Carroll said Wagner was having an MRI.
The futures of Wagner, Wilson and Carroll — the trio that helped bring the Seahawks their lone Super Bowl title — have been debated with Seattle set to finish off its worst season since 2009.
“I hope so. I hope that’s the case,” Wilson said of being back in 2022. “Take it one day at a time but today was really about our team.”
Amon-Ra St. Brown ran for one touchdown and caught another for the Lions (2-13-1), who turned in a lackluster performance after several competitive games. Three of the Lions’ previous four losses had been by four points or less.
“When we pulled it back within two scores, I thought this is a chance to get this thing back in our our favor. We’ll get a stop or turnover and and now we make this a one-possession game, and we just couldn’t do it,” Detroit coach Dan Campbell said. “That really disappointed me more than the other stuff.”
Tim Boyle made his second straight start for Detroit with Jared Goff out due to a knee injury and was 22 of 37 for 262 yards and three interceptions in the second half. He did have the highlight of throwing a 6-yard touchdown pass to left tackle Taylor Decker in the third quarter to pull Detroit within 38-22.
St. Brown finished with eight catches for 111 yards.
PENNY’S BIG HALF
Penny topped his previous career high of 137 yards in the first half. It was the most yards rushing by a Seahawks player in the first half of any game and the most in a half since since Shaun Alexander had 192 yards in the second half of a 2001 game against the Raiders.
Penny also had the second-most yards rushing of any player in a half this season, trailing only Dalvin Cook’s 153 yards in the first half for Minnesota against Pittsburgh.
“We wanted to be physical and coaches had all the faith in us to to continue to dial them up, and Penny is just really running with a lot of confidence, really been playing inspired,” Seattle left tackle Duane Brown said.
St. Brown joined Leonard Thompson in 1981 as the only Lions wide receivers to score a touchdown rushing and receiving in the same game. The last Lions wide receiver to rush for a touchdown was Calvin Johnson in 2007.
St. Brown also became the first Detroit rookie to have touchdown catches in three straight games since Dave Middleton in 1955.
Referee Tony Corrente was helped off the field by athletic trainers after dropping to one knee on the field following a play midway through the third quarter.
Medical personnel immediately rushed off both sidelines and Corrente eventually walked off the field and toward the Seahawks locker room with a Seattle trainer holding his arm. Corrente returned at the start of the fourth quarter.
Carroll said a player collided with Corrente.
Lions: Host Green Bay in the season finale next Sunday.
Seahawks: Close out the season next Sunday at Arizona.