SEATTLE -- A day after Russell Wilson found Ed Dickson for the decisive touchdown of the Seattle Seahawks' 27-24 win over the Packers on Thursday night, the quarterback posted an edited video of the play on Twitter, complete with an '80s hit serving as the soundtrack:
Eddie Money's "Take Me Home Tonight."
Never mind the song title or its meaning, Wilson was making a reference to Dickson's first name and how his new tight end was money on perhaps the biggest moment of Seattle's season.
"These are the types of plays I can make," Dickson said after a raucous celebration in the Seahawks' locker room gave way to postgame interviews. "I'm glad I'm back. It's been a long time coming after sitting out six weeks and watching my team battle."
Dickson is making those plays after a stint on the non-football injury list that delayed his Seattle debut until Week 8. The Seahawks signed him to a three-year, $10.7 million deal this offseason. It was part of a bargain approach in free agency and a makeover at tight end, one goal of which was to get better blockers at the position than they had previously, especially with Jimmy Graham.
General manager John Schneider said the Seahawks considered Dickson the best blocking tight end on the market. Although he probably wasn't going to replicate Graham's receiving production, he was going to be an upgrade as a blocker while costing the Seahawks about a third of what Graham is making in Green Bay on a three-year, $30 million deal.
Dickson has four catches for 93 yards and two touchdowns in his four games. Those aren't exactly Pro Bowl numbers, but his two scores are the same as Graham has produced in 10 games this season. And while Graham was being treated for a broken thumb Thursday night, Dickson was delivering a play that helped keep the Seahawks' playoff chances from being reduced to a prayer.
They trailed 24-20 and faced a third-and-9 from the Green Bay 15 with 5:08 left. The Packers were showing a blitz look that Seattle prepared for extensively that week. Dickson had the option of running his route one of two ways, either straight up the field -- which he did -- or breaking inward, depending on what he saw from the defense. Linebacker Blake Martinez backed out of his blitz, but he couldn't retreat quickly enough before Wilson zipped a pass to Dickson, who turned his head around right away, knowing the ball could be coming in hot.
"I don't think [Wilson] knew whether they were coming or not until the moment the ball was snapped and they popped out of it," coach Pete Carroll said. "But the fact that they were disguising it gave him a chance, with really good rhythm and timing, to beat them before they got out of their disguise. So whether it was a blitz or not, the read was there for him. I'm telling you that we practiced that a ton this week, and it was beautiful, from a coach's perspective, to see something like that happen in such a crucial situation. I think the experience of Ed was apparent there because he had to see the exact same thing."
The hip injury that forced Dickson to miss training camp and the requisite first six games while on NFI was frustrating for all involved, especially considering he had missed only four games in his first eight seasons and none in the past five. The time Dickson missed robbed him and Wilson of so many reps that help a quarterback and a new pass-catcher become accustomed to each other. But they didn't have any trouble getting on the same page on that play.
"We're getting there. We're getting going," Carroll said of the chemistry between Wilson and Dickson. "That was a great illustration of chemistry right there."
Dickson will face his old team on Sunday, when the Seahawks (5-5) travel to Charlotte to play the Panthers (6-4), one of two teams Seattle is looking up at in the wild-card standings.
"That's one of the main reasons I came here: to play with a quarterback like Russell," Dickson said. "His expertise, the way he's passionate about this club and this game. ... I'll go to war with that guy. Just to see some of it paying off, it's kind of gratifying, so to say. We're not done yet."