Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Seahawks buffalo Bills before sparse T.O. crowd

QB Wilson keeps Seattle in AFC playoff hunt

  • Print

TORONTO -- Rookie Russell Wilson rushed for three TDs and threw for another while Earl Thomas returned an interception 57 yards for a touchdown as the Seattle Seahawks steamrolled past the Buffalo Bills 50-17 on Sunday.

Seattle (9-5), which wore new wolf-grey uniforms, earned its fifth win in six games and cemented its first winning season since going 10-6 in 2007. It also marked the second straight lopsided win for the Seahawks, who downed Arizona 58-0 last week.

Russell was certainly a central figure, completing 14-of-23 passes for 205 yards while rushing for 92 yards on nine carries before just 40,770 spectators at Rogers Centre.

And it could've been worse for Buffalo as Seattle's Leon Washington had an 86-yard punt return TD late in the third quarter nullified by an illegal block before the replay confirmed Sidney Rice didn't get both feet down on a five-yard touchdown catch in the fourth. Still, the Bills (5-9) were officially eliminated from playoff contention, extending their league-high post-season drought to 13 years.

Marshawn Lynch contributed to Buffalo's woes, rushing for 113 yards and a TD in his first game against his former team since the Bills dealt their 2007 first-round selection to Seattle in 2010.

But it was Wilson who provided the early fireworks at Rogers Centre before a series-low gathering that sported a myriad of NFL team jerseys. The 2012 third-round pick became the first quarterback to register three first-half rushing TDs since September 2000 when Minnesota's Daunte Culpepper did so versus the Chicago Bears.

Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was 21-of-38 passing for 217 yards with two interceptions and a lost fumble. Stevie Johnson had eight catches for 115 yards and a TD while C.J. Spiller added 103 yards rushing with a touchdown.

None of the Bills Toronto Series games have been a sellout at Rogers Centre, which has a seating capacity of 54,000 for football. Last month, 53,028 fans watched the Toronto Argonauts beat the Calgary Stampeders in the 100th Grey Cup game here.

Seattle maintained its hold on an NFC wild-card spot but remains in contention for the NFC West lead.

The Bills Toronto Series was unveiled in 2008 amid much fanfare as event organizers wanted to prove Toronto was a viable NFL city. Rogers Communications Inc. paid US$78 million for the contests expecting southern Ontario fans to flock to Rogers Centre whatever the cost.

But a slow economy, high-priced tickets -- initially averaging over $180 each, compared to roughly US$51 at Ralph Wilson Stadium -- and a bad Bills teams have made it a tough sell.

Event organizers have cut some ticket prices to make games more affordable, but that's not resulted in a sellout yet. The average ticket price for Sunday's game was roughly $99.

Scalpers also had to work hard for their money, with many Sunday willing to unload their tickets under face value to make a sale.

The series has given the Bills a huge financial boost. They're receiving more than double what they'd make if the games were in Orchard Park. N.Y., while being allowed to establish a foothold in Canada's biggest market.

Event organizers have struggled trying to recreate the NFL experience here. A huge attraction for many American football fans is downing a cold beer at pre-game tailgate parties, but provincial laws make that impossible in Toronto.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 17, 2012 C5

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Police update on body of male found in Red River Aug 17

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A goose cools off Thursday in water at Omands Creek Park-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 25– June 21, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A golfer looks for his ball in a water trap at John Blumberg Golf Course Friday afternoon as geese and goslings run for safety- See Joe Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge- Day 24– June 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who has been the Bombers MVP so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google