Seattle Seahawks ‘Hero’ Quandre Diggs Saves Game, Season vs. Los Angeles Rams

Seattle Seahawks ‘Hero’ Quandre Diggs Saves Game, Season vs. Los Angeles Rams

The Seattle Seahawks just had to beat the Los Angeles Rams – the only other option was to watch their season close.

But things did not look promising.

Seattle was given a chance to win the game in regulation with a 46-yard field goal by normally reliable kicker Jason Myers — but it went wide, sending the season finale into overtime.

The Seahawks then won the coin toss and took the kickoff, needing a touchdown to keep their playoff hopes alive… but went three-and-out.

The Rams dodged two bullets and were one pitch away from sending Seattle packing. Los Angeles quarterback Baker Mayfield dropped back, looked left and threw downfield to receiver Van Jefferson.

Result? Perhaps the deciding factor in Seattle’s 19-16 win … that may have etched Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs into the team’s record books for years to come.

Quarterback Geno Smith said, “I was sitting on the bench, and I looked up, and I just see Quandre jumping in the air and catching the ball over his shoulder looking like he was open.”

Coach Pete Carroll added: “He timed it perfectly to get it on the field.

Mayfield gave Diggs the “chance” to make a play to save the season … and he did, breaking up the pass and sending the Seahawks sideline into euphoria as Diggs poked fun at his former teammate and linebacker current Rams Bobby Wagner.

But it wasn’t necessarily as simple as jump-and-catch. The Rams caught the Seahawks in a favorable matchup and nearly took a dagger at the end of the season … until Diggs proved why he was recently voted to a third straight Pro Bowl, as he colorfully explained.

“If I was going to use language, I’d probably use some bad language because the dude was open,” Diggs admitted. “In my mind, I was thinking the worst. Man, I felt like I was 25 years old again, running and jumping in the air. To me, it was just one of those shows where they set it up perfectly. They they had us on a cover where they wanted us, and I was just able to go out and put on a show.”

Seven plays later, Myers went wide for a 32-yard field goal, which he made without drama. The Seahawks got the win they absolutely needed to get, and with the Detroit Lions beating the Green Bay Packers, Seattle suddenly found itself in the playoffs — and Diggs was “the hero,” according to Carroll.

“For him to make (the interception), he’s a hero here,” Carroll said. “These guys love him. He’s a great leader, and they have nicknames for him and all kinds of things, and he’s tough as nails. When he talks, they all shut up and then come and do a show. so, it’s just beautiful and appropriate and really happy for him.”

It was Diggs’ second interception in as many games and fourth of the season. He has at least three interceptions in each of the past six years, the longest active streak in the NFL.

But Diggs has been a “ball hawk,” as Carroll put it, for much longer than that. Smith, a star at West Virginia, remembers facing Diggs, a Texas Longhorn, in college.

Of course, Diggs had at least three interceptions in all but one of his four years at Texas — that’s just what he does … along with being a tremendous leader and teammate.

“That’s something he’s always done,” Smith said. “I’ll go back to our time playing at Texas when we played him. He was one of those players that I was watching on film like, man, you’ve got to watch out for No. 6. He’s carried that throughout his career . He’s a ball hawk. If that ball is in his zone, he’s going to get it. Quandre is one of the best defensive players I’ve played with, but also one of the best teammates I’ve had ever had.”

The heroic nature of Diggs’ ball skills and season-saving interceptions goes beyond the game itself, as Sunday was one day before the one-year mark of his gruesome broken foot and dislocated ankle.

The mishaps throughout the season and against Los Angeles, when coupled with the anniversary of the injury where everything was at stake, made it a moment Diggs won’t soon forget.

“That was probably my favorite interception ever because of the atmosphere and everything that went along with this play and this tackle,” Diggs said. “It was drugs, so all I saw was the ball and I said: “I’m going to take it. I was able to go get it and catch it. I think that’s all that matters.”

Diggs admitted he’s “getting some grief” about the interceptions … but with the game — and the season — on the line, he seized the moment, making perhaps one of the greatest defensive plays in recent Seahawks history.

And for this, he has earned the title of “hero”.

You can follow Daniel Flick on Twitter @DFlickDraft

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