TORONTO, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Quarterback Russell Wilson threw his hat into the ring for NFL rookie of year honors, rushing for three touchdowns and passing for another as the Seattle Seahawks whipped the Buffalo Bills 50-17 on Sunday to close in on a playoff spot.
Coming off a 58-0 blowout of the Arizona Cardinals, the Seahawks (9-5) again flexed their offensive muscles by notching their fifth win in six games to set the pace in the NFC wild card race and keep the pressure on the San Francisco 49ers for top spot in the NFC West division.
While first year quarterbacks Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins Robert Griffin III have garnered all the headlines, Wilson has quietly built a compelling rookie of the year campaign of his own.
Taken in the third round of the draft with the 75th pick, Wilson has outshone his more celebrated rookie rivals the last two weeks as the Seahawks outscored opponents 108-17 to become just the third team to score 50 or more points in consecutive games.
"I believe it hasn't happened (scoring 50 points in consecutive weeks) since 1950, that's tough to do, that's playing great football, that's playing efficient football," Russell told reporters. "Our offense is really explosive right now, we do so many multiple things to attack the defense in terms of throwing the ball, in terms of running and in terms of a couple trick plays here and there and it's hard to stop."
Against the Bills, who were making their annual cross-border visit to Toronto, Wilson showed the mostly Canadian crowd of 40,770 at the Rogers Centre he can get the job done with his strong arm and some fancy footwork, powering his way to 13-, 14- and 25-yard touchdowns in the opening half.
As good as Wilson was Sunday, he has been even better at home becoming the first rookie quarterback to start and win his first six games at home since the NFL and American Football League merged in 1970.
"Thrilled that he's been able to continue to grow and you can see now that we're really playing offense with Russell," praised head coach Pete Carroll. "For a long time we were just trying to get our offense going and not screw it up and then make sure that he could keep going and take positive steps.
"We're way past that now.
"Whatever we're calling we now something good is going to happen and he shows such great poise."
Wilson put on a first-quarter clinic, completing all five of his passes and inflicting more damage on the ground, running for 14- and 25-yard touchdowns as the Seahawks charged in front 14-0.
The Bills answered before the end of the quarter, C.J. Spiller racing around right end for a 14-yard score but it was quickly back to the Wilson show.
The Seattle quarterback flashed a bit of razzle-dazzle to open the second quarter, pitching the ball Marshawn Lynch before taking it back and hitting Golden Tate with a 44-yard play to set up a 19-yard Steven Hauschka field goal.
Wilson then capped a 58-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown strike to Zach Miller before running for his third touchdown of the half to put Seattle ahead 31-7.
Buffalo would end the half with Ryan Fitzpatrick finding Stevie Johnson for a 20-yard touchdown and Rian Lindell chipping in with a field goal.
But after the intermission, it was more of the same as the Seattle defense took over, turning three turnovers in the third quarter into points. (Editing by Gene Cherry)