Just when you think you’ve seen just about every improbable and clutch catch that Jermaine Kearse could make, the Seahawks’ third-year wide receiver comes up with his juggling-act-while-on-back grab in Super Bowl XLIX.
Friday is Kearse’s 25th birthday, and it’s pretty easy to come up with what to get him: More space on his highlight reel of catches that he has made in the past two seasons.
There was the 35-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson in overtime to win the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers last month. There was his 63-yarder for a TD in the divisional playoff game against the Carolina Panthers the week before. There was his pinball TD catch in the Super Bowl last year, where he spun from and bounced off four defenders to score a 23-yard TD in the Seahawks’ 43-8 victory over the Denver Broncos. There was his 35-yarder in the fourth quarter for what proved to be the game-winner in the NFC Championship against the San Francisco 49ers last season – on fourth-and-7, no less.
But Kearse somehow controlling that 33-yard pass from Wilson that was tipped by Patriots’ cornerback Malcolm Butler to put the Seahawks in position to win the game was off the charts – as well as off Kearse’s leg and hand.
“I was watching it the whole time,” said Kearse, who was born in Lakewood and played at Lakes High School and the University of Washington before joining the Seahawks as a rookie free agent in 2012. “So as I was falling back, I was kind of aware of where the ball was. So I was trying to keep it in range for me to be able to come down with it.”
Also watching was the player who threw the pass.
“It’s a game of inches, it’s a game of making a play or not making a play,” Wilson said. “Just like Kearse made the phenomenal catch.”
So we send only the happiest of birthday wishes to Kearse on his special day, with hopes that he continues to find ways to come up with all his special plays.