Thoughts About the Seattle Seahawks’ Wild Wackly Weird Road Win Against the Philadelphia Eagles

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles

Rashaad Penny to the rescue!

Good lord in Heaven. I love football. I do. I’m addicted to the dynamics, the explosive plays on offense, and the bone crushing plays on defense. I love the drama, and in that, the straight up weirdness that can come out of that drama. Against these Eagles, Seattle had one of the weirdest games I’ve seen in a while. When their usual stars struggled, and other stars not playing at all, unlikely heroes stepped up and emerged. For me, this is what makes football fun.. as long as my team wins.

Let’s get into it.

The Good

For back to back games, the defense stepped up, and has outplayed the offense. Prior to the game against the 49ers, it had been a season’s long worth of the opposite. Yes, I know it was against the struggling Eagles offense, but lesser teams have given this defense fits earlier in the season. Also, this Seattle defense was without it’s best pass rusher in Jadeveon Clowney. I was heading into this game thinking I could be in for a bit of an offensive shootout between Carson Wentz and Russell Wilson, but the reality couldn’t have been more opposite. The Seahawk defense harassed Wentz all day, forced fumbles, and interceptions, and came up with sacks without Clowney, and after the first quarter, without their other top defensive lineman, Jarran Reed.

Ziggy Ansah finally had a strong game, generating 1.5 sacks.

Rasheem Green had a fantastic game getting a strip sack, dependable additional pressure on Wentz and a really nice tackle for a loss holding containment on a outside stretch play. It’s really important for this team to see contributions like this from Green moving forward. They need young defenders to emerge, and on this day, Green did that.

Other defensive linemen played big. Reed brought pressure and collected half a sack before he got injured. Al Woods was a monster inside, and Poona Ford was active. Quinton Jefferson had a strong game, and Shaquem Griffin forced a fumble rushing off the edge. This unit played really well together.

Seattle’s starting trio at linebacker all played strong, and Mychal Kendricks might have had his best game yet.

Seattle’s secondary had an awesome game, creating three turnovers. The starting safety  tandem of Quandre Diggs and Bradley McDougald played fierce.

Russell Wilson did not have his best game, but had a beautiful flea flicker deep touchdown pass to Malik Turner, and Turner is starting to look like one of his more dependable receivers.

Michael Dickson had a superb game punting the ball, and Ugo Amadi pairing with him downing it twice at the Eagle’s one yard line. Big underlined story in this tough road win.

All things being equal, though, the real star of the game was second year running back Rashaad Penny. He’s been a bit of a target for fan scorn lately, and I’ve always thought that was a bit unfair. Today, he was the spark that pretty much saved the game for Seattle. His electricity as an open field runner is undeniable. I have a sneaking suspicion that we are about to see more of him down this final stretch for five games. We will get into the reasons a bit more.

The Bad

Seattle did not get an MVP level performance from Russell Wilson today. He wasn’t helped by bad drops from DK Metcalf, and bad pass protection from Joey Hunt and others, but when he missed a WIDE OPEN Jacob Hollister in the end zone, I started to get a sinking feeling. That’s a pass he has got to make. No excuses. I will however, kind of almost excuse the interception he threw because it was punched out of the hands of David Moore, and floated up in the air for an easy grab, but even with that, one could easily argue that perhaps he forced that ball into coverage that he shouldn’t have.

DK Metcalf, as mentioned, had a rough day dropping a couple deep passes he should have grabbed. He’s young and will get better, but those are grabs he should make if his ceiling as a player is a high one.

At various times, the offensive line could not get out of the way of itself. Multiple false starts was the main culprit. At one point, veteran Left Tackle Duane Brown went ballistic on the sidelines after a horrendous series that featured two false starts, a delay of game and a Russell Wilson INT. As bad as that all was, it was fun to see Brown take leadership, and chew tail. Go Hawks.

Chris Carson had an awful day running the ball.. again. It’s hard to criticize this guy because he offers so much as a tough guy fighting for yards and making circus catches, but folks, I think it is safe to say that he has a fumbling issue. After today, I think we can say this. In all my years of following football, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a player fumble like that on back to back plays. It could have cost us this game. If I am Pete Carroll, I’m not taking the ball away from him, but I am going to the well with Penny more in these final five games. Is it possible that Carson is just too taxed out in all the ways he has been used?

The Ugly

Jarran Reed was having a great game, but got his ankle rolled on by Ziggy Ansah. My fingers are massively crossed that he is not seriously injured. His strong play at defensive tackle is a huge benefit to the defenders around him, and the defense noticeably started to struggle against the run when he was no longer on the field.

Moving Forward

Seattle is 9-2 with this win, and are still firmly in a dog fight for the division title with San Francisco. In the end, that is really what we can take away from this game, and honestly, it is fantastic news. Yes, this was an ugly and weird game that Seattle won 17-9, but it should also be noted that New England also had a rather ugly weird match against these Eagles last week which they barely won.

I actually think Seattle played the Eagles a bit better than the Pats. Had Russell connected with Hollister for that easy touchdown, and had DK Metcalf managed to haul in that long bomb from Russell, Seattle probably would have more easily handled this desperate Eagle team.

So, from this perspective, I actually see more signs of encouragement about Seattle as a playoff team moving forward. Today they needed to find ways to win when their best player was not at his best, and they did. Three games ago, against Tampa, this would probably not have been the case. Good teams find ways to win when their best players aren’t at their best.

Seattle is feeling more and more like a pretty darn good team. Are there still issues? Yes, but every team has it warts, and Seattle is no different.

I also think it is really cool that Seattle is now 6-0 on the road this year. This is a pretty important stat to keep in mind.

A win is a win is a win is a win.

A win is a win.

Go Hawks.


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