I gotta admit it. Going into this game, I was a bit nervous. It wasn’t so much about Seattle losing badly to the Rams the previous week. It wasn’t even that they would be playing without defensive ends Jadeveon Clowney and Ziggy Ansah, and without linebacker Mychal Kendricks. No, my big concern was squarely on the fact Seattle would be playing without cornerback Shaquill Griffin, who one could argue had been Seattle’s best defender all season long.
I was nervous that those kind of losses on the defensive side would mean that Seattle would have to likely win a high scoring battle. Heading into the fourth quarter, I started to feel the unfamiliar comfort that Seattle would handily win this game, especially after Chris Carson willed a fourth and short run into about a ten yard rumble into the end zone for a touchdown that put Seattle up 30-10. This is when I started to breathe easily.
Then it happened. With about 7 minutes left to go, Seattle had their star middle linebacker, Bobby Wagner, leave the game with a twisted ankle, and the Panthers marched to a WAY too easy touchdown scoring drive. I won’t recite everything that happened afterwards, but Seattle would go onto clinch another road victory, winning 30-24.
The final score made this game feel much closer than it actually was, but that probably isn’t going to make many nervous Twelves feel any better.
These 2019 Seattle Seahawks are what they are. Just like how the Star Wars Mandalorian can never take off his helmet to show his face, the 2019 Seattle Seahawks cannot cleanly win a game. Seemingly every week, they must find ways to make it an adventure. This is their way.
Yet here they are, 11-3, and because the San Francisco 49ers just lost to the Atlanta Falcons, and the Los Angelese Rams got their butts kicked by the Dallas Cowboys, they are now on top of the NFC division. In short, the playoff bound Seattle Seahawks are now even more in control of their own destiny to win their division, and earn a first round bye. Imagine that.
But let’s get into this game.
The Seahawks needed a good game from their best players on the offense, and they got just that. Russell Wilson returned to his efficient MVP worthy self, passing for 286 yards and 2 TDs. Chris Carson ran hard for 133 yards and two scores, and was the player of the game for me. But perhaps the best news was that Tyler Lockett was finally fully back from injury and the flu, catching 8 passes for 120 yards and a score. Seattle needs the three headed monster of Wilson, Carson and Lockett to be at their best heading into the playoffs and that is exactly what they were in this game. Bravo.
Other offensive players also had solid outings. DK Metcalf had a couple nice catches and a pretty touchdown grab, Tight end Jacob Hollister continued to play effectively, and the prettiest play of the game was Josh Gordon’s beautiful 58 yard catch against tight coverage.
Defensively, things were spotty but credit Seattle for adjusting to Carolina’s misdirection plays, and screens.
Linebackers Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright had key interceptions. One could argue that KJ was the player of the game with two interceptions.
I thought defensive tackles Poona Ford and Jarran Reed each had good games.
Second year defensive end Rasheem Green got a critical sack and now quietly leads the team in sacks with 4. Seattle’s pass rush has not been good this year, but at least one of their recently drafted players is showing some positive production.
Michael Dickson had a solid game punting the ball inside Carolina’s ten yard line multiple times.
The Los Angeles Rams got their butts handed to them by the Dallas Cowboys and their playoffs chances are now slim.
The San Fransisco 49ers lost to the Atlanta Falcons 29-22 in a wild finish, and Seattle now takes the lead in the NFC West.
Seattle’s inability to get out of it’s own way at times. I will just list a few examples.
On a silly trick play that had Josh Gordon passing deep on a hand off, he tossed up a dumb interception in double coverage. Seattle was handily winning this game and probably didn’t need gadget plays to beat this bad Panther defense, yet this play happened.
Also on offense, Seattle had multiple holding penalties, delay of game, illegal motions, and yet they were able work themselves out of it. Against a quality defense, this could have been disastrous on the road.
The worst of it for me was CJ Prosise’s fumble that happened inside the last couple minutes of the first half deep in Seattle’s own territory. Fortunately because former Seahawk Bruce Irvin touched his foot, it was called back. Had it not, Seattle could have been in more trouble in this match than they needed to be.
Seattle lost free safety Quandre Diggs in the middle of the game to an ankle sprain that might have him out for a while. This could be a huge blow to the team as they head down the final stretch because Diggs had been playing great ball, and that has helped settle down their struggling defense. Fingers are crossed that they will have him for the playoffs.
Seattle also lost Bobby Wagner late in the game to an ankle sprain, but right now it is not sounding like it is as bad as the one to Diggs. Fingers are crossed that this won’t keep him out much, if at all. Seattle can ill afford to loss their defensive leader if they want to make a deep playoff run.
Seattle is now 11-3 and are even more in control of their own destiny wining the NFC West division, and securing a first round bye. If it wasn’t for the fact that the San Francisco 49ers are also having dynamic year, I think many more Seattle fans would probably feel much better about this team. Seattle isn’t winning most of their games by wide margins like the 49ers are, and they got beaten handily by both the Ravens and the Rams, and I think these are the dark clouds that loom for a lot of Twelves, which is a shame because Seattle is a really good team this year, and they deserve this 11-3 record.
While I believe that Seattle is possibly another year away from being a more proper title contender, I will say that there is still a lot in front of them to have a special season this year. If they get Jadeveon Clowney, Mychal Kendricks, and Ziggy Ansah back healthy on the defense, that could a huge boost for them heading into the playoffs.
It probably doesn’t feel like it because Seattle didn’t blow out the Panthers on the road, but this can still be a very special season for this team this year. Seattle needed this win, they got this win, and in the end, style points don’t much matter. Ask Cleveland Browns fan how they are feeling this year, or even Rams fans as it now feels like their team is now on the outside looking in for the playoffs.
Personally, I think there is a lot to be grateful for being a Seattle Seahawk fan. I know I am, and I think you should be, as well.