Down to the wire.
This could easily be the theme of the 2019 Seattle Seahawks. They are incredibly resilient, and, at times, incredibly fortunate. They are marvelously talented at certain spots, and wildly undermanned at others. They are three parts wondrous, frustrating, and oddly inspiring.
And because they have Russell Wilson as their quarterback, and Pete Carroll as their head coach, they will be almost always in their matches even if it doesn’t look pretty, and don’t ever expect it to look pretty. Just erase that expectation out of your mind, and enjoy them for what they are.
Much will be made about the 17-9 final score mimicking the same final score against these Philadelphia Eagles roughly over a month ago. It’s wildly rare for this to ever happen. I don’t think it has ever happened, in fact.
But this is the 2019 Seattle Seahawks, and they own a 26th ranked defense has had problems rushing the passer and stopping the run all year, and yet, somehow, has been near tops in the league in creating turnovers. How does a defense even do that? The only way that I can even answer that is that a wildly weird one does.
Yeah, this is the 2019 Seattle Seahawks, and on a day in which they were down to only two healthy starters on their offensive line, and couldn’t run against the Eagles monstrous defensive line led by Fletcher Cox, Seattle found a way to win by putting the ball into the hands of their best player, quarterback Russell Wilson, and he delivered.
Here is my breakdown.
Seattle needed an MVP level performance by Russell Wilson to win against this defense. They weren’t going to be able to run on it. Under pressure much of the time, Wilson delivered one of his signature magical efforts. He threw darts that are hard to make under pressure. He was especially a monster on play action. Someone asked me why Seattle was continuing to run Travis Homer inside for near negative yards, well I think we can now see why. Russell Wilson killed the Eagles with play action. On top of that, he was Seattle’s leading rusher. This is why Seattle paid him the big dollars. I repeat. This is why Seattle paid him the big dollars.
Rookie receiver DK Metcalf had an equally amazing game. In fact, he broke a franchise record for receiving yardage during a playoff game. If this dude stays healthy throughout his career, he is going to be an absolute beast to defend. His size and speed is incredibly rare, and the Eagle corners simply could not compete with it. I had a feeling that Seattle could exploit them. DK Metcalf broke into their homes, ate all their food, and made them do the dishes.
Defensively, rookie linebacker Cody Barton had his best game in his young career, and he picked a heck of a time to step up his game. He was a force against the run, and pass, and he even got in on a early sack on Carson Wentz. This is a big positive for the Seahawks moving forward, in my opinion.
Jadeveon Clowney took the game over on the defensive line. A lot of others earned sacks, but Clowney was the constant disrupting force, and he reminded us once again why Seattle might be wise to spend the top dollars to hang onto him. His talent is also incredibly rare.
Defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson also had a great game disrupting the passing game and gathering two sacks. For all the talk of Seattle needing to extend Clowney and Jarran Reed, I kinda think Q Jeff has more than made a case for himself as to why Seattle should look to lock him up. Honestly, I think I might take him over Reed if I had to choose between the two, and I like Reed a lot as a player. Great game from Number 99 in this one.
Safety Bradly McDougald had a beast of a game leading the team in tackles, and getting a sack.
DK Metcalf wasn’t the only receiver to step up. David Moore also made a couple critical catch and runs, and Tyler Lockett was his usual effective self.
Marshawn Lynch’s vintage Beastmode touchdown run nearly brought tears to my eyes. Just beautiful thing watching him will himself to a score, and inspiring.
Finally, for being an incredibly undermanned unit, I thought the offensive line did a pretty serviceable job pass protecting Russell Wilson, and holding a considerably more talented Eagle defensive line to only one sack. They couldn’t open holes in the run game, but they gave Wilson time to make the deep throws. Bravo.
For all the good in this game, there were still too many times when Seattle simply could still not get out of the way of itself, especially on offense. With an undermanned offensive line, it did not help when Germaine Ifedi and tight end Jacob Hollister created false starts. Ifedi has been a false start nightmare all season long. I would love for him to play a clean game against the Packers. Seattle needs this from him.
For as good as the defense was in this match, they allowed a forty year old backup quarterback to drive on them after they knocked Carson Wentz out of the game. Detractors are probably going to point to this fact this week.
Tre Flowers was beat twice in coverage and drew pass interference plays both times. He has been enjoying a solid year, but this may not have been his best game.
I don’t like to root for injury. I felt bad about Carson Wentz being knocked out of the game with the helmet hit Clowney put on him as he was chasing him down. I don’t believe it was anything intentional by Clowney, and you want him to make the quarterback feel his hit, but you don’t ever want to see another head injury in this game. I feel for Philly fans on this one.
Does Seattle have enough to beat the Packers in Green Bay next week?
If they can get Duane Brown and Mike Iupati back on the left side on the offensive line, I think so. They will need put continue putting the ball into the hands of their best player, Russell Wilson, and allow him the chance to win it. Additionally, Seattle’s defense must play similarly to the effort they played with against the Eagles, and maybe even better.
Regardless of what might lay ahead next weekend and beyond, this was great playoff win against these Eagles. A great, gritty, tough win.
This is what I really think this team is. They are not the most talented team. Their warts are big, especially on their defense, but their heart is big, as is their will. Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, Bobby Wagner, and KJ Wright are all holdovers from those Super Bowl teams, and they are players that can will this team to do things beyond what their talent suggests. So can Jadeveon Clowney.
I’m proud of this team. Damn proud.
Can they beat the Packers next Sunday?
I say heck yeah they can. It just might not be pretty, and if they do, bet on it coming down to the wire.