Instant reaction: Seahawks win opener on the road

September 8th, 2013 | Written by Rob Staton

There’s an old cliche in English football.

“Good teams know how to win ugly”.

I’m not sure how often it’s used across the Atlantic, but it fits tonight.

This wasn’t a classic Seahawks performance. The running game never got going. The defense didn’t pressure Cam Newton enough. There were costly penalties and missed tackles.

And the end product is a big fat W.

In other words, we’ll take it.

Do not underestimate how difficult it was to win this game. Carolina — particularly Cam Newton and the defense — played well. It was a 10am start on the road. It was an out of division opponent at the opposite end of America.

This is the kind of game Seattle usually loses.

Not any more, it seems.

I had some issues with the game plan early on. Seattle’s first play was a five yard run by Marshawn Lynch, followed by two long developing pass plays (both incomplete, one nearly a turnover). On the subsequent drives, Wilson seemed to be throwing a lot. And when I say throwing, I actually mean running for his life.

Establishing the run early seemed to be a solid plan, even if it meant risking an early 3rd and long. Eventually they did turn to the run, but it couldn’t find any momentum. The first half ended well (before the fumble by Wilson) but overall it was a frustrating start.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing of course, but I would’ve liked to see some early run calls leading to play action. It could’ve taken some of the sting out of the pass rush and set the tone. Instead Carolina tee’d off on Seattle’s offensive line and did a good job stuffing the middle when the Seahawks did hand the ball off.

But hey, we’re all great play callers sat on a sofa watching the game. And I’m not one for criticising Darrell Bevell or the offensive staff. I think Bevell is a superb coordinator who receives a lot of undeserved criticism. It was probably a consensus game plan anyway, led by Pete Carroll.

When it clicked Seattle’s passing game looked crisp and explosive. Doug Baldwin was a sensation. His catch on the far sideline from a Wilson ‘hit and hope’ was a genuine momentum changer. He seemed to make numerous third down conversions. This was undoubtedly his finest hour as a Seahawk.

The other receivers chipped in too. Jermaine Kearse made the game winning catch, while Golden Tate and Sidney Rice both contributed. It was a shame not see more of Stephen Williams — the Seahawks tried very little downfield. His one opportunity was a drop, although Wilson slightly overthrew on the pass despite clear separation.

I wasn’t a big fan of the short stuff they tried to force. They did this a bit last year with Golden Tate, but I suspect this is a Percy wrinkle. But Percy isn’t here, yet. So do we need it?

Luke Willson was a non-factor and made a rookie gaffe for a penalty early on. They need him to grow — and learn — quickly.

Last year Seattle fielded the #1 scoring defense and today they conceded just seven points.

Somehow.

After all, Cam Newton was calm and composed and made some plays. The Panthers running game wasn’t as terrible as it has been recently. And bad penalties (eg Michael Bennett) could’ve been costly.

There was no consistent pass rush, just occasional splash plays (a feature of this defense). The linebacker play wasn’t quite as sharp as we’ve come to expect. Richard Sherman dropped a relatively easy interception and Steve Smith didn’t have the nightmare he witnessed against Seattle last season.

And yet somehow, Carolina had just seven points to show for their efforts.

I put it down to the mental toughness of the Seahawks core group on defense. They created a couple of big turnovers and just stayed in there. They kept believing. That’s not to say the lack of pass rush won’t come back to bite down the line, but for now this unit should be credited. Let’s not forget, they were minus Clemons, Browner, Avril and Irvin.

There were a few things that bothered me…

- 109 yards on 9 penalties. This is a major problem.

- Why no Christine Michael? Robert Turbin might be better as a catcher and blocker, but when he had the ball today he just lacked any kind of spark. Michael is all spark. Let’s use him.

- The big issue last year (interior pass rush) is still a big issue. There’s zero improvement on this evidence. And if this area doesn’t improve, Seattle has to get this sorted. If you want the kind of consistent pressure Carolina showed today, you need an inside rush. I spent the entire half time break dreaming of Star Lotulelei in navy blue.

- Seattle’s pass rush depends on role players. I don’t mind that, but can’t help but feel a more conventional four man front might create more consistent pressure with orthodox edge rushers and a decent interior tackle. I’m watching St. Louis right now, and it’s how they roll.

Other NFL week one notes:

– Christian Ponder today vs Detroit: four turnovers. Yuck. And Matt Cassell is the alternative. Double yuck. The Vikings should look for a quarterback next off-season.

– What a rough start for Gus Bradley. The Jaguars did a decent job starting the long rebuild this off-season, but they’re three or four years of good drafting away from contention. Lets hope Bradley gets the time.

– The Pittsburgh Steelers look like a mess. I gave too much credit to Brandon Weeden. The Bengals aren’t as good as everyone thinks (well, A.J. green is) and Baltimore were blown away by Peyton. The AFC North doesn’t look quite so intimidating these days.

– Anyone else genuinely disappointed for Buffalo and E.J. Manuel?

– Tyrann Mathieu might be the most Seahawky player not playing for the Seahawks. His turnover on Jared Cook was pure Seattle.

103 Responses to “Instant reaction: Seahawks win opener on the road”

  1. Colin says:

    I thought the Michael Bennett roughing the Passer was shit. He never touched the face mask. Another example of referees trying to be too safe.

    No Christine Michael was puzzling, but do you trust a rookie in a tight game?

    Once again, Russell Wilson outplayed cam Newton. You have to wonder if Newton really possesses all this ability he’s been credited for. I guess it doesn’t help that Carolina isn’t interested in gathering weapons.

    No read option. They must be holding back for later.

    Good game.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I thought Newton did well today – bad drops were costly early and the Thomas turnover perhaps stops him winning the game. To me that was a much more mature Cam today and he’ll beat a lot of teams this year.

      • Turp says:

        I don’t think Wilson outplayed Cam at all. Pretty even. Cam looked good to me.

        There was that Turbin cutback run – I watched that thinking Michael would of exploded through that and taken it to the house. Why is he not on the field? Talent plays.

        Great win for the team. Ugly or not. Panthers are going to surprise a lot of teams this year, they are solid.

        • Turp says:

          Also, I thought Tate looked fantastic on returns. Never had much room to return and always made positive games. Loved it.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Agreed, I thought Cam looked as mature as we’ve ever seen him. Others let him down today.

          • williambryan says:

            it almost doesn’t make sense. The feeling watching the game was that Cam was playing great… But only 7 points… Wouldn’t be surprised at all if Carolina wins their division. They need another WR though.

            • Lewis says:

              Agreed. Meanwhile I’m still scratching my head trying to figure how Russell Wilson, on a day when the run wasn’t there, there were too many penalties, he was frequently under pressure, made some poor decisions, had some passes dropped, and just never looked comfortable, managed a 115 QB rating.

            • dave crockett says:

              At the game, the feeling was just the opposite. I felt like the fans in Charlotte just knew we were going to win. Even when Seattle was behind it felt like they controlled the second half.

              Two reasons:

              1. Special Teams – Carolina could never really get out of jail. They played backed up a lot, and many of their best offensive plays only got them between the 40s. They didn’t return a single kickoff from Hauschka and Ryan kept flipping the field every time they stopped one of our drives. Those two are real unsung heroes.

              2. Carolina got a bunch of singles but no extra base hits – Cam was composed, but the game plan was ultra conservative. They never really challenged Seattle down the field for explosive plays. Poor field position played a role, but more to the point Seattle played a TON of two deep and allowed underneath completions. Kam (iirc) said it during the week. The defense was going to force Carolina to march the length of the field to score. Carolina almost did until the Williams fumble, but it was his second of the day. He can put it on the ground. Seattle was far less consistent on offense but much, much more explosive.

              3. Carolina had 3 second half possessions – That’s it. Seattle owned the ball for much of the 3rd quarter coming out of the break and then ran out the last 5+ minutes. For as well as Carolina’s front four played they eventually wore down late.

          • Bruce M. says:

            Wilson led his team to the winning touchdown in the 4th quarter. So even without the clear statistical advantage reflected in the two Qbs’ stats, of COURSE he outplayed Newton. That’s what winning Qbs do.

            I don’t dispute that Cam played much better than last year. But he didn’t play well enough to get his team the win.

            • Belgaron says:

              The clear statistical advantage was in total QB yards Wilson vs. Newton.

            • Steven says:

              I’ll be curious to hear how much of Cam’s ineffective passing game can be credited to our pass coverage. Other than Steve Smith, he had all of one pass that even targeted another wide receiver (a 10-yard pass to Ted Ginn, Jr.).

              • Miles says:

                That’s an interesting stat; nice observation. Though he was targeting the tight end a lot. Carolina receiving stat line:

                REC YDS AVG TD LG TGTS
                G. Olsen 5 56 11.2 0 27 10
                S. Smith 6 51 8.5 1 15 8
                D. Williams 3 14 4.7 0 10 3
                T. Ginn Jr. 1 10 10.0 0 10 1
                M. Tolbert 1 -6 -6.0 0 0 1

                • Miles says:

                  Notice 10 targets for Olson. He’ll be a big part of their offense this year and he needs to not drop balls.

          • Belgaron says:

            I’d hold out the declaration that he has matured until he gets down by 2-3 touchdowns in a game. Will he give up or still play at a high level?

            • Rob Staton says:

              I guess we’ll find out, but that’s a tough defense to go up 2-3 touchdowns on.

              • Rugby Lock says:

                That front seven is legit but not as impressed with the secondary. Very good overall Defense though and a good primer for facing the Whiners next week.

                • Belgaron says:

                  I admit they looked good, they have stockpiled some great assets. But Seahawks could have been up 2-3 touchdowns if a few things fell differently, like that 31-yard penalty for throwing out of bounds from the edge of the pocket.

        • chrisW says:

          Yeah. Newton looked sick. If that team can add another target, that offense gonna be a force.

        • Belgaron says:

          Wilson definitely outplayed Cam 320 yards to 125.

          • Colin says:

            I think using passing yards as a measure of how good a QB is, or to compare QB’s is as shallow an argument as you can have (this isn’t a criticism of you specifically). Cam had fairly clean pockets and some push in the run game and got them 125 yards. It seems the justification “he’s matured” is setting the bar really low for a guy who was drafted #1 overall. IMO.

            • Belgaron says:

              There is a big difference when you project these numbers to 16 games. Now it’s only one game and we know that Cam’s career has gone the opposite in his first few years, i.e. tons of yardage and not enough wins. But Wilson was clearly superior today and this statistic is the primary indicator. In other weeks, it will probably be other areas. It was total yards today.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      I read Newton’s performance differently. I thought his passes looked sharp and on target. He looks like he’s definitely operating in a “pass first” mode instead of looking to take off on the run. Remember he was playing behind 2 back up guards so he didn’t have the best protection (which makes Seattle’s utter lack of pressure all the more troubling).

  2. Kenny Sloth says:

    Rob, have you ever been to a Seahawks Home Game?

  3. Colin says:

    Imagine how good Cincinnati would be if they weren’t held back by Andy Dalton. Seems like yesterday we we had to hear about how we missed on Dalton… Haha.

    • Rob Staton says:

      If PC really stopped JS drafting Dalton in round one, nobody can ever call James Carpenter a bust.

      • Kyle says:

        I actually remember jumping up and down, and left to right when Gabe Carimi was still on the board, and our pick came up because I was so sure that we were going to draft the guy that won the “Best OL” (whatever that award is called). Then they said Carpenter, and I said “Huh?”.

        Well, Carimi and Danny Watkins are all but out of the league, and our next pick (Moffit) is gone. It was absolutely clear during that draft that the main focus was going to be the OL. So drafting OLs didn’t make much of a difference, except for one addition:

        Tom Cable.

      • Rugby Lock says:

        Classic!!!

  4. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    The Good:
    3rd down defense. Seattle was finally able to make most of those crucial 3rd down stops that eluded them last year.

    Receivers. Baldwin was totally clutch, Tate picked up right where he left off last year in terms of YAC, Rice had a couple of reassuring recs, Coleman looked good catching out of the backfield, and of course Kearse’s game winning and difficult TD reception.

    James Carpenter. Played almost the entire game and looked solid in pass protection. Run blocking was another story but in a ZBS any single lineman is only as good as the entire unit, so that’s not really on him.

    Winning the close game on the road. Seattle’s 5 road losses last year were by an average of just 4.8 points.

    The Bad:
    Run blocking. Pretty poor overall, even considering the strength of Carolina’s front 7 (and front 4 in particular).

    Early play calling. I don’t know what Bevell was thinking in the first few drives. A complete abandonment of the run game, especially on early play action – there were several play action fakes to Lynch where he ran through huge holes on the right side without the ball.

    Luke Willson. Miscue on the opening drive and then we don’t see him at all for the rest of the game.

    The Ugly:
    Penalties. 9 for 99 yards. That’s just unacceptable and Seattle is very lucky it didn’t cost them a win in a close game like this.

    Misc thoughts:
    Carolina’s D reminds me of both SF and STL – strong front 7, relatively weak secondary. So this game should be good practice for what they can expect to see from those 2 teams.

    Turbin is becoming one of those players I hate to love (or even like). Other than decent pass protection, he was pretty much ineffective as a runner for most of the game – no quickness/speed to beat the defender, no strength to break tackles, no elusiveness to make defenders miss. But then he goes and has one good play that keeps the game winning drive alive and (kind of) redeems himself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad he had that run. But he’s really frustrating to watch otherwise.

    Why no Michael?

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Thanks I appreciate that.

        Watching GB-SF and Boldin is just tearing it up. 10 recs for 143 yds so far and the 3rd qtr just started.

    • Belgaron says:

      I’d put the Seahawks OGs on the bad side. I saw way too many air blocks while Okung, Unger, and Giacomini were trying to block 4 guys between the three of them. Although Giacomini also looked overwhelmed a few times, especially on Wilson’s fumble.

      The Guard spots remind me very much of the QB spot last year. Sweezy was splitting time with the 1st unit through much of the preseason and Carpenter just barely got healthy and still isn’t in fighting shape. The starting offensive line works as a single cohesive unit and needs time to gel. They were not able to do this in the preseason and are now forced to try to get it done in the regular season.

      For that matter, the offensive unit also needs to act as a cohesive group and they are also clearly trying to get on the same page.

    • Darik says:

      On Michael getting no carries/playing time, during the preseason if you listened to interviews with coaches(specifically Sherman and Carroll), they both said that he has to learn more before he gets more playing time. Sherman Smith especially(I think during a radio interview with Softy) said that he is going to have a hard time making the active roster the whole year because he still has problems with pass protection and he often times chooses the wrong hole. What it sounds like is in the preseason he was able to make up for picking the wrong hole just because he is such a gifted runner, but it would cause problems if he were to do so in the regular season. It seems obvious that Michael is a much better runner than Turbin on almost all fronts(ball security?), but until Michael learns those things he won’t get many shots.

  5. Nolan says:

    My game thoughts …

    Running game

    Obviously this was a tough game for us to establish out strength in the run game. I would have like to see us stick with pounding Lynch more often at the beginning of the game because I feel like we could have established it more if we stuck to it. Whil I would have liked to see Christine micheal get some touches I thought turbin had a huge run with his counter play in the 4th quarter that helped seal the win. Russell Wilson looked indecisive a few times when he could have taken off hopefully thats just rust, hesatation could lead to big hits he must be decisive.Overall if we establish the run better early I think we will get to see micheal touch the ball more. Bottom line though we were able to pound the rock for a victory in the end to kill the clock and ensure Newton never got another shot.

    Passing game
    Russle Wilson was sporadic early missing high a few times and not hitting his spots well early. Of course he didn’t get frustrated even when Stephen Williams dropped a deep bomb, and he ends up with over 300 yards and the game winning touchdown throw. Jermane Kearse devlopent from UDFA to practice squad to preseason breakout to legit WR really takes the sting out of missing on Chris Harper. Golden Tate is a human pin ball and is a ton of fun to watch run. Baldwin made the play of the game bailing out Wilson on the sideline and was just generally in the right spot at the right time all game. Sydney Rice made some big plays as well. I wish we would have seen more roll outs like the one were Russell hit Zach Miller on the run in the 4th quarter.

    Defense
    The pressure wasn’t consistent but it was there a little bit, especially after the Kearse touch down. I thought Bennett made a good play on the personal foul but the red thought he hit him in the head. I think this will com along as we get healthier and as the season progresses. We looked okay against the run I thought not good but not terrible. What I love is how this team always goes for the strip on tackles, and tries to put there helmet or fist on the ball when possible turnovers were huge in this game obviously and the d worked hard to find them.

    Special teams
    I thought Golden Tate was great though he kept catching the ball deep which was a lil scary, Chris Margo’s came up with the huge turnover recovery showing great awareness.

    The Hawks pulled one out on the road at 10am despite not having anywhere close to there A game, that’s what championship teams do.

  6. SES says:

    It’s already been said; It was an UGLY win, but it was a WIN, and I’ll take that any week. Having said that here is my instant reaction…

    The O will not be able to get away w/ such a performance very often. Yes, they faced a tough D and were on the road, but they will face more tough D’s again (SF & StL twice each, Houston, for example). Their Guard play is horrible, and as much as I like Bruno’s mentality, he is always good for a sack & penalty. How much of the struggles were because they went w/ Coleman over Mike Rob, is hard to say. However, it is pretty clear that there weren’t a lot of running lanes and that Russ seemed like he was running for his life much of the time.

    And for the D, whether it is because of injuries, suspension, personnel, or scheming, the lack of pressure on the opposing QB is going to kill this team. (Can you say Colin Kappernick)

    Love the ST. You know it’s just a matter of time before Golden breaks a big one for six!

    Just got done watching SF/GB… Next week will tell us a lot; good, or bad.

    • Turp says:

      A little worried about the Niners run game after D-Will got us for 5 YPC, combined with no pass rush on CK. It’s going to be a brutal, tough game. Hope Browner is back, we need his physicality out there to match up with Boldin. Avril would be a huge upgrade as well…crossing fingers.

      • MJ says:

        CK will not get easy completions like he got today. He was throwing to guys with nobody in the same zip code. Our run D is a concern, but I wouldn’t equate what the 49ers did throwing the ball today with what happens next week. GB was terrible today.

        I know everyone wants to panic about today, but the Hawks faced a top notch front 7, on the road at 10am. The 49ers played a home game against a really poor defense who basically sold out to stop the run. CKs stat line was unbelievable, but that was by far the easiest 400 yards I’ve seen a QB get (limited reads, no difficult throws, crazy YAC).

        Don’t get me wrong, this is going to be a war with SF, but I think people are trying to take too much away from week 1. Remember last year before we take week 1 as gospel. Of course, we have to play better, but as Rob said, good teams win ugly. You don’t want to rely on that every week, but sometimes you just have to. This game was clearly one of them.

        • Colin says:

          I agree wholeheartedly.

          I’m not that concerned about next week. SF will probably have a bit of letdown simply because they are coming off a home game against a team they’ve had to hear all offseason will be ready for the read option. That, and the Hawks will play defense, something GB doesn’t do very well.

          We matchup well with those receivers. Boldin won’t be running WIDE OPEN every play like today.

          SF front 7 wasn’t that beastly for the most part either, especially against a line they should have throttled.

          It’ll be a tough game, but I think the Hawks are more than up to taking them down. I don’t feel like we are still looking up at SF.

          • MJ says:

            Right there with ya…

            Our OL and secondary are much better than GBs (despite today’s misstep). Addiotionally, SF ran the ball poorly today. They are a really, really good team, I just don’t want us to do the typical Seattle thing and panic/act like they are this unbeatable machine. Husky fans are doing the same…if you believe this team is as good as everyone says, there’s no reason to be hitting the panic button because of one day of games.

            • Turp says:

              I said a little worried, not panicking ;) C’mon guys!

              Green Bay is a better defense than they played. They were also out two starters in the secondary. Just like I know we are a better team than we played like today.

              I expect the Hawks to really test the Niners secondary. Nmandi got consistently roasted by Jordy Nelson. They don’t have the talent to defend any 4 wide sets we run out there.

              • Michael says:

                This is exactly the kind of game I want to be coming off of when this team starts preparing for the ‘Niners. Humbling enough, but still a victory. I would honestly be more worried about next week if we had demolished the Panthers today.

      • A. Simmons says:

        The team needs to be worried. They better not let Boldin and Vernon make that many explosive plays. The offensive line needs to play better against Frisco.

        • MJ says:

          Considering that GB wasn’t even in the same Zip Code as Boldin…I am not too worried. GBs secondary put in one of the most pathetic displays I’ve seen.

          If you think this team is SB caliber, then there’s no need to worry. If you are worrying, then you must think SEA is not very good. Plain and simple.

        • Troy Trocano says:

          -1st Boldin isnt able get much seperation @ this tage in his career, not a fast WR
          -2nd GB’s secondary is no where close to Seattle’s, cant even compare the two.
          -3rd, As for Vernon Davis, I believe hes going to be more concerned with the LOB. Hearing Kam’s foot steps does something to a WR when trying to catch the ball. If you dont understand go back to last season’s sick ass hit he put on VD. Dude doesnt want anything to do with our secondary.
          -Lastly lets not forget theyre coming to the CLink where shits about to get serious, its going to be so loud that the 9ers offense is more than likly going to have more than their fair share of false starts, delay of games & having to use up time outs.
          Bottom line, Colin Kaepernick is in for a long game. Gore is the player Im most concerned with on that roster period. We have to shut down their run game.

  7. Aaron says:

    Rob,

    I have to ask the question on behalf of the much maligned SDB pro-honey badger contingent: Are you conceding that you may have been wrong about this player? You basically banned the very mention of his name toward the end of draft season (because he was over-hyped/overrated). Now you’re describing him as Seahawky.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      As someone who was pretty bullish on Mathieu, I considered bringing this up, but wasn’t sure. I’m glad you did it for me.

    • Colin says:

      I think Rob just grew tired of hearing about how Mathieu was the guy to bring in to play nickel corner, as if he was the only player out there qualified to do so. In fairness though, I don’t think he was very high on him at all.

      • Miles says:

        I don’t think Rob ever denied Mathieu’s talent. I think he was saying that Mathieu’s lack of maturity is too much of a risk to take a chance on and that he may be successful in the NFL; he would just rather have some other team find out first-hand, not Seattle.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I thought the turnover was very Seahawky. My stance on Mathieu last year was more influenced by the fact it seemed like every day we were talking about him. You can only discuss one man so much. He became the new ‘we need a right tackle!!’ for a time.

      Personally, I would never have drafted him in round three. I’m not convinced the Seahawks would’ve ever done either, despite his style of play. There were just too many question marks off the field for me.

    • A. Simmons says:

      One game does not make a player a hit. Bring this up when he’s been in the league a few years.

  8. Stuart says:

    This is a game we would have lost last season. No matter how you slice it, winning on the road in the NFL is a BFD. Going in I felt it would be a very close game. We won, and held our opponent to only 7 points. Good stuff!

    Just read on NFL.com about SF, “the golden boy.” Does anybody know the status on Avril, Clemons, BB and Hill for next week? We really need them. That is some serious firepower right there.

    • Rugby Lock says:

      I agree on the road win. Seattle has never been a good road team and I for one am hoping this is starting to change.

  9. Turp says:

    I see Rob giving credit where it’s due, regardless of his opinion before.

  10. CC says:

    I thought we could have used a little influx of energy with C-Mike. Petey always talks about explosive plays, and with the exception of the TD throw, we were lacking. Turbo was slow to hit the holes and still gets tripped up too easily for my liking. Obviously, they were taking away the run, but maybe even the fear of some speed would have been nice. Pass rush is again a concern, I hope these guys get healthy for next week.

  11. Sam Jaffe says:

    There’s no doubt that Mathieu is making huge plays. But there never was any doubt that he could do that–even by Rob. The problem with Mathieu on the field is that he blows as many coverages as he makes great plays–And I saw that in today’s game. And of course the bigger problem is off the field–will he keep his sobriety up all year? For the next three years? After he signs the big contract? If he does, then kudos to him. But it’s way too early to be pointing fingers of shame at doubters.

  12. Aaron says:

    Joseph Fauria Watch – Week 1: My man (UDFA) already scored his first NFL TD. He had 12 for UCLA last season. This guy’s gonna be a red-zone assassin at the very least. Don’t know why 32 teams slept on him.

    http://cdn.fansided.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/229/files/2013/09/dance.gif

    • Belgaron says:

      Lions kept Kris Durham as well. He had one catch for 11 yards today.

      • Aaron says:

        Ya. I saw him a little in pre-season. He looked pretty good. The Lions might actually have enough to win that division this year. Reggie Bush looked like he should be wearing Trojan red again. Bears looked tough today against a very good Bengals team though. Even so, I don’t know how much to trust Cutler in this new offense. During pre-season he had a few near interceptions on those quick slants.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Because he can’t block worth a damn. I saw him get laid the f**k out in the run gamme and pass pro.
      Plus he isn’t an athletic freak. If he’s a red zone assassain that is all he will be.

  13. Belgaron says:

    If nothing else, Michael is a perfect guy to sub in in the 4th quarter, maybe when Lynch needs a blow. Michael has the kind of quickness and speed that would make a tired defense look like Keystone Cops. It would be nice to see him get some carries.

  14. Miles says:

    Is it just me or does anyone think the color commentator for the hawks on east coast games, Tim Ryan, has a personal vendetta against the Seahawks where he needs to discount every positive Seahawk play, exaggerate the negative ones, and heap praise on the opposing team?

    I do.

    • SES says:

      Yah. I’ve picked up on that for years now. They are assigned about 6 of the Hawk’s games a year.

    • Colin says:

      It’s ridiculous that we have to listen to them this many times each season.

    • Aaron says:

      I was just coming to that realization myself during this game. I was thinking maybe he went out on a limb and picked the Panthers, so maybe he was secretly rooting for them to win so he’d look smart. But I think you might be right. Seems like a lot of people have a visceral dislike for the Seahawks. Maybe that’s just the mark of a Pete Carroll coached team.

      He’s not one of my favorite analysts, that’s for sure.

      • Miles says:

        It’s not just this game, either. He was assigned to many of our games last year and consistently hated on us. What the fuck is his problem? Color analysts are paid to observe and analyze, not preach their own backwards agenda based on their locational biases.

    • Henrique says:

      Commentators hate is just overblown.

      The problem with them is not that they are too invested in one of the teams or hate the other. It’s just that they don’t know enough about all 32 teams.

      So the guy has to create real time, on air, comments about teams he doens’t know a lot about, except for the info the TV trainees give him.

      Every fan thinks commentators are biased against their team.

      • Miles says:

        That’s valid but I have never thought this about any other analyst. F**k Tim Ryan.

        • Miles says:

          Whether his comments are based on bias or ignorance, he’s still a terrible analyst and I do not enjoy him on Seahawks games at all. In fact I despise it.

          • Miles says:

            He needs to do his research. He couldn’t even pronounce Mayowa’s name right. Sunday was probably the first time he had ever heard of him.

            This is me venting.

    • Rugby Lock says:

      He sure was smoking some Carolina pole…

  15. Rock says:

    I thought we stayed with the running game a little too long. Once we threw the long pass to Williams and then to Kearse, I thought the feel of the game changed. Hitting the long ball for a TD sent the message that we could score quick. Prior to that TD it was strictly a defensive struggle.

    One sack for the whole game is not that disappointing when you consider how many pass rushers are on the bench. It is hard to judge the interior rushers when we field no threat from the DE position. Still, our secondary controlled things without a rush. That is a good omen.

    • Rugby Lock says:

      Yeah, I for one am eager to see how this secondary performs when they have a real consistent pass rush. Should be fun.

  16. Miles says:

    Can we re-sign Michael Robinson now, please? He visited the Titans last week and apparently they didn’t want him. I wonder how much our run game missed him week one.

    • Brian says:

      I think they want to go with more single back formations. And numerous teams have been successful running that way. (See Peterson, Adrian) If we want Rice, Tate and Harvin on the field that requires us to drop either a tight end or a fullback.

      “Why no Christine Michael? Robert Turbin might be better as a catcher and blocker, but when he had the ball today he just lacked any kind of spark. Michael is all spark. Let’s use him.”

      Maybe they are using touches as a carrot to encourage more growth as a blocker?

      • Belgaron says:

        I’d watch for them to make Carpenter/Sweezy the 1st unit starters and really working with the unit to become cohesive and block the right guys. Offensive lines need reps together to get the kinks worked out. Their play will improve the more time they get.

        Rob is a great player but they probably won’t bring him back unless they have some injuries (knock on wood).

  17. CC says:

    It also seemed like when Bevell called the quick hits, that put the D back on their heels. I would have like to see a few more “spread offense” type calls with such an agressive D. Getting the ball out of RW’s hands quickly seems to help him get focused. I think sometimes he is trying to make the big plays that he forgets about making a play. I’m a big RW fan, but he’s holding the ball a bit much for my liking.

    • James says:

      Our O Line was much maligned (deservedly so), for failure to establish the run, but Carolina had a good scheme, with 8 in the box, knowing that Pete would stubbornly stick to his game plan (a’la @ Arizona, @ Miami, @ St Louis, @ Detroit, ad nauseum, last year.) If the Seahawks had come out more wide open, as they did the last few games last year, it would have found huge gaps in the Panthers D. That said, however, I doubt anyone can run on Carolina as long as Kuechley is at Mike LB. He is already the very best in the NFL, much as I love B-Wagz, but Luke is tops by a mile. He frees his D line to apply pressure knowing he will mop up any RB that gets past them.

      • Colin says:

        Well, Seattle did throw the ball ALOT in the first half, so your point about finding “huge gaps” really isn’t so. The Panthers had good pressure all day.

        • James says:

          My view is that the Seahawks did find gaps and moved the ball very well when they loosened up the offense, but then made crucial mistakes, penalties, turnovers, that cost them a couple of TDs. The scheme did find the gaps, but the execution was lacking.

  18. Austin says:

    My thoughts on the game.

    I thought Wilson was a little off mentally but played exeptionally well considering. He was rushed all day and still did what he needed to do. Looked a little rusty but that tends to happen week 1 on the road at 10 am against a top 3 front seven. Won’t happen next week.

    I hate attacking Bevell because I think he does a great job. I do wish he went with the deep ball a little more often.

    Defense isn’t getting enough credit. We were without 4 starters and still gave up single digit points.

    We need Browner next week against Boldin next week and hopefully either Avril or Clemons can go.

  19. James says:

    Despite the best scoring D in the league last year, the consensus was that too many games were lost in the 4th quarter when the D could not get a key stop. The belief was that better nickel CB play, and better pass rush, would fix the problem that replayed over and over against Arizona, Miami, St Louis, Detroit, etc, and even Atlanta. In all these games, the offense was slow to start due to a very predictable scheme that allowed the opponents to load the box. Finally, Russell Wilson would get a score in the 4th qtr to take the lead, only to have the D allow a drive at the end of the game for the loss. This was playing out almost exactly the same against the Panthers, as Newton was moving down the field to take the lead in the late 4th qtr after RW had led a scoring drive. The difference this time was not improved pass rush, but great individual play by Sherman and Thomas to force the fumble to save the game. Let’s hope that the D can continue to find a way to pull it out on the road, until a pass rush is somehow found to end these 4th qtr drives against us.

  20. Austin says:

    I think there is hope. The 3 best pass rushers we have weren’t playing yesterday. Clemons, Avril and Irvin make a huge difference and completely change this defense when they come back.