Approaching a four-game run against the NFC East and the lowly Jets — only two things mattered. Winning and staying as healthy as possible.
This was far from a memorable performance but it doesn’t matter. At this point, the victory is enough.
The two main highlights are clear.
The defense, after weeks of toil, have a formula now to force sacks. Carlos Dunlap has elevated the performance of the pass rush tremendously and you can see other players answering the call. So many people were active up front — the defensive tackles and Rasheem Green in particular.
The blitz is now a complement rather than a desperation policy to create ‘any’ pressure. The whole defense looks better as a consequence.
It’s reaching the minimal level they needed to find. There are still a few too many third down conversions and missed tackles. The Hail Mary at the end was mildly irritating and very ‘Seahawks’. There’s still a lot of work to do.
The unit wasn’t at all an embarrassment though, like it was earlier in the season.
The opponent was rancid too. They are a three-win team after all. It shouldn’t get any trickier against Colt McCoy next week. Building momentum is important for this unit though. They need belief. They need to feel and experience success. They need to connect. We’ve seen some of that recently.
I also think as a consequence the two old war horses are looking so much better. Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright are looking superb again. That’s the beauty of a better D-line too.
The other great positive was D.K. Metcalf. The Seahawks fed him the ball and he flashed the kind of qualities — against a really good cornerback in Darius Slay — that legitimately place him among the NFL’s best.
His ability to get downfield at his size is remarkable. Yes — he will have some drops. The one in the end zone tonight was pretty frustrating. However, you can live with it on a 177-yard night. He now leads the NFL in receiving yards and it feels like there’s more to come.
Praise is long overdue in an instant reaction post for the kicker Jason Myers — who again nailed all of his kicks. He is having a terrific season, as is the entire special teams unit.
The game was unnecessarily close thanks to a cluster of errors.
The playcalling on the two early fourthdown’s was suspect. A tricky play to a clearly not 100% David Moore and a play that relied on a pick to open up the only target on the design was a disappointing selection.
Overall the offense seemed a bit off aside from Metcalf. Everything felt ordinary and predictable today — Wilson, the running game. Thank goodness for big #14.
Metcalf had the drop that could’ve finished things earlier but a great Carlos Hyde touchdown was also called back on an unnecessary hold by Cedric Ogbuehi.
Third downs continue to be a problem. The Seahawks were just 2-10 on offense and gave up 8-17 on defense.
Thankfully the opponent took a full half to get going and towards the end, when it made perfect sense to kick a field goal to make it a one-score game, the Eagles sent out Carson Wentz to throw a horrendous interception.
The Seahawks will have to play a lot better than this in the tougher games ahead but it’s worth saying again — the key in this game and the next three is to win and survive injuries to set up the NFC West double header to end the regular season.
If you missed my article on Richard Sherman earlier, you can read it here.
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