The Seahawks played far from a perfect game in Carolina. There were some errors, injuries and a needlessly nervous ending.
What should’ve been a Sunday saunter end up being a brisk walk.
That said, they needed to win this game and next week’s game against Arizona to set up a NFC West Championship decider against the Niners.
Regardless of the manner of this victory — it’s one down and one to go.
The Seahawks waltzed to an early lead and were never under any real pressure. They should’ve buried Carolina. It set up a complacent finale. They needed a desperate, bare-knuckle offensive drive to prevent the Panthers launching a comeback from a 30-10 deficit.
By this stage though, do you really care about any of this? Is anyone really holding out hope that suddenly, 15 weeks into the season, the Seahawks are going to become clean and efficient? Winning in weird and wonderful (and stressful) ways has been the story of the 2019 season.
They’re two more wins away from equaling a franchise record for regular season wins. They’ve already set a franchise record on the road (7-1).
They also won without Jadeveon Clowney, Ziggy Ansah, Mychal Kendricks and Shaquill Griffin. They lost Quandre Diggs during the game. There was a huge scare when Bobby Wagner had his knee and ankle bent backwards. What a relief to see him walk off the field relatively easily.
With this long injury list on defense, any kind of win was good enough — even if the ending was a little bit too close for comfort.
On the positive side the Seahawks ran and passed well on offense despite some inefficient drives after an early scoring tear. The defense forced three turnovers (and could’ve had more). They had some luck on two potential fumbles — but they were due a bit of fortune there.
On the negative front, for the second week in a row they struggled with motion and sweeps. The 49ers will have noticed that and it’s something they’re particularly good at. The Seahawks have a fortnight to try and work something out. Unfortunately, the Niners also have two weeks to cook up some creative ways to exploit this weakness.
We’ll need to see how serious Diggs’ and Wagner’s injury’s are. They, along with Clowney, are absolutely vital for the Seahawks to be at their competitive best in week 17 and beyond.
They also need Kendricks back. Cody Barton has struggled in every game he’s played in so far. Being violently stiff-armed by Kyle Allen in the fourth quarter was a review of the rookie growing pains he’s experiencing.
I might finish by noting the way they almost threw away a 20-point lead and needed a scramble drill clincher from Russell Wilson to Tyler Lockett to avoid giving Carolina an opportunity to complete the comeback. The Seahawks were lacklustre at the end. Again though — this is who they are. This is who they’re going to be.
They’ve overachieved to get to 11-3. They’re in the mix for the #1 seed. If they have two more ridiculous, unnecessarily tense victories they may well secure homefield advantage against the odds.
By now it’s simply time to let the rest of this tune play out.
You can now support Seahawks Draft Blog via Patreon by clicking the tab below.