Is that repeatable?
Social media is awash with emotive comments today from Pete Carroll, discussing the meaning of a win against Russell Wilson and bringing back certain ex-players who may or may not have had beef with Wilson in the past.
It certainly appears the Seahawks put a lot into winning this game.
After all — it’s not like they can trot out Marshawn Lynch and co. again for the Falcons game. Having the older players hang around during practise was undoubtedly inspiring — but it’s also something that won’t have endless value.
Then there was the crowd — whipped into a frenzy for Wilson’s return, not so subtly nudged along by Carroll and the non-stop media talk of whether booing the returning quarterback was the right thing to do.
People at the game have talked about it being louder than it has been in Lumen Field in years.
All of this contributed to the victory. I do wonder, though, whether that same energy and vibe can stretch into the upcoming home contests against Atlanta, Arizona and the New York Giants.
Can the team play at the same intensity level when there’s less hoopla around the opponent? Can the fans be as vociferous?
At times, yesterday, the Seahawks looked to have found the physical edge they’ve been seeking for years.
It can’t be a flash in the pan saved for Russell Wilson and Denver, though. It has to show up again next week. That might be harder when you’re 1-0. San Francisco, losers in week one to Chicago, can’t afford to overlook Seattle. They’ll be on it. The Seahawks will be taken more seriously in the media, in the bleachers and on the field in week two.
The next two games will be a fascinating study point.
It also has to be said — they’ll need to be better in certain aspects.
As brilliantly as Geno Smith played in the first half, he was 6/10 for 31 yards and a turnover in the second half. Is he capable of reaching the highs of the first half without the lag of the second? Is there, at worst, a happy medium between the two halves to be found against San Francisco?
Can they continue to force turnovers? Or were the two goal-line fumbles — akin to a football lottery win — a freakish occurrence that played as big a part as anything on a night that ended with a one-point win?
Will opposing Head Coaches continue to make totally nonsensical decisions over when to attempt game-winning field goals?
Can you afford to concede a 433-253 yardage split and win many games in the NFL?
Can the running game thrive unless Geno Smith continues to play like he did in the first half to keep the offense honest?
I wish it was Sunday already to start answering some of these questions. I’m eager to learn about this team. I want to know if Monday was a performance for the occasion (and I predicted a Seahawks win against Denver because of the occasion) or was it a sign of a rekindling of the ‘we all we got, we all we need’ attitude that served the team so well in the first go-around?
Was this more about ‘beat Russell Wilson at all costs’ or was it indicative of a team that has found its mojo again?
Don’t overreact to individual college games
I’ve seen some sniffy reviews of Will Levis’ performance against Florida and Bryce Young’s display against Texas on Saturday.
Here’s something to remember…
— In Patrick Mahomes’ final year at Texas Tech he had a run of six straight games with an interception. He lost seven games in total. He had 25 interceptions in his last two seasons in college.
— In Andrew Luck’s final year at Stanford he ended with a run of six straight games with an interception. He lost two games in his final year despite playing on a loaded Stanford team. He had eight games with 256 passing yards or fewer.
— Josh Allen had 21 interceptions in his final two years in college. He had a completion percentage of just 56.3%. He had three games in 2017 with sub-100 passing yards and he started his final season with six picks in his first seven games.
Speaking of Allen — the front-runner to be MVP this year — here’s PFF’s scouting report on him before the 2018 draft:
The first thing usually mentioned about Allen is his size, arm and athleticism, but he needs work on the important things like accuracy and decision-making. His high-end plays are spectacular as he can create downfield opportunities with his arm, but he must improve in the short game and cut down on his turnover-worthy plays. There’s an offense to be built around Allen’s skillset, but his great velocity is overrated unless he improves his accuracy, touch and willingness to work efficiently in the quick game. Allen showed plenty of promise with an 84.7 overall grade in 2016, but he regressed to only 73.1 last season.
— Finally, Russell Wilson. He had 25 interceptions in his final two years at NC State. He never had a completion percentage above 60% at NC State. He had 11 games at Wisconsin where he threw 255 yards or fewer — including six sub-200 yard games. He also lost three games in his final season at Wisconsin.
None of the top quarterbacks eligible for 2023 have to be flawless. They just need to show well in the right areas — physical traits, processing, mechanics, footwork, leadership, an ability to elevate and lift their teams, accuracy and the ability to extend plays when necessary.
And to bring it back to Levis and Young:
— Levis just helped Kentucky record back-to-back wins against Florida for the first time since 1976/77. He’s 12-3 as a starter for the Wildcats. In the 10 seasons before he arrived in Kentucky, they averaged 5.6 wins a season.
— When the game was on the line, Young (the reigning Heisman Trophy winner) had enough about him to pull one out of the bag. Alabama were poor against Texas and for three quarters, so was Young. Until it mattered — and he won them the game.
BYU’s Jaren Hall shows well
I don’t think Hall is destined to be an early pick. People complain about Will Levis’ age but Hall is a year older than Levis. There are some moments where he throws into tighter windows where I just think he lacks that top-level arm strength to really fire it into good coverage. I do think his ceiling is lower than some other quarterbacks in college football.
That said, his performance against Baylor was also very impressive. I watched it on Monday and saw a handful of real quality throws, some good athleticism to extend plays and move around and he clearly lifts and elevates his team.
I like his throwing base, he’s generally accurate and while he lacks great size and traits — he does actually play like a point guard. There were some throws to the sideline where, dare I say it, his throwing velocity, release and touch did look a lot like Russell Wilson at Wisconsin. He can drop the football into difficult areas of the field with great touch at times.
Pete Carroll name-dropping Justin Hebert, Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes earlier today on 710 makes me think this team is going to have its heart set on one of the big, physically impressive QB’s eligible for 2023. I’m not only going to focus on those players, however. Hall — if nothing else — carries some mid-round intrigue and I look forward to watching him play again soon.
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