I'm probably not the only one that feels this way, but the 31-14 victory was hands-down my favorite Seahawks game of the year. Even though the CLink wasn't full, with an attendance of just over 62,000, it was alive early. Under the lights, the sound of the Blue Thunder reverberating through out, boos long before kickoff; it was primetime. Despite being emptyish early, the anticipation was in the stadium. The fact that the Seahawks went 2-0, Beastquake style in primetime at home last season doesn't hurt either.
Given that this was national television there were no coin toss tussle this week, but the raising of the 12th man flag was total chaos. Per Danny, on the radio call, Steve Raible gave the "one of the greatest of all time..." teasers, twice, but then never announced who raised the flag, distracted.
Well, it was Bill Russell, and his 11 NBA Championship rings; a sports icon that would get this crowd going. Except, I'm not even sure I watched him raise the flag, because Leon was receiving the kickoff during the intro and then somehow, the Seahawks got forced into starting the game as we crowd went loud. It would have been nice if Golden Tate remembered he was getting his first start and this game started as usual, 12th man flag and then the kick. Yeesh this was an ugly, weird start to what turned out to be a good game.
After a horrible three and out, the defense came out in a 3-4 - which got me going - and harassed Vince Young into giving us another chance, forcing the first of his four interceptions.
The Cameron Morrah motion, play-action throw to Michael Robinson on 1st down to start the second possession was sneaky. Then Marshawn Lynch went all hide-and-go beastmode on us during the 15 yard touchdown run and the whole stadium flipped out. It set the tone. We tasted the rainbow. 7-0.
The following ho-hum of a Seahawks' three and out sandwiched by two Eagles' punts felt fine with the lead. Then the Seahawks found themselves in 3rd and 7 for the last play of the first quarter and decided to go explosive, gaining 61 yards on the next two plays - first to Baldwin, then Lynch with the long touchdown run. 14-0. Did I mention this game was in primetime...because it sure felt like it.
After that, the blown coverage on the long Riley Cooper completion that led to 14-7 felt more like a motivator than an "oh, crap." Even though the Seahawks had trouble getting Young to the ground, they were getting to him. And that was doing something.
The other thing that was apparent early in the game; LeSean McCoy is special. Even when the ‘Hawks had him or thought they were about to have him, they'd lose him, but not for lack of effort. I think McCoy could've had an even bigger game, but credit the Seahawks for making some solid open field tackles in this one.
Anyway, the 28-yard pass to Zach Miller out of the two minute warning marked their second big play out of a forced time stoppage, and also an example of them involving the tight ends in the explosive passing game. Great to see. This led to the field goal and 17-7 at halftime. Thoughts of "I hope this team knows what to do this time around" spun through my head.
McCoy was scarier than Halloween starting the second half. However, thank Vince Young/Riley Cooper for a missed opportunity turned tipped ball interception by Brandon Browner - his second pick off a deflection on the year. That set up the Golden Tate touchdown, a great throw and catch.
Then the 17 play marathon, and somewhat masterful, drive by the Eagles in the 3rd and 4th quarter seemed less threatening. On the next defensive possession (the score was 24-14) the Seahawks were bending, but Heater came up huge - those 77 yards were an eternity for me, probably because I played the ‘Hawks D in fantasy and need the win. Thanks Heater and ‘Hawks on, fittingly, Turnover Thursday.
Before the second Brandon Browner interception you could feel it coming. It really was one of those nights at the stadium. Seahawks chants rang ‘round on their final offensive drive. And for the record, I called the pass on 4th down. The Eagles were going to get the ball if the run fails anyway, so why not throw as long as it's anything but a turnover?
Way to seal the deal and close it off with authority, Seahawks. Go ahead and hate on the call, but that's what this team is trying to become; ruthless. This game was a pleasurable preview for the future, one that hopefully has many more performances like this.
-Seattle is 3-0 in their past three primetime, home games.
-The 61 yards in two plays; Doug Baldwin played third down machine for 21 yards to close the first quarter, then the Seahawks used a really nifty design on the 40-yard cutback, touchdown run coming out of the quarter stoppage timeout. Gotta' love the momentum created here.
-Even more so because they did it again with the two minute warning; this was sandwiched by a Michael Robinson catch for 11 and then the Miller 28-yard catch. 100 yards generated on four plays around the forced time stoppages in the first half; double gotta' love that.
-On the play where Mike Williams and Asomugha got tangled up, it was nice to see Jackson simply chuck it up there when the Eagles brought the all-out blitz, giving the receiver the chance to make the play. Jackson was on point, 13/16 with no turnovers. After the slow start, the execution in the passing game was encouraging.
-Hell yeah, Golden Tate.
-Brandon Browner broke up three passes for the second game in a row, not to mention. Three picks in two games. He's made his penalty mistakes and gotten beat, but this guy is getting more and more confident. He makes plays in traffic, too. I think he is becoming an increasingly sizable upgrade over Kelly Jennings. Admittedly I've been drinking the Browner-ade since we signed him, but this was a convincing bounce back performance after the big play touchdown last week.
-Richard Sherman's pass breakup in the end zone was nifty, too. And the finger wag; this kid has some swag.
-The mixing in of the 3-4 defenses early. If memory serves correctly, they even went to a true 5-2 on one snap. I think the Eagles gained seven on that play, which is technically a "bad," but I loved the mixing.
-148 on 22 carries for Lynch. I wish there was a beastmode counter for the amount of times it was shouted at this game. It was unreal.
-Earl Thomas tackled well in this game. After he stopped McCoy on the 4th quarter swing pass that went for 24 yards but could have been more, ET got on a knee and it looked like he thanked a power above. Do we call this Thomasing?
-Even though the front seven had trouble getting Young and McCoy to the ground and at times looked to over pursue, they played tough and hard. K.J Wright had a big game around the line of scrimmage. Guys had their hands up in passing lanes.
-The Eagles' screen game wasn't deadly.
-Chris Maragos seems to make plays weekly, or at least often be at the bottom of the pile, on special teams.
-Five penalties for 30 yards. The Eagles had five for 28.
-Leon Washington had too many illegal motion penalties (two or three?). Nine yards on six runs isn't stellar, either. I wish we'd use him in the screen game or as an outside runner, but his "discipline" struggles in this game don't help the case. He mishandled a punt, too.
-Zero catches for BMW on two targets, though neither was a legit "target" in my opinion. This was a big game for him to step up. His continued silence is a little of a downer.
-The two sacks could have been seven. Red missed a couple of times, as did Brock.
-The defensive over pursuit mentioned above. On a couple of plays the cutback was too wide open. But it's worth acknowledging that against a mere mortal back, the defense may have had a much better game on paper defending the run.
-The Eagles' 17 play drive. Seattle didn't even give up yards with penalties. It was simply solid execution by the Eagles and Seattle gave them too much room to run.
-Though Lynch had a big game, the offensive line didn't stand out as much. The fact that Washington/Forsett had eight carries for 14 yards I think is indicative of that. However, there is no denying the attitude of this group.
-The 1st and goal, tight end screen to Celek was an obvious call in my opinion. The 3rd down shuffle pass was just dirty. The Seahawks could have taken a timeout there with the pre-snap confusion after the offensive formation change. Make that should've taken a timeout.
-Riley Cooper had his chances to make a big impact on this game. He was unable to come through. Seahawks got lucky here.
-Not sure where else to put this; they didn't throw a deep shot to Deon Butler, which everyone in my immediate seating area (me included) was half seriously hoping they may try if he got single coverage. It was nice to see him get a couple of series', simply getting used to the speed of the game again.
-The amount of ankles McCoy broke.
-The decision to call a timeout before Hauschka's 49 yarder was somewhat puzzling, considering they "iced" him last week. After the timeout, he ran back to the net for one more kick. Was he not ready, or maybe thinking they could knock it in for the touchdown? I'm really glad that kick went in.
-The 12th man flag ceremony really was an absolute debacle. C'mon, Man! Hopefully they get it right when the ‘Hawks go back under the lights on Monday night next week.