I'll keep this brief, because I don't want to take away from Danny's and Jacson's excellent recaps. I just want to offer a handful of bullets on things that may not have been apparent on the broadcast.
1. It sure looked like Seattle played a LOT more zone than last year. My eye is less well-trained for that sort of thing than some, but it certainly appeared that we saw a lot more two-deep from the safeties. Seahawks DC Dan Quinn was pretty committed to forcing Carolina to march the length of the field.
2. Stephen Hauschka and Jon Ryan were difference makers. Part of what made that strategy so viable was the ability of Seattle to create field position through kickoffs and punts. Hauschka did not allow a single return on the game. Ryan only allowed one by Ted Ginn, Jr. for 10 yards and another by Josh Thomas for no yards.
3. Charles Johnson routinely destroyed Breno Giacomini most of the day. He wasn't the only one. That's not even a complaint. Charles Johnson is easily one of the most complete defensive ends in the conference. In truth, it did not appear that anyone on the offensive line won their matchup. Johnson routinely pushing Giacomini into the backfield was just the most noticeable.
4. The Doug Baldwin catch. Wow. That happened right where we were (five sections down), so I had a bird's eye view. I knew he got both feet down. I cannot wait to watch this on rewind. It was his ability to adjust to that throw that made it seem like he had an almost preternatural connection to Wilson. That throw, between defenders, right at the sideline. It was the best play of the game.
5. It was jungle hot from the first quarter onward. It's hard to overstate how oppressively hot it was. I don't know if they talked much about that on the air. I'm not surprised that the execution was up and down. Hats off to the defense for their performance, playing short-handed in that kind of heat. Even though the game played out like the Carolina game last year, the energy on the field and the up and down performance, especially in the first half, felt more like last year's Miami game.
Question for the group. What happened on the Frank Alexander play, and what did you think? It was on the opposite side of the field from us.