Just a great game.
The Hawks defense looked dominant: 5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, great coverage throughout, but best of all stopped 61% of all non-Qb rushing plays from being successful. I removed Cadillac's garbage time carries from the end of the first half the way Lofa Tatupu removed Williams from the game. And this might not be PC, but the two big injuries the Hawks forced might be the best indicator of the quality of their defense today--they were swarming, they were hitting and they were hitting hard. Jeff Garcia looked like a great fit in Jon Gruden's defense, too. The Bucs have a good young line but not a lot of weapons at the skill positions. The front seven impressed and proved much, but the secondary merely played competently against what was clearly one of Tampa Bay's weaknesses.
The offense sputtered, but I really believe some of that is just that all the Hawks' short patterns get eaten up by the Cover 2. The line looked very good, I only saw one blown assignment and it was Big Walt at fault. Jones is likely just rusty because he completely froze as Greg Spires darted around him. Huge holes blown open for the running game. Shaun faced a team of fast, savvy linebackers and though he didn't look good for much of the game, that's a very bad matchup for him and his cutback style. If Shaun was truly washed up, he would have been chased down on a lot more of his cutbacks. Shaun's fading, but the quickness hasn't totally vanished and he still has great vision, great patience and great decision making. Remember running back is a skill position. Watch the great ones and you won't just see devastating speed and power, you'll see an almost uncanny ability to see holes two seconds before they open.
Nate Burleson had one really good return, but the blocking wasn't always there and both he and Josh Wilson fell victim to returner greed and lost yards.
The Hawks only won by two touchdowns, but don't be fooled--they dominated this game. Seattle's offense will come alive next week against Arizona. Couple that with what looks like a bruising, ballhawk defense and we can begin to expect great things from the 2007 Seattle Seahawks.
Game Ball: Patrick Kerney, who put the Grant Wistrom comparisons to rest. I never knew he was so strong. His ability to play end and tackle, plus the kind of rest he will get thanks to the Hawks' ridiculous depth, could make him a season changing force for Seattle.
. . .
Full game tape review to follow tomorrow.