The Seattle Seahawks took care of business on Sunday, beating the Detroit Lions 28-14 at Ford Field to get above .500 for the first time all season, and also prevail in their third straight road game. Yes, the Seahawks provided some nervous moments after going up 28-14, but they did an excellent job of shutting off the comeback trails when it mattered most.
We can now enter November with realistic dreams of making the playoffs. This team looks so different from the one that was so hard to watch over the majority of the first four games. Let’s round up the Winners and Losers from Seattle’s latest triumph, and their most important one yet for 2018.
He was almost perfect... and if you go by traditional passer rating, he WAS perfect! Wilson went 14-17 for 248 yards, 3 touchdowns, no interceptions, and 15 yards rushing. Perhaps most importantly, he wasn’t on the injury report this week and looked more nimble than in previous weeks, while dealing with a hamstring issue. Wilson has thrown 9 touchdown passes to just 1 interception over the last three games, and he is dialed in right now.
Moore, Moore, Moore! How do you like it? How do you like it? Four catches for 97 yards and yet another touchdown, plus a third-down conversion that Pete Carroll successfully challenged to get reversed from incomplete to a catch. This man is making the most of his opportunities and then some. Moore may be 6’0” but he plays like a big-bodied receiver, positions himself well, and his development has been one of the stories of the season.
Opportunities were limited for him due to only 17 pass attempts, but Lockett had a beautiful grab for his sixth touchdown of the season, plus 13 yards rushing on two jet sweeps. The contract extension is paying off right now, and with Doug Baldwin not at 100%, this is so crucial for Seattle’s offense that Lockett is contributing this much.
Carson wows me with his patience, power, and vision. He finished the game with 25 carries for 105 yards, a touchdown in which he ran over Quandre Diggs, and a pair of receptions for 19 yards. It’s the fourth time over the last five weeks that the Seahawks have had a 100-yard rusher, and Carson has three of them. He may lack that extra gear to rip off a 40-50 yard run, but what he does? He does it very well.
Russell Wilson was seldom pressured, and the rushing attack racked up 176 yards. Wilson was sacked just twice, with one of them a clear coverage sack. I highly recommend watching the touchdown pass to Ed Dickson, because Germain Ifedi and DJ Fluker combined to totally flatten a pass rusher, giving Wilson that much more time to find the big TE in the end zone. Kudos to Ifedi for his substantial improvement, the unit as a whole for their improved play, and Mike Solari for the way he’s coached them.
Dickson and Dickson
Ed Dickson for his two catches for 54 yards and a touchdown, while Michael Dickson went all “Big Balls Dickson” on us with that 4th quarter decision to run for a first-down from his own end zone to seal victory for the Seahawks. The Lions got a double dose of Dickson and they must hate even hearing the name, especially since Ed ripped them apart last year.
Frank Clark and Jarran Reed
They’re getting paired up because they’re the two best players on the defensive line without question. Clark got a sack (thanks to great outside edge rushing from Jacob Martin) to bring his total to 6.5, while Jarran Reed had a pivotal strip-sack on Matthew Stafford, with Clark on the fumble recovery. Even Shamar Stephen’s sack was through a line stunt in tandem with Reed. I am blown away by how well they’re both performing.
I’d have put him in the losers column alone just for Kerryon Johnson obliterating him in the open field, but he was great in coverage and had the goal-line interception that sealed off any chance of the Lions getting back into the game. I also imagine that he was a major reason that Kenny Golladay only had 1 catch for 12 yards.
K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner
Detroit rushed for almost 250 yards against the Miami Dolphins last week. They were held to just 34 yards on 13 attempts this week, and the return of K.J. Wright combined with the usual brilliance of Bobby Wagner were vital in shutting down Kerryon Johnson as a rusher. Good to have this dynamic duo reunited.
Vannett had a nice drive-extending catch for 16 yards in the 1st quarter, but he had a touchdown overturned (correctly so) because he went out of bounds and was the first to come back in and touch the ball. That was a 4th and goal at the 1 so it was a turnover on downs, because the penalty is a loss of down. He also had a third-down conversion dropped in the 4th quarter, following a successful Matt Patricia challenge (more on that later), luckily a penalty nullified things. He’s... okay, I guess?
What the hell was that officiating? That pass interference on Bradley McDougald was among the worst calls I’ve seen all season, and it nearly provided the Lions a lifeline to get back into the game. The Lions offensive line also got away with an obscene amount of holding, including an instance where I’m 99% sure Branden Jackson had his back taken and was going to be choked out like an MMA fight. It wasn’t all completely one-sided... Frank Clark was also clearly offsides on a third-down stop, but consider that a gift from Walt Anderson and company given everything else. For what it’s worth, I’m “okay” with the Jacob Martin roughing the passer, as it looked to have been a blow to the head, which they’ll flag all the time. Everything else was trash, though.
Everyone who questioned Pete Carroll’s challenge of the David Moore catch
This is probably the only time I’ll ever utter this statement! Carroll’s challenging of the Moore catch looked silly at first — ball clearly came out when he hit the ground — but he showed us wrong! Turns out Moore had the magical “third step” that is a football move and thus makes it a catch under the amended catch rules. For one day, Pete Carroll was a genius with the challenge flag, and we were the idiots.
- Shaquill Griffin and Tedric Thompson were each culpable on Marvin Jones touchdowns. Griffin just drifted off for whatever reason on the second TD, while Thompson horribly misplayed the first one. Griffin was rarely thrown at all things considered, whereas Thompson had a forced fumble on special teams, which proved to be the early turning point.
- Doug Baldwin looked like he could’ve gotten a second foot down on that near-touchdown in the 3rd quarter. Maybe that’s just me, but perhaps healthy Baldwin is able to score there.
- Admit it, when this offense got put in 1st and 25 after the chop block penalty, you thought it was punt time. Instead they got all 25 yards and then some in just two passing plays.
- Matt Patricia’s challenge of the Vannett catch was so stupid. If the call was overturned (which it was), the Seahawks would’ve had the option to accept the illegal use of hands penalty that they’d initially declined. Patricia used up a challenge over six yards when the Seahawks had a first-down secured regardless of the outcome. Then Wilson hit David Moore deep downfield on the next snap, thoroughly defeating whatever purpose he had of using that challenge. He might be in over his head.
- Rashaad Penny almost certainly had no offensive snaps (that I can recall) and his one kick return was swallowed up at the 17 to start the game. Quiet day for him, likely by design, and I noticed Tyler Lockett was back deep on the final kickoff.
- I still miss Golden Tate.
- Bring on the Los Angeles Chargers.