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Seahawks survive 21-20 against heavy underdog Bengals

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Cincinnati Bengals v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Phew!

The Seattle Seahawks (1-0) had a tough time with the Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) to start the 2019 NFL season, but Russell Wilson’s early touchdown pass in the 4th quarter to Tyler Lockett gave Seattle the lead for good, and the defense held off the Bengals’ comeback attempt to get the 21-20 win. It was hardly a good display from Seattle, with the offense on a three-and-out parade while the pass defense gave up 418 yards and 35 completions to Andy Dalton. John Ross III (7 catches for 158 yards and 2 TDs) had a career day of his own, but it wasn’t enough.

Three takeaways by the Seahawks’ defense and special teams proved vital, and Chris Carson (81 yards from scrimmage, 2 TDs) had some clutch plays to overshadow his 3rd quarter fumble. D.K. Metcalf had 4 catches for 89 yards in an impressive debut, while Quinton Jefferson was a monster with two sacks and several passes batted down, while Jadeveon Clowney had a sack and was very effective in his Seahawks debut.

Seattle has now beaten every team in the NFL with Pete Carroll as head coach, while the Los Angeles Chargers remain the only side Russell Wilson has failed to beat.

1st Half

The Bengals started out with nothing but passes, getting into Seattle territory. Andy Dalton had a couple of passes to Tyler Boyd move the chains, but Jadeveon Clowney broke up a screen pass and Bobby Wagner sniffed a 3rd down screen to Joe Mixon out to force the punt.

Seattle’s first offensive possession didn’t go too well, as they went three-and-out and Justin Britt limped off with an injury (but would later return). It looked like the Seahawks offense would get the ball back fairly quickly, but Cody Barton was flagged for running into the kicker to extend Cincy’s second drive. Andy Dalton heavily relied on Boyd to move the ball down the field, and Randy Bullock got the Bengals on the board. 3-0 Bengals.

After another three-and-out, the Bengals offense looked to get the ball back... but rookie LB Ben Burr-Kirven stripped Alex Erickson on the punt return, which Seattle recovered in Cincinnati territory.

Seattle wasted this turnover thanks to Wilson getting sacked and harassed repeatedly, but the defense stepped up and forced a three-and-out thanks to Quinton Jefferson’s third down sack of Dalton.

With another short field to play with, the Seahawks took advantage on a 7-play, 48-yard drive. D.K. Metcalf and Will Dissly had first down receptions, while Chris Carson had a jet sweep run and a one-yard walk-in after Metcalf drew a pass interference penalty in the end zone. 7-3 Seahawks.

The lead was short-lived, as the Bengals needed just three plays to get back in front. A flea flicker from Joe Mixon to Andy Dalton fooled LB Mychal Kendricks, and John Ross III was wide open for the touchdown. 10-7 Bengals.

After an exchange of three-and-outs, the Seahawks got the ball back in the two-minute drill. A deep ball to Metcalf gained 42 yards, which put Seattle into the red zone. Chris Carson broke three tackles on a 3rd down catch to barely break the goal line. 14-10 Seahawks.

...Tedric Thompson, what the absolute hell is this? 17-14 Bengals.

2nd Half

Disaster started the 2nd half for the Seahawks, as Chris Carson fumbled a first down catch into the arms of Dre Kirkpatrick, who returned the ball to the Seattle 28. With rain pouring down, Andy Dalton had a pass slip out of his hands and into the arms of DT Al Woods for a huge interception.

Seattle did nothing but go backwards after the turnover, and were in danger of giving up points on defense again when Giovani Bernard broke free for a 35-yard gain on a screen pass. They didn’t allow another first down after that, and Randy Bullock’s field goal went wide left.

Wilson was sacked twice more as the fans booed heavily, and the Bengals again were able to get into Seahawks territory. Once again, they came away with nothing. Zac Taylor went for it on 4th and 1 and Gio Bernard was stuffed by Bradley McDougald.

It appeared as if the Seahawks would go three-and-out again, but Wilson somehow scrambled and found DK Metcalf for 22 yards to cross into Bengals territory.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Russell Wilson took his play-action deep shot to Tyler Lockett, and Lockett’s first target was a 44-yard score. 21-17 Seahawks.

As was a problem throughout the afternoon, Seattle let the Bengals march down the field and didn’t help matters with penalties. Tre Flowers was unlucky to get called for DPI on a 3rd down stop, but the Bengals were unable to capitalize on a goal-to-go situation. Randy Bullock knocked through a 26-yard field goal. 21-20 Seahawks.

Tyler Lockett’s second target was a rare drop on what would’ve been a big-gainer, which led to Seattle’s sixth three-and-out. The Bengals only got one first down on the next possession, punting the ball back to the Seahawks with under 3:30 to go.

Wilson’s first zone-read keeper gained five yards, as they looked to burn clock while deep in their own territory. Chris Carson ran for four more yards and forced the Bengals into using their final timeout, and then gashed the defense for a huge 21-yard burst on 3rd and 1 for a critical conversion.

Three more rushes dropped the clock to just :28 left before Michael Dickson punted the ball away, with a fair catch at their own 25 with :21 left.

Dalton nearly got sacked to end all hopes before it could even begin, but he escaped to find Tyler Eifert for 6 yards and a clock stoppage with :14. Rasheem Green was able to harass Dalton and force a fumble, which the Seahawks recovered to win the game, which was confirmed on review.

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Seahawks injury report

CB Neiko Thorpe suffered a hamstring injury and did not return.

TE Will Dissly suffered a right knee injury and did not return.

DT Poona Ford suffered a right calf injury and did not return.

Next week’s opponent

The Seahawks will go on the road for a 10 AM PT game against the Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0) on Sunday, September 15th.