Well that was easy in the end.
The Seattle Seahawks (5-8) pulled away from the Houston Texans (2-11) to get consecutive wins and pull to within one game in the NFC Wild Card race, which sounds cool until you realize how many 6-7 teams there are in the conference. If you’re a dreamer then you get to enjoy being “in the hunt” for another week.
It is very clear that the Texans are really really pathetic and that as frustrating as this Seahawks season has been, they aren’t Houston or Jacksonville bad and the scorelines in both games reflect as such. Just abject misery at the bottom of the AFC South heaped upon gobs of dysfunction and incompetence.
Let’s get to Winners and Losers.
He had his big moment and delivered. A career-high 16 carries for 137 yards and a pair of long touchdowns that were reminiscent of the promising play he showed in the weeks prior to his knee injury in 2019. I know that Houston’s run defense is absolutely dismal but Penny looked powerful, fast, and most importantly decisive. That was a great showing and he’s chained together back-to-back effective weeks of play.
Lockett doesn’t need a lot of catches to get a lot of yards. He put up 143 yards on just 5 catches and he had a 55-yard touchdown right before halftime. Lockett joins Steve Largent as the only Seahawks in franchise history to have three straight seasons of at least 1,000 receiving yards.
Wilson was sharp down the field and made some really good plays underneath, throwing in rhythm and not getting reckless outside of that deep throw to DK Metcalf in double coverage. He was 17/28 for 260 yards and a couple of touchdowns and did not get sacked once. How about that for the real rarity? Which reminds me...
The UDFA rookie got the call in place of the injured Brandon Shell and played well to my untrained eye. It looked to me like there was greater success rushing off of his side of the field than the left, including on Penny’s first touchdown run. I didn’t count too many pressures or bad plays from him in the passing game, so all of the promise he showed in preseason continues into the regular season. Well done to the rook!
If nothing else, he didn’t have a repeat disaster from last week. Two catches for 15 yards and a touchdown (that maybe wasn’t?) plus a jet sweep run for 13 yards. No fumbles, no drops, no problem. Also shoutout to Will Dissly who had two catches for 38 yards but did have a drop.
He drew a holding penalty on a 3-man rush, which is impressive in itself, but he also notched his 6th sack of the season and could’ve had a 7th if not for a defensive hold by Sidney Jones. The dude is talented and will likely end the season as the team leader in sacks as a redshirt rookie, of sorts.
Ignore that weird roughing the snapper penalty that almost never gets called. Woods was a beast in the interior and was very close to getting a tackle for loss for a safety, and he shared a 0.5 sack with Rasheem Green. Woods will surely be getting more snaps due to Bryan Mone’s injury, and he continues to be one of the better players on the interior.
Easily the best player in the secondary in this game. He blew up a run play in the backfield for a TFL and was unlucky not to have two interceptions as opposed to two passes defensed. I know Amadi has had some struggles with untimely holds but I still believe in him as a valuable part of the team as a nickel corner.
We got a heavy dose of play-action. Keeping in mind the opposition stinks, I had little complaints about Waldron’s playcalling and the designs (well, except one thing). For once, the Seahawks did not look like a hopeless offense that couldn’t do anything outside of a few explosive plays.
He missed two extra points, giving him three missed PATs on the year to go along with just 11/16 on field goals. Myers has not been good enough this season.
Pretty difficult day for Collins with just 16 yards on 7 carries and a catch for a yard. You can see the burst and speed that Penny provides at his best that Collins lacks. And come to think of it Penny is more powerful than Collins as well. I have to think Penny has earned more touches and Collins is relegated to an RB2 role, which is crazy when you consider how this season started.
Shane Waldron’s 3rd down toss plays
Trash ‘em. They don’t work.
The NFL on FOX broadcast
Oh my god that might have been the worst television production we’ve had this season. Chris Myers and Daryl Johnston and even the sideline reporter Jen Hale must have called Rex Burkhead “Rex Burkhardt” about a half-dozen times. Rasheem Green became Rashaad Green. Penny Hart was Freddie Swain. Dan Marino and Don Shula apparently won a Super Bowl. I’m sure I’m missing more but I hope we don’t get that crew again. Such is life when it’s 4-8 vs. 2-10... that’s the quality you’ll get. And we’ll get them again next week, too.
- All the best to Gavin Heslop after that horrible knee injury suffered in garbage time. He was on the practice squad, made the active roster after Jamal Adams went to IR, and now his season is surely over. D.J. Reed also had a scary collision with Brevin Jordan that thankfully wasn’t worse than it looked live. Seattle can’t afford to be down another corner.
- Not to beat up on Tre Flowers well after he’s gone but it is abundantly clear the secondary looks better with his removal and the insertion of Sidney Jones, then Tre Brown, then back to Sidney Jones. The constant cushions are just not happening as often.
- That’s two weeks in a row that the Seahawks defense had a 2nd half shutout, although doing it against the Texans is whatever. I didn’t like the way they made Davis Mills look like an All-Pro in the opening half, and much of that is due to just a lack of consistent pass rush. Jordyn Brooks certainly had at least one busted coverage and I have no idea what happened on the Brevin Jordan TD.
- Dee Eskridge had a couple of good blocks on Penny’s touchdown runs and then a bad drop on a screen pass that turned into a backwards throw. Luckily he recovered it but a quiet day for him otherwise.
- DK Metcalf with just 4 catches for 43 yards but he had a TD taken away due to a holding penalty, a likely touchdown denied because he was grabbed, and a definite touchdown thrown behind him by Wilson. It took a bit to get him more involved in the 2nd half but I think he was unlucky not to have better stats.
- Your view on the Seahawks’ playoff chances depend entirely on your confidence that they can run the table knowing road games against the Rams and Cardinals are happening. Realistically this does not (and still does not) look like a team that is so sneakily great that they’ll pull this off. But I also like beating the Rams so let’s see if things can really get interesting next week, then maybe we’ll revive our rooting guide.