The Seattle Seahawks had a tricky game to maneuver against the Carolina Panthers, but they got the job done. You think the offense is having a bit of a tough day (which they did, at times), and next thing you know they have 37 points scored and 425 yards. Would’ve been cool if they had gotten 6 more points to really cap off the tribute to the 2013 Super Bowl winning team.
Let’s get to Winners and Losers from Seahawks 37, Panthers 27!
That was an amped up crowd for what was a momentous occasion for the Seahawks franchise. Eight false starts is the most any team has had since 2011, and it’s the second-most that the Seahawks fanbase has induced in Lumen Field history. If yo know your Seahawks history well, I know you know what No. 1 was.
It’s been a very shaky start for Myers, as has been a theme every other year for him. Today he was flawless, converting all 5 field goal attempts and missing no PATs. That’s a terrific bounce-back game that softened the blow of Seattle’s early red zone inefficiencies.
2nd Half Geno Smith
It was a shaky opening half for Geno in terms of accuracy and decision-making. He was 11/24 for 153 yards and an interception entering the break. After halftime? On fire in the rain, slinging it everywhere and going 12/13 for 143 yards, a touchdown, a Russell Wilson-esque two-point conversion to Tyler Lockett, and no sacks taken. I think it’s a credit to his consistent ability to bounce back from bad plays/throws, but also Shane Waldron for adjusting accordingly and going to more play-action and tight-end heavy looks.
To the 47 percent of you you said Bobo would catch a touchdown before Jaxon Smith-Njigba, take a bow! Bobo not only caught his first NFL TD in spectacular fashion, he also recovered an onside kick to remove even the slimmest of hopes of a Panthers comeback. Who would’ve bet at the start of training camp that he’d be the first Seahawks rookie to reach the end zone?
Even during Geno’s struggles, he was finding DK, who racked up 112 yards on 6 catches. Carolina had no answers for him and we saw Metcalf used deeper down the field, where he should be best utilized.
Colby Parkinson and Noah Fant
No Will Dissly? Not much of a problem. We saw a lot of targets go their way in the 2nd half, and overall those two combined for 7 catches for 79 yards on 10 targets. Waldron knows how to use the tight ends, and Smith knows how to throw to them.
Kenneth Walker and Zach Charbonnet
We saw plenty of the thunder and lightning act and by far the best running game performance of the season. Walker had 97 yards on 18 carries and a couple of touchdowns, as well as a career-best 58 yards receiving. Charbonnet had 46 yards on 9 carries and one whopper of a truck stick on this Panthers defender. Walker’s agility, balance, and shiftiness to go along with that speed makes him special, and Charbonnet has that angry running style that Seahawks fans are accustomed to.
Offensive line coach Andy Dickerson
I said on social media that I believe Dickerson is one of the best coaching hires Pete Carroll has ever made. When you consider that Carroll inherited Gus Bradley and Dan Quinn from Jim Mora’s staff (although they re-hired Quinn in 2013 after he left for Florida), Dickerson may be close to the top. The Seahawks briefly had four backups on the offensive line and still only allowed two sacks (none after halftime) and broke down Carolina’s defensive front as the game progressed.
We have had plenty of Seahawks games over the years with backups on the OL be an abject disaster. It’s a different feeling with this group where they are baseline competent and look well-coached.
Pass rush, led by Jarran Reed
Carolina’s offensive line reeks but it really would’ve been awful if the Seahawks couldn’t muster a rush against them. Jarran Reed wreaked havoc, recording 1.5 sacks and 3 QB hits while doing Michael Bennett and Kam Chancellor celebration tributes. Boye Mafe had a sack and continues to show his improved play, and Mario Edwards was a beast on the interior and had multiple pressures. Dalton was hit 11 times, sacked three times, and had a few errant throws because of pressure in his face.
I’ve been a little quiet on the run defense and may still hold reservations because I don’t believe they’ve faced a super dangerous rushing attack yet, but Frank Reich gave up on the run and Carolina had just 44 yards on 14 attempts. It’ll be a bit before we see this run defense really tested against a high-end unit, but so far it’s different than the horror shows of 2022.
The rookie was tested frequently and relentlessly by Dalton. Witherspoon passed most of his tests, even if he picked up a nonsense pass interference penalty. Devon had two of Seattle’s eight pass breakups, and continues to show his worth in run defense. The last touchdown may not have been on Witherspoon, since he wasn’t on him from the snap. His stats? Pretty good. Pretty, pretty, pretty good.
Devon Witherspoon was targeted 11 times today:— Cigar Thoughts (@CigarThoughts) September 25, 2023
He allowed 3 catches for 19 yards
He broke up 2 passes
He gave up 1 first down
He led the team with 11 tackles
Yes, DeeJay Dallas. Both of his kick returns went beyond the 25 (the touchback starting point), and he average 14 yards per return. He forgot he fair caught one of his punts but no harm, no foul. Easily one of his best days as a returner.
The Seahawks analytics team
Remember when Seattle was 35-20 up after the Bobo TD? They could’ve kicked the PAT, but they went for 2 and converted to go up by three possessions. Instead of putting the onus on Carolina to go for 2 in case they scored (which they did), the Seahawks killed the game off by having their own offense go for 2.
3rd down offense and defense
This continues to be a problem for the Seahawks. Just 3/12 on offense (when subtracting the kneeldown) and many of them were 3rd and long situations. Then on defense the Seahawks gave up 10/19, including the touchdown to DJ Chark on the busted coverage and a big catch by Adam Thielen that led to a TD.
Red Zone offense
Six trips, three touchdowns isn’t good. Luckily the last three trips were all touchdowns, but this was a problem last season and it’s continued a bit this year. The Seahawks have to find a more consistent offense when the field is condensed.
1st Half Geno Smith
For reasons already stated in the Winners section.
Hate to ever put him in the Losers list but once upon a time he was somebody who could run with receivers in coverage. That ain’t the case anymore, and Adam Thielen proved it. Wagner is still important as a run defender and blitzer, but in the middle of the field in pass coverage it’s a different story.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba (or rather, the usage of Jaxon Smith-Njigba)
It’s only three games so I won’t be declarative yet, but JSN has been a non-factor in both home games. Today he had just one catch on a give-up screen, and his other two targets ended in an interception and pass break-up. I think we’ll see the offense change when the OL is healthy again and they don’t have to do as much 12 and 13 personnel, and JSN should benefit, but this is a disappointing start given how preseason began. Ideally we see him stretch the field more and not these Percy Harvin/Dee Eskridge plays.
- Injuries, injuries, injuries. It’s bad enough Seattle was missing a lot of key players entering the game, but then you have Tre Brown get concussed, Anthony Bradford tweak his ankle (but return), Damien Lewis hurt his hand (but return), Dre’Mont Jones and Darrell Taylor both leave with ailments, and even Jordyn Brooks was holding his back. This isn’t to mention how many injuries the Panthers suffered, too.
- Pete and his challenges, man. The DJ Chark catch on Mike Jackson was an excellent grab with zero chance of an overturn. I don’t even think the Seahawks protested that much. At least Carroll went for it on 4th down early and it led to points, so I’ll live with a bad challenge if it means he does more of the other stuff we’ve wanted him to do.
- Jerrick Reed is looking like a real keeper even for special teams. Back-to-back weeks he’s been first to the punt returner to make a tackle.
- Julian Love was basically a nailed-on Loser but he had a much better 2nd half, and had a couple of PBUs. But the missed tackles and bad angles continue to be an issue, and his playing time is probably getting reduced once Jamal Adams returns next week. Definitely concerned about him and Quandre Diggs whiffing more than they should, though.
- It was so cool seeing most of the Super Bowl team reunited for this ceremony. Time really flies and it’s hard to believe it’s been a decade since the greatest Seahawks season in history. I’m super stoked that the 2023 team got the W to cap off a memorable weekend.
- The bye week really can’t come soon enough to get some of these players healthy. Let’s see if they can keep the good times rolling against the New York Giants and turn a disastrous opening day into a 3-1 record before their week off.
- Enemy Reaction is coming. Yes, you know I’m going to have a peek at a certain other historic game that transpired down in Florida.