Seahawks Instant Reaction: 710 ESPN Seattle on 31-23 win over Miami
The Seahawks will take their undefeated record into another week after pulling away in the fourth quarter for a 31-23 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
As we share every week, we have the instant reactions to the Seahawks’ win from the voices of 710 ESPN Seattle. Remember, this is just a taste of all of the coverage we will have on the station throughout the week, beginning Monday at 7 a.m. with Danny and Gallant and The Pete Carroll Show at 9:30.
Tom Wassell – Tom, Jake and Stacy
As I tweeted mid-game, if you expect this defense to be of the “shut-down” variety, you’re gonna go bald by season’s end. They MAKE BIG PLAYS, yardage be darned. K.J. Wright could have had three interceptions on his own, but settled for broken up passes. Ryan Neal and Shaquill Griffin with big picks, Alton Robinson dragged down a running back behind the line of scrimmage in a huge spot. They made Miami settle for field goals all day long, and that was the difference.
Again, it’s not a sparkling performance, but I’ll give it a B-, which is as big an improvement as you could expect given where they’ve been this year. Oh, and by the way, all of it was done without Jamal Adams.
Now, the final touchdown/two-point conversion by Miami upset me to no end. The Dolphins made it a one-score game with three timeouts and 1:50 remaining. Ugggghh. But thank you Chris Carson for getting that final first down.
On offense, it was the usual amazing effort. Russell Wilson put the ball where it needed to go, making perfect throws twice to David Moore for huge gains (including that TD in the corner). How about the season he’s having? He’s emerged as a consistent big play, deep threat guy.
I can’t believe that Carson takes the hits he does and remains in the game. Even before he was taken out, he got leveled helmet-to-helmet a few plays previous.
Greg Olsen has eliminated any worry about this being this being the year his career falls apart. He had a terrific first half and has been solid all season.
I’d compliment Russell Wilson, but I’m sure everyone else in this post will cover that. Talk to you tomorrow at NOON. Love, Tom.
The Groz – Every day at 11:45 a.m. with John Clayton
It may seem strange to say it on a day where you gave up 25 first downs, 415 yards on offense and allowed better then a 50% third-down conversion rate, but it was a good day for the defense. The Seahawks epitomized “bend don’t break,” and the offense took advantage of two turnovers, scoring touchdowns on both ensuing drives to take one from the Dolphins in the heat of Southern Florida.
It goes in the books as a quality road win where you never trailed, and despite missing some key guys, you had several big performances on both sides of the ball. It was a great day for a great veteran K.J. Wright. The man makes as many plays with his head as does with his body. He nearly had two picks, made eight tackles and played a superb game.
With his second interception in as many games, safety Ryan Neal continues to impress and his rise from practice squad obscurity continues on.
The offense generated 31 points, 441 yards and 26 first downs. Bottom line is those numbers will win you a lot of football games. It may not have been their most artistic effort, but they are 4-0 for the second time in franchise history and on a roll with the 1-3 Vikings coming to town, leaving an opportunity to do something no Seahawks team has ever done – win their first 5 games.
As Larry David would say, pretty, pretty, pretty good.
Jim Moore – Bob, Dave and Moore
For the record, I was wrong about the weather being a factor and wrong about the Dolphins winning by a projected score of 27-24.
It might have been close for awhile, and in fact, Miami had a chance to take the lead in the fourth quarter, trailing 17-12 and moving inside Seattle’s 10-yard line.
But the defense made another great play as Alton Robinson tackled Myles Gaskin for a 2-yard loss on a third-and-2, forcing a fifth field goal by Jason Sanders.
The defense needs to get all kinds of credit for the victory, keeping the Dolphins out of the end zone until less than two minutes remained. Among the big stops: Shaquill Griffin’s second interception in as many weeks, snuffing Miami’s best chance to get back in the game.
The defense, already playing without the injured Bruce Irvin and Marquise Blair, was also without Jamal Adams and Jordyn Brooks for the first time. Lano Hill was also on the inactive list, leaving third-string strong safety Ryan Neal as a starter who was frequently around the ball in the first half and came up with an interception. Just like Griffin, he has interceptions in back-to-back games.
K.J. Wright could have had two, maybe even three interceptions in this game alone, but settled for several pass breakups, playing a terrific overall game that featured a blown-up screen.
On the other side of the ball, a week after having his leg twisted, leaving his availability in doubt for this game, Chris Carson played and played well, grinding out 80 yards on 16 carries with two TDs along with the game-clinching first down by an inch on his last carry.
The Seahawks return home looking like the NFC’s best team, going 4-0 for the second time in franchise history. The 2013 team went 4-0 too, and we know how that season ended – with a Lombardi Trophy in the Super Bowl.
Bob Stelton – Bob, Dave and Moore
It wasn’t always pretty, but it was a win!
The Seahawks’ defense held the Dolphins to five field goals until the very end when Ryan Fitzpatrick ran for a TD with just over two minutes left in the game.
They held the Dolphins to 23 points and 415 total yards, both below what they had been allowing through the first three games of the season. They also allowed 315 passing yards for Ryan Fitzpatrick (their lowest total of the season) and intercepted him twice.
While none of those numbers are great, they represent the best defensive effort of the season for a defense that went without Jamal Adams, Quinton Dunbar, Jordyn Brooks, Lano Hill and Neiko Thorpe.
Offensively, the Seahawks weren’t as explosive as they have been, but they still put up 31 points (six below their season average), with Russell Wilson throwing for 360 yards and two more touchdown passes to one interception on the day.
Chris Carson was a beast on a day when they needed him. Carlos Hyde was out with a shoulder injury and Travis Homer just isn’t a productive RB at this point. Carson had some crucial runs to extend drives and keep the Miami defense on the field. His 80 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries is a nice day.
The Seahawks did what great teams do: They beat an inferior team, on the road, dealing with significant injuries, on a day where not everything was clicking as it had been in the first three games. The 4-0 record looks pretty good!
One interesting stat for the day: The Seahawks didn’t have a single enforced penalty for the entire game.
Paul Gallant – Danny and Gallant
For the first time since 2013, the Seahawks are 4-0. And the last time they did that? They won the Super Bowl. That’s something you’ll hear eleventy million times this week, give or take.
Championship teams find ways to win through sloppy days at the office. And despite drops (DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, K.J. Wright), missed tackles and missing Jamal Adams and Quinton Dunbar, Seattle dropped an undermanned yet scrappy Miami team.
First, the good. Russell Wilson’s trebuchet-esque connection with Metcalf remains the league’s best, but his most impressive throw of the day was his 57-yard bomb to David Moore right before halftime. Russ uncorked that while running to his left, setting up the Hawks at the Dolphins’ 7 with 10 seconds left in the quarter. They’d score two plays later, capping off a four-play, 21-second, 75-yard TD drive after Miami had pulled within a point.
Moore’s made a lot of people look foolish – pundits like me who didn’t think much of him and that poor random Dolphins linebacker with an impressive juke that freed him up for 21 yards after the catch. He had another highlight-worthy play, floating in the air before sneaking his two feet down in the corner of the end zone for a 17-yard TD reception. He stepped up big on a day where Tyler Lockett had just two catches. So did Chris Carson. I wasn’t sure he’d play after Trysten Hill tried to amputate his leg last week. But despite a sprained knee and a possible concussion, Carson had 100 yards from scrimmage and two TDs.
On defense, K.J. Wright was the Seahawks’ star. He blew up screens, nearly had two interceptions plus a couple of big hits. Ryan Neal, subbing for the injured Adams and Lano Hill, had himself a day in his first career start, intercepting another pass and delivering a hit that even drew praise from Kam Chancellor. More importantly, Seattle’s defense did a much better job of staying on top after giving up all those big plays to the Cowboys a week before.
Still, there were some major issues on defense. The pass rush, with just one sack and six QB hits, struggled (again) to pressure Ryan Fitzpatrick. Worse? The Seahawks seemingly forgot how to tackle, missing easy ones on a regular basis.
I’m happy the Seahawks are 4-0. But if they’d played an aggressive team Sunday, they’d have lost. The Dolphins played not to lose. Despite converting 7 of 13 third downs on the game, they chose to kick field goals in the following fourth-and-manageable situations:
• Fourth-and-3 at the Seattle 11
• Fourth-and-4 at the Seattle 27
• Fourth-and-5 at the Seattle 25
• Fourth-and-5 at the Seattle 11
Better teams won’t be so conservative against this defense. You need some luck in this league, and Seattle was lucky to play a team without marbles.