O’Neil: Seahawks won an ugly game that wasn’t close, so why complain?
Sorry, I’m not currently accepting any complaints about the Seahawks’ victory in Philadelphia on Monday night.
I feel the need to state this up front because given the overall ugly nature of the game, I’m anticipating a lot of people in town are going to have plenty to say about everything from Seattle’s fourth-down play calls in the first half to the offense’s lack of a finishing touch in the fourth quarter.
Save your breath. The Seahawks never trailed in a game they won on the road. DK Metcalf had (another) monster game in Philadelphia, Russell Wilson didn’t turn the ball over and the Seahawks beat the Philadelphia Eagles 23-17 and really, it wasn’t even that close.
Games in the NFL aren’t judged on their aesthetic value. You don’t get points for style. It’s a bottom-line league and the Seahawks got a victory, and I’m not so spoiled that I’m willing to complain about the lack of a first-half knockout.
The Eagles were ripe for one. There was no doubt about that. That was a busted offense Philadelphia fielded. It failed to manage so much as a first down on any of its first five possessions. It didn’t get past midfield until the last drive of the half by which point the Seahawks led 14-0.
It could have been more. It probably should have been more. The Seahawks drove inside the Philadelphia 10-yard line on their first possession only to turn the ball over on downs when a sweep to David Moore was blown up because the Seahawks asked a wide receiver to block the defensive end. Now, granted, it was a big wide receiver (Metcalf), but still. A receiver was tasked with blocking the end, who lunged into the backfield creating a pile that stopped the play cold. It was the first of two fourth-down stops by Philadelphia’s defense in the first quarter.
But this wasn’t a game that was meant for anyone to enjoy it. It was something that had to be endured. Yes, we all suffered a little bit on Monday night whether it was the Eagles fans wondering just how a team that won a Super Bowl just three years ago has been reduced to this or Seahawks fans wondering just when this offense was going to finish off the Eagles. And if you were just watching the game on ESPN, well, then you had to endure a three-hour autopsy of Carson Wentz’s career because the only thing that the trio of Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick (whom I really like) were capable of discussing was all of the different ways in which Philadelphia’s quarterback now stinks.
I’m not going to try and sell you on the idea that this was a testament to Seattle’s revived defense. The Eagles’ offense was a mess, starting a pair of new offensive tackles as part of what was the team’s 10th different offensive line configuration in 11 games.
But I’m also not going to understate what Seattle did, either. Jamal Adams played his best game as a Seahawk with one impressive sack and several other notable hits. The Seahawks sacked Wentz six times, which is what you should do against a team that is starting its 10th different offensive line configuration in 11 games.
Seattle did what a good team is supposed to do. It won without all that much fuss, and while it certainly could have been a whole lot more convincing, it could have been a whole lot more excruciating, too. The Seahawks have demonstrated that a time or two over the years.
And for everyone huffing about how the Seahawks won’t win a Super Bowl playing like they did on Monday night, you’re probably right. But the Seahawks didn’t need to win a Super Bowl on Monday night. They just didn’t needed to beat the Eagles, and Metcalf himself provided most of what Seattle needed to accomplish that task. He caught the first two passes of the game on quick slants, drew a pair of 15-yard personal-foul penalties because Eagles players were angry enough to shove him in the back and then in the second quarter he set up Seattle’s first touchdown with a 52-yard catch.
Metcalf finished with 10 catches for 177 yards and now ranks first in the NFL in receiving yards with 1,039. The only quibble was the pass that went off his hands in the fourth quarter, costing the Seahawks a touchdown. Instead, they settled for a field goal, which Jason Myers made just like the previous 25 field goals he’s attempted for the Seahawks. It’s the second-longest streak in franchise history.
The Eagles never had the ball with a chance to take the lead in the second half. The only reason they cut the final margin to six points was because Wentz heaved a ball 33 yards into the end zone with 12 seconds left, Seattle’s Adams tipped it and Richard Rodgers – the Eagles’ backup tight end – caught the deflection with one hand.
So while the overall result might not have been as pleasurable as everyone hoped, it really wasn’t much in doubt, either, which is why I’m not currently fielding complaints from all those people who are pointing out all the ways in which the win could have been better.