Seahawks Quick Hits: Defense continues to ascend at the right time
In a much different change of pace than most are accustomed to seeing, it was a comfortable, blowout win for the Seahawks against the New York Jets as Seattle took care of business 40-3 on Sunday.
The “Heart Attack Hawks” were nowhere to be found in Week 14, as after the Jets scored a field goal on the first drive of the game, Seattle pitched a shutout the rest of the way and the offense did more than enough – to the point where Russell Wilson and others were pulled for backups ahead of the fourth quarter.
The Seahawks are now 9-4 on the year with just three regular season contests remaining. Before we look ahead at what’s next, let’s look at some of the key takeaways from Sunday’s blowout win.
Defense continues to improve
Yes, the Jets looked hopeless at times all over the field. And yes, kicker Sergio Castillo missed three field goals, but the Seahawks held the Jets to 185 yards of total offense and three points. The Seahawks also forced a turnover, recorded three sacks, dropped three should-have-been-caught interceptions and kept Sam Darnold and the Jets’ offense out of the end zone, which is something they hadn’t done all season long to any opponent.
Since the second half of Week 10, when Seattle lost to the Rams, the defense has been playing really well. It allowed one touchdown in the aforementioned second half vs. Los Angeles and then have allowed point totals of 21, 17, 17 and now 3. That’s a little different than when Seattle was seemingly winning shootouts every week to start the year.
Again, the quality of opponent matters in all of those games, but in the NFL, you’ve got to take care of business. Starting cornerback Shaquill Griffin said this week that he felt some of his teammates may have overlooked the New York Giants last week in the team’s 17-12 loss. That sure as heck wasn’t the case with the winless Jets.
Seattle’s offense dominated and the defense suffocated the Jets, whose biggest play was a 34-yard catch as a result of a blown coverage. Other than that play, the Jets were continually settling for minimal gains in the run and pass games. The Jets had also scored at least 27 points in three of their last four games.
With the possible NFC East winner on deck in Washington, a showdown for the NFC West two weeks away and then a rivalry game with the 49ers to close out the year, the defense is playing exactly how it needs to at exactly the right time.
Wilson back on track, sets another record
The sky is not falling when it comes to Wilson after his poor performance against the Giants last week, as he put together a quality game against the Jets.
Wilson completed 21 of 27 passes for 206 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. While the interception was seemingly another case of him trying too hard to force the ball downfield, which was an issue against the Giants, Wilson was hyper efficient the rest of the way. His four touchdowns all went to different receivers: DK Metcalf, David Moore, Freddie Swain and Will Dissly.
Entering Week 14, Wilson had 32 touchdown passes, which was second in the league behind the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers. Wilson still trails Rodgers in that department, but with Sunday’s four touchdowns he set a career high in passing TDs with 36, which is also a new Seahawks franchise record. Wilson previously set the record with 35 in 2018. It is the fifth season Wilson has thrown 30 or more touchdown passes and fourth season in a row.
The Seahawks end the season with the NFC East-leading Washington Football Team, the Rams and the San Francisco 49ers, so Wilson bouncing back after a rough Week 13 outing is great to see for the Seahawks as they close out 2020. That game against the Rams in Week 16 will likely determine the winner of the NFC West.
Advantage Seahawks in the revenge game
All eyes were on safety Jamal Adams as he faced his former team for the first time, and he played well, recording a sack that set a new NFL record, tallying five tackles and nearly intercepting a pass.
But Adams isn’t the only Seahawk who won the “revenge game.”
Starting right tackle Brandon Shell also was playing the Jets for the first time after signing with the Seahawks in free agency, working to get back into action after an ankle injury kept him out the last two weeks.
Then there was kicker Jason Myers, who nailed two field goals to remain perfect on the year and hit four of his five extra point attempts.
But it didn’t stop there.
The rout led to backup quarterback Geno Smith getting rare playing time in the fourth quarter, and he completed four of his five passes for 33 yards.
And while everyone brings up head coach Pete Carroll’s days as Patriots head coach, his first NFL head coaching gig was with the Jets in 1994. He lasted just the one season after going 6-10. He had previously been the team’s defensive coordinator from 1990 to 1993.
Revenge game narratives are fun, and while most of the time players and coaches downplay it, it has to be a good feeling to beat your former employer. For those five Seahawks, a 40-3 blowout win had to feel extra good .