O’Neil: Did Seahawks’ blowout win over Jets unclog their offense?
The Seahawks’ offense underwent a four-quarter cleanse on Sunday.
No solid food this game. Just the Jets’ defense, which went down so easily that Seattle scored 40 consecutive points.
Seahawks 40, Jets 3. It was Seattle’s most lopsided victory in eight years. Seattle scored three times in the second quarter alone, punted only twice and did exactly what a good team should be expected to do, beating the brakes off the NFL’s only winless squad.
Will that unclog an offense that bogged down last week against the Jets’ older and better looking step-brother, the New York Giants? We’re not going to know that until next week when Seattle plays at Washington against a Football Team whose defense scored twice on Sunday in a victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
This wasn’t a game against the Jets so much as a ritual sacrifice. A bloodletting. A chance for the Seahawks to open up the offense and let things rip, which is exactly what Russell Wilson did. He threw four scoring passes to four different players.
He was picked off once, but that was in the first quarter when he decided to give DK Metcalf a chance down the sideline against one-on-one coverage, and Jets safety Marcus Maye made a heck of a play, first tipping the ball and then catching it. That was one of the six passes that Wilson failed to complete out of his 27 attempts. His completion percentage of 77.8 was third-best of any game he’s had this season, and perhaps most importantly he was not sacked.
The Jets scored a field goal on their opening possession – the seventh straight game in which they’ve scored on their first drive – but the Seahawks took the lead by driving 75 yards in just over 3 minutes, a possession punctuated by a 19-yard touchdown pass to rookie Freddie Swain. Wilson also threw scoring passes to Metcalf, Will Dissly and David Moore.
Running back Chris Carson averaged 6.3 yards on his 12 carries and scored on a 5-yard run in the final minute of the second half to erase any doubt that was left about the outcome. Geno Smith replaced Wilson at the end of the third quarter and the Seahawks finished with 40 points, their most in a game since they beat Tampa Bay 40-34 last season. The 37-point margin of victory was Seattle’s largest since beating Arizona 58-0 in December 2012.
We’ve now reached the portion of the column in which I am supposed to contextualize this game as a step forward for the offense given what has transpired recently. According to that storyline, I’d emphasis the fact that this offense, after failing to reach 30 points in any of its past four games, finally got right and finished with a season-high 40 points.
Except this was the Jets, the closest thing to a JV squad in the NFL. Since I began covering the Seahawks in 2005, this was one of the three least-inspired efforts I have ever seen against the Seahawks. The Jets’ longest drive of the game was their first one. They gained 48 yards, resulting in a field goal. They had the ball inside the Seattle 20-yard line exactly once, and that red-zone opportunity evaporated with three straight incompletions and a missed field goal. It was one of three kicks the Jets missed in the game.
As bad as the Jets’ offense was, their defense was worst. They played like a team that just fired their defensive coordinator, which of course they did. Gregg Williams was let go after calling an all-out pressure in the final minute last week against the Raiders, leaving a rookie cornerback matched up one-on-one with Henry Ruggs III, whose 46-yard touchdown with 6 seconds allowed the Jets to snatch a defeat from the jaws of victory.
The Seahawks were coming off their own disappointment, suffering their first home loss of the season against the Giants. Seattle was held to a season-low 12 points, but Sunday’s victory doesn’t prove that the Seahawks are back so much as showing that the bottom hasn’t totally dropped out of this season.
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