Seahawks Instant Reaction: Seattle Sports on 37-23 win over Chargers

Oct 23, 2022, 5:08 PM | Updated: 9:24 pm

Seahawks Kenneth Walker III...

Seahawks RB Kenneth Walker III stiff-arms Drue Tranquill of the Los Angeles Chargers. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

The Seahawks have won again, and are now the only team in the NFC West with a record over .500. And yes, that means they’re in first place.

Recap: Hawks beat Chargers 37-23 | Geno Smith-led Seahawks in first place

Seattle put together maybe its best game of the season to defeat the Los Angeles Chargers 37-23 on Sunday (box score), improving to 4-3 on the season. L.A. fell to 4-3 with the loss, but even more important, the 49ers lost 44-23 to Kansas City, and with the 3-3 Rams on their bye week, Seattle moves into sole possession of first place in the NFC West.

As we do after every Seahawks game, we have collected the instant reactions of the voices of Seattle Sports. See what they have to say below, and tune into the station Monday for much more in-depth analysis on the game.

Mike Salk – Brock & Salk (6-10 a.m.)

At 3-3 and playing a quality team on the road, this was going to be a watershed game for the Seahawks. Win and you lead the division in a weak conference. Lose and you show that you might be one of those teams that can be frisky but not really competitive.

Well, they not only won, but they did it convincingly. This was the most complete victory of the Seahawks’ young season as all three phases contributed.

Salk: Three biggest reasons Seahawks have played way into first place

By beating the Chargers on their “home” (rented) turf, the Seahawks sent a message to the rest of the league: take us seriously. That same message might apply to some fans, their local media (myself included), and plenty of national pundits who assumed their coach was just refusing to admit that this was a full rebuild.

With a balanced offense led by a rejuvenated (or maybe reincarnated) quarterback and a defense that was able to play complimentary football and get off the field at key moments, the Seahawks lead the NFC West nearly halfway through the season. If this rookie class continues to grow and develop (and all signs point to that happening), this team may be the biggest surprise in the NFL.

Stacy Rost – Bump & Stacy (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

Please welcome to the stage your first-place Seattle Seahawks.

We knew the Chargers could give the Seahawks their biggest test since Week 2. Seattle’s opponents since then have brought with them some strengths, but also weaknesses that presented opportunity. Detroit was putting up more points than all but one other team, but also allowing over 30 points per game. The Falcons and Saints were without several starters.

The Chargers weren’t completely healthy Sunday, but they had a few remaining playmakers (both starting wide receivers and starting running back Austin Ekeler were available). The offense had quieted a bit but was perfectly capable of dropping 30. They were a defense that had struggle against the run but had one of the league’s sack leaders in Khalil Mack, and were also fielding the best quarterback this team will have faced all season in Justin Herbert.

Seattle beat them by two touchdowns.

And now the Seahawks are in sole possession of the NFC West.

There’s plenty yet to prove for this squad, but what we’re seeing through the first half of the season here in Seattle is, quietly, turning out to be one of the more fascinating storylines of the NFL season so far.

Dave Wyman – Wyman & Bob (2-7 p.m.)

Bob Stelton – Wyman & Bob

The Seattle Seahawks are in first place! Who realistically expected to ever say that this season? We even heard it on the broadcast today from the FOX play-by-play man, saying the projected win total for this team was five. Yet, here they are at 4-3 and in first place with the defense looking dramatically better.

The offense was already clicking for most of this season with Geno Smith surpassing anybody’s expectations, but today the story was rookie running back Ken Walker III. He goes for 168 rushing yards and two touchdowns and looks more than worthy of his draft position.

Between the two rookie tackles, two rookie corners and now Walker, this could be one of Seattle’s best draft classes in years.

There are still 10 games left to play, but the Hawks look like they could be one of the biggest surprises in the NFL. Especially with the NFC looking as mediocre as it has so far.

Mike Lefko – Wyman & Bob

When you put up close to 40 points, it’s strange to focus on the defense, but that side of the ball was huge in slowing down one of the best offenses in football.

The Chargers entered the game as the seventh-best scoring offense in football at nearly 24 points per game, yet they scored just two touchdowns during the meaningful portion of the game. The early fourth down stop set the tone, and the forced fumble (and recovery) by Darrell Taylor was a welcome sight after all of the questions about his lack of production and the role he might have on this defense.

That ball-hawking mentality helped the offense establish its rhythm – and the core of what this team is built to do: run the ball and control time of possession. The 10-minute scoring drive in the third quarter took the wind out of the Chargers’ sails and let the Seahawks dictate how the second half would be played.

It also helps that Ken Walker looks like everything the Seahawks hoped he would be after spending a second-round pick on him. A physical runner can alter the dynamic of football games, especially late when the defense is worn out and has been on the field for a while.

This was a measuring stick win for the Seahawks, and at this point of the season they have to be considered as legitimate playoff contenders.

Brock Huard – Brock & Salk

Seahawks WR DK Metcalf carted off during first quarter

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Seahawks Instant Reaction: Seattle Sports on 37-23 win over Chargers