Instant Reaction: 710 ESPN Seattle on Seahawks’ 24-13 win over Cowboys
The Seahawks picked up their first win of the 2018 season on Sunday, defeating the Dallas Cowboys 24-13 in Seattle’s home opener at CenturyLink Field. As we do after each Seahawks game, we have collected the instant reactions of 710 ESPN Seattle’s hosts on Sunday’s victory, providing a glimpse into what they’ll be saying on the air Monday.
Tom Wassell (Bob, Groz and Tom)
The Seahawks stuck with the running game and it paid off. While improved, I just need to see more of it before I’m convinced it’s identity-defining.
How about that O-line? Protected Wilson all day long and created helped out Chris Carson.
Earl Thomas and Bradley McDougald are neck-and-neck for the team’s best defensive playmakers this season. Every time Seattle needs a game-changing play, one of them comes up huge. McDougald stripping Ezekiel Elliott of the ball after a big run at a key point late in the game is as clutch of a play as you can make, and Earl’s second interception ended what might have been a Dallas TD drive with 4 minutes to go.
Also a nice day for Frank Clark, who lived in the Dallas backfield, recording a sack and helping out on at least one other.
My confidence in their ability to get to 8-8 has returned. Now what was Doug Baldwin so upset about?
Jim Moore (Danny, Dave and Moore)
The Seahawks finally followed through on their preference to run the ball, giving it to Chris Carson over and over again. With 102 rushing yards, Carson became the first Seahawks’ running back to have a 100-yard game since Thomas Rawls did it in 2016.
I thought the absence of Justin Britt and Ethan Pocic would hurt the interior of the O-line, but that wasn’t the case. In fact, the O-line played its best game of the three thus far, and you can’t help but think that right guard D.J. Fluker, in his Seahawks’ debut, made a big difference.
The defense also played well, shutting down the Cowboys with persistent pressure of Dak Prescott. The Seahawks came up with their sixth, seventh and eighth takeaways of the season with a pair of Earl Thomas interceptions and an Ezekiel Elliott fumble that was forced by Bradley McDougald and recovered by Justin Coleman.
Thomas went from not practicing on Wednesday and Friday to being a star on Sunday, enhancing his possible trade value or remaining a solid presence at the back end of the defense.
The Seahawks have gone from the possibility of an 0-3 start to a 1-2 record and a good chance of improving to 2-2 against winless Arizona next Sunday.
Mike Salk (Brock and Salk)
It’s weird to have a must-win game so early in the season, but that’s what the Seahawks won on Sunday. With the win, they find themselves 1-2 and heading to face an 0-3 Arizona team likely making a change at QB. With a loss, they would have been 0-3 themselves. I truly believe if they had started 0-3, this season could have quickly descended into a mess of epic proportions and I would have worried about the effort level we’d have seen from some of the veterans.
But that is now (thankfully) moot. The Seahawks played the type of game they were built to play. They ran it, they were more physical, they harassed the quarterback and they forced turnovers. Essentially, they operated the Pete Carroll formula to perfection.
It’s amazing how winning can change the way we view everything.
Dave Grosby (Bob, Groz and Tom)
As the Buffalo Bills proved Sunday, you never know what’s going to happen in the NFL. The Seahawks put a tumultuous week behind them and turned in a complete effort against the Cowboys.
They managed to check almost every box. Run the ball effectively: check. Pressure on defense: check. Force turnovers: check. Protect Russell Wilson: check.
As a team, the Seahawks ignored the off-field noise and played perhaps their best game since the win over the Eagles last season. The defense truly was big time despite allowing a few runs by Ezekial Elliot. It dominated the game when it mattered and had their second straight good week. The offensive line play was as good as we’ve seen in a long time around here against a very good Dallas defense. And what can you say about Earl Thomas? Talk about stepping up.
Hopefully there’s less drama moving forward, but I wouldn’t count on it.
Bob Stelton (Bob, Groz and Tom)
The Seahawks gave what few (including me) seemed to expect in this game: as close to a complete performance as we’ve seen from this team in a long time. It certainly doesn’t mean they were perfect but you can’t walk away from this feeling overly concerned about any one thing.
The run game that everyone has clamored for was there. Chris Carson had 32 carries for 102 yards and a TD. The team as whole had 39 carries to 26 pass attempts.
The defense played its best game of the season, sacking Dak Prescott five times and keeping fairly consistent pressure on him throughout the day.
More importantly, they were able to overcome the turmoil of Earl Thomas sitting out practice and all of the drama that follows that, plus the shuffling of players due to injuries.
We’ll see if this is more like the team we can expect to see moving forward, but for today this was a very good game for a team that is dealing with a lot.