O’Neil: By committing to the run, Seahawks come up with their most impressive win yet
The Seahawks know who they are.
They demonstrated that quite clearly in Detroit.
They are a team that is going to run first, second and occasionally third.
When Seattle does throw, it is going to throw deep, and when Russell Wilson plays as well as he did on Sunday in Detroit then the Seahawks are going to be very tough to beat.
Seattle’s 28-14 victory in Detroit on Sunday was quite simply the Seahawks’ most impressive game of this season. It was also quite simple.
The Seahawks ran the ball on their first four snaps from scrimmage, Chris Carson rushed for more than 100 yards for the third time in the past five regular-season games and when Seattle did go to the air, the quarterback threw deep with overwhelming efficiency.
Wilson was absolutely great on Sunday. He completed all but one of the 12 passes he attempted in the first half, he threw three touchdown passes to three different players and he finished the game with a passer rating of 158.3, which is the highest score possible in that particular metric.
A lot of time was spent this week talking about how the Seahawks would fare against the Lions and their quarterback, Matthew Stafford. Not only that, but it kicked off a gauntlet of sorts as the Seahawks are going to play five bona fide franchise quarterbacks in the span of five weeks.
And after all that buildup, the Seahawks’ offense was nothing less than methodical in controlling Sunday’s game.
Seattle punted on its first possession but scored a touchdown on four of its next six drives. The lone exceptions in that time were at the end of the first half when the Seahawks decided to run out the clock and then on their first drive of the second half when Nick Vannett’s touchdown catch on fourth-and-goal was nullified because he was pushed out of bounds.
It was nothing short of an absolutely dominating performance in large part because the Seahawks could run the ball as often and as effectively as they wanted. Carson carried 25 times for 105 yards and ran over two different defenders to score on a 7-yard run in the third quarter.
It was a continuation of the ground-bound approach the Seahawks committed to after an 0-2 start. When Carson rushed for 102 yards in Week 3 against Dallas, it was the Seahawks’ first 100-yard rushing game in two years (658 days to be exact). That was the third-longest drought in franchise history.
Seattle has had a player rush for more than 100 yards in four of the past five games, Carson being responsible for three and Mike Davis – who gained 33 yards in Detroit – having one.
Now things did get a little dicier than they should have for Seattle in the fourth quarter. A third-down penalty for roughing the passer extended what turned out to be a Lions’ touchdown drive. There was also a 56-yard penalty for pass-interference that put the Lions in scoring position in the final 5 minutes only to have Justin Coleman pick off a pass from Stafford at the Seattle 1, Seattle’s third takeaway of the game.
The Seahawks iced the game in a most unorthodox way, lining up to punt the ball away from their own end zone with 2:18 to play and leading by 14 points. Rookie punter Michael Dickson took the snap at the back of the end zone and rolled to his right, the Seahawks willing to concede a safety to take away the risk of a blocked (or botched) punt.
But when Detroit’s coverage team didn’t react to Dickson, the rookie punter saw a free lane upfield and ran 9 yards to gain the first down.
Yep, the Seahawks have found their identity. Even their punter is committed to it.