DANNY ONEIL

It’s a Seahawks tradition — they’re gaining speed going into December

Nov 25, 2019, 12:04 PM
Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny...
Rashaad Penny had a 58-yard TD run in the Seahawks' 17-9 win over the Eagles. (Getty)
(Getty)

Honestly, the game was kind of boring.

No wait. That’s not quite right because plenty of interesting stuff happened in the Seahawks’ 17-9 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

Seahawks 17, Eagles 9: Recap | 3 stars | 710 reacts | Wilson makes history

A big-budget free-agent addition to the defense made his first real impact as Ziggy Ansah applied consistent pressure to Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. A former first-round pick had the biggest rush of his career, Rashaad Penny running headlong back into Seattle’s offensive game plan. And then Seattle’s defense – which held San Francisco’s offense out of the end zone for the final 55 minutes of the team’s last win – didn’t allow the Eagles to score a touchdown for the first 59 minutes of this game.

Throw in the five turnovers Seattle forced, mix in a half dozen or so missed opportunities for the Seahawks, and despite all of that the Seahawks couldn’t manage to mix in the usual dose of uncertainty and angst introduced by their games.

The cardiac kids are slipping. Try as Seattle might, it never made me believe that the Philadelphia Eagles and their offense were capable of coming back and winning that game. Part of that was because the Eagles were missing their top two wide receivers and Pro Bowl right tackle Lane Johnson. Part of that was because Carson Wentz remains a shadow of the MVP frontrunner that he was just two years ago.

Not that there are any complaints here in Seattle. The calendar is about to turn to December and the Seahawks are doing what they’ve done so often under Pete Carroll: They’re gaining speed.

It happened in 2012 when Seattle won its final five games. It happened again in 2014 when the Seahawks reeled off six straight and they were 4-1 in December last season en route to a wild-card playoff berth.

Is Seattle capable of another run like that? That depends on the Seahawks’ defense, which has shown marked improvement over these past two games. In San Francisco, it was because Jadeveon Clowney had one of the most spectacular games of any defender in the league this season, scoring a touchdown and recording 11 quarterback pressures. In Philadelphia, Clowney did not play because of a sore hip, and yet the Seahawks’ pass rush was no less effective with Ansah getting a sack and a half while also having a sack and forced fumble nullified by a penalty.

The pass rush might be rounding into form for Seattle, and just in time, while the offense just got a little deeper with Penny having the most productive game of his career, capped off by a 58-yard touchdown run that didn’t win the game per se but eliminated whatever suspense was remaining in what turned out to be the most straightforward victory of this Seahawks’ season.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny O’Neil on Twitter.

More Seahawks reaction columns: Paul Gallant | Stacy Rost

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It’s a Seahawks tradition — they’re gaining speed going into December