Seahawks Instant Reaction: 710 ESPN Seattle on 30-24 win over Carolina
The Seahawks held on for a 30-24 win over the Carolina Panthers on the road Sunday, which inched them closer to making the postseason.
As we do after each Seahawks game, we have collected the instant reactions of 710 ESPN Seattle’s hosts to get an idea of what you’ll be able to hear on the station throughout the day Monday.
Jake Heaps – Tom, Jake and Stacy
After a tough loss versus the Los Angeles Rams, the Seattle Seahawks were able to respond with a much needed “get right” game against the Carolina Panthers.
Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett and Chris Carson all contributed with big performances as the offense responded by scoring 30 points. This was a much-needed performance on offense after underperforming the last three weeks compared to the first nine weeks of the season.
The defense I thought played well overall considering the absence of five defensive starters, generating three turnovers and nearly a fourth.
The Groz – Every day at 11:45 a.m. with John Clayton
My biggest takeaway was the Seahawks managed to check most of the boxes of concern that popped up after the Rams game.
Despite having a beat-up defense, they forced turnovers and made big plays. Check.
Tyler Lockett had a big game after several non-productive weeks. Check.
Russell Wilson got the downfield passing game going and his QB rating back over 100. Check.
Despite a few penalties, the offensive line pushed the Panthers’ D-line around and protected Wilson well. Check.
The Seahawks wrapped up their road schedule with seven wins in eight games, which is awfully impressive. They dealt with having multiple key players out and still dominated the Panthers. As bad as the Rams game was, this game should have restored a lot of faith. Of course Bobby Wagner’s injury was terrifying but it didn’t seem serious. Wee shall see. All in all, a good week.
Jim Moore – Bob, Dave and Moore
The Seahawks became the best single-season road team in franchise history, going 7-1 in away games after hanging on to beat the Panthers.
I’m guessing there will be a lot of talk about some of the negatives, the biggest of which was putting themselves in position to blow a 20-point fourth-quarter lead.
The combination of playing a prevent defense and having so many starters sidelined with injuries nearly bit the Seahawks, but they prevailed in the end.
Should it have been an easier win? Probably. Especially against a team that had lost five in a row and was down 13-0 after the first 10 minutes.
Give K.J. Wright one of the game balls for coming up with two interceptions. And give another to Chris Carson, who scored two TDs and ran for 133 yards.
The way they won won’t really matter when it’s added up at the end of the season, but if you told me this is one of the shakiest 11-3 teams in NFL history, I wouldn’t argue with you. But they’re likely saying the same thing about the 11-3 Packers in Green Bay.
Stacy Rost – Tom, Jake and Stacy
The Seahawks needed to control a game – not just win one – after their worst performance of the season last week, and they did that against the Panthers (through three quarters, at least).
Seattle’s offense scored on its first three possessions. That first half included a 19-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to wide receiver DK Metcalf, who with that catch surpassed Doug Baldwin for second-most receiving yards by a rookie in franchise history.
Seahawks fans should be encouraged by seeing Tyler Lockett involved early. He had his first touchdown since Nov. 3, which is a promising development for a player who has been slowed by illness and a serious lower-leg injury. Also encouraging was the involvement of Josh Gordon, who hauled in a 58-yard bomb from Wilson on second-and-long. Gordon also threw an interception, but thankfully throwing isn’t something he’ll be called upon to do often (and at least there’s no quarterback controversy in Seattle now).
Play-calling became a bit more conservative as the game progressed, but that shouldn’t be too surprising given Pete Carroll’s coaching philosophy and the fact that Seattle had a two- to three-score lead through most of the game. Seattle at least took advantage of a Carolina Panthers defense that struggled against the run; Chris Carson had his sixth 100-yard rushing game in what might have been his best performance of the year.
There were two big concerns on defense – struggles against fly sweeps and screen plays, and injuries to starters. But the key to beating Carolina was always going to be to stopping running back Christian McCaffrey, and they at least did that through three quarters. But by the fourth quarter, Seattle was short an additional two defensive starters (safety Quandre Diggs and linebacker Bobby Wagner) after having entered the game without their starting cornerback, starting outside linebacker, and both starting defensive ends. No surprise then that six of the Panthers’ 10 longest plays came in that quarter.
There are plenty of questions leaving this contest (though “Why can’t Seattle make it easy?” isn’t going to be answered) but the Seahawks are one step closer to their quest for the top seed in the NFC, and it’s hard to be too critical of that. At 11-3, the Seahawks can clinch playoff berth today with a Rams or Vikings loss.
— Stacy Jo Rost (@StacyRost) December 15, 2019
Bob Stelton – Bob, Dave and Moore
“The Seahawks hang on for the win.”
That’s what was said by the play-by-play crew after this one. It applies to just about every win this season except for the Cardinals game. It’s just what the Seahawks do.
The Seahawks picked up their 11th win of the season in classic Seahawks fashion, turning what should have been a blowout into a tense and compelling game.
It was a great bounce back day for the Hawks’ offense. Russell Wilson was fantastic (20 for 26 passing, 286 yards and two TDs).
Chris Carson was the monster he was expected to be facing the league’s 29th-ranked defense against the run. On 24 carries, he had 133 yards and two TDs.
Throw in Tyler Lockett looking like the Tyler Lockett we’ve come to know and love (eight catches on nine targets for 120 yards and a TD), but more importantly the fact that he was there when Russell needed him. When the play breaks down and Russell is scrambling around keeping the play alive, Lockett has a knack for finding a soft spot in the defense and appearing to be wide open. He did that again in this game.
The defense was bit more uneven and that was to be expected to a certain extent with all of the injuries suffered on that side of the ball. They still came away with three interceptions on the day, but they also gave up 14 points in just 3:36 late in the game to turn this from a laugher into a tense conclusion.
The bottom line is the Hawks did what they were supposed to do – beat an inferior team that is in disarray.
It was great to see the offense get rolling today. Let’s hope the defense can heal up and find a rhythm in these last two regular season games.
— Bob Stelton (@BobStelton) December 15, 2019
Maura Dooley – Bob, Dave and Moore producer
The bad news is obviously the alarming amount of injuries the Seahawks are dealing with currently. It was hard enough to head into the game without Shaquill Griffin, Jadaveon Clowney and Mychal Kendricks, but to lose Quandre Diggs and Bobby Wagner in-game felt like something out of a horror movie. Luckily, Wagner was a big factor before his injury. He and K.J. Wright looked every bit the veteran leaders that they are, combining for three interceptions of Panthers QB Kyle Allen.
Rasheem Green continues to improve every game, recording his fourth sack of the season on a third down play in the second quarter. Overall, the defense did well against Allen, holding him to 25 completions on 41 attempts, but it struggled with Christian McCaffrey. They are not alone, as Dave Wyman pointed out earlier this week that Tampa Bay is the only team that has held McCaffrey under 100 all-purpose yards this season. I think you walk away from that happy that the defense gutted it out through all of the injuries and feel optimistic that most of these guys should be good to go soon.
The good news is the offense looked very capable of picking up any slack caused by the onslaught of defensive injuries. It was reassuring to see Tyler Lockett and Russell Wilson pick up right where they left off before Lockett’s injury in Week 10. Lockett racked up 120 yards and a score on eight catches, and Russell was making MVP-like throws all day. Chris Carson refused to be denied and just kept churning for yards after contact all day. He ended up with 133 yards for his sixth 100-yard outing of the season.
Next week, the offense gets a favorable match-up with an Arizona defense that is dead last against the pass and in the bottom 10 at defending the run. The other good news is that Pete Carroll seemed optimistic post-game that all of the defensive players held out today should be able to return next week, and Bobby Wagner says he’s fine. I’m still very concerned about the Diggs injury as the Seahawks had finally felt settled at the safety position, but I feel very confident that this offense can pull more of the weight at home against Arizona if necessary.