The Seahawks won on the road early Sunday against one of the AFC’s most explosive teams. This was not a game that looks pretty on the box score, although after Sunday all that matters is that the Seahawks left Houston with another “W” in the win column. Seattle played this game missing 60% of its starting offensive line and from the first snap it was very evident against a Houston Defensive-line that is anchored by the reigning Defensive Player of the Year JJ Watt.
Russell Wilson and the Seahawks Offense put the first points of the game on the board with a 1st Quarter field goal. After the first score the Seahawks offense was under constant duress from the Texans pass rush. Wilson only passed for 123 yards on 12 of 23 passing and 1 interception. This week it wasn’t his arm that won this game, it was his legs that he used when he got out of the pocket as he rushed for 77 yards on 10 attempts. Wilson seemed to play better once he was able to escape the pressure inside the pocket. He had a huge scramble for a 1st down on a 4th and 3 situation late in the game. Russell Wilson did not have huge numbers but he again came up clutch late in the game when it mattered the most.
Running Backs: B
Marshawn Lynch started the game off strong, as he had a huge beastmode run for 43 yards from the 2 yard line as he broke tackle after tackle as ran up the field. Lynch finished the game with 98 yards on 17 carries and 1 Touchdown in the 4th Quarter. Lynch also was the Seahawks leading receiver as he caught 3 passes for 45 yards. Robert Turbin had 3 carries for 4 yards and was put in the game to help the Offensive-line pick up the Houston pass rush, although at times he seemed to just be getting run over just like the Offensive-line.
Wide Receivers: B-
The Seahawks Receivers only had 12 catches in the game but none were as important as Doug Baldwin’s tip toe catch on the sidelines in the 4th Quarter on 3rd down. Wilson scrambled out of the pocket and hit Baldwin as he was coming back to help his Quarterback who was under duress. The play was originally called incomplete but it was challenged by Pete Carroll and then overturned for a 1st down. The Receivers seemed to struggle to create separation but with respect to them the Quarterback was under so much pressure that he was going to the ground or getting hit before they seemed to be able to make it out of their breaks.
Offensive Line: D
The Offensive line allowed 5 sacks which resulted in 32 yards lost. I graded the Offensive-line a “D” and it would have been an “F” had it been the starting Offensive-line but with only two actual starters I graded with a bit of leeway. The 1st showed the Offensive-line getting manhandled by JJ Watt and the Houston Defensive-line. Wilson was constantly under pressure and Lynch was being forced to break tackles to gain any yards. In the 4th Quarter the Offensive-line was not suddenly great, but they were able to at least Russell Wilson enough time to move around in the packet so that he could at least create a bit with his legs. So the Line play did progress later in the game, but this was clearly the Seahawks weakest link through-out the game.
Defensive Line: B
For the Seahawks defense this game could be the tale of two halves. In the 1st half of the game the Seahawks Defensive-line struggled to put pressure on Matt Schaub and Arian Foster seemed to be able to run through wide open holes thanks to the play action pass. But, in the 2nd half the Defensive line was consistently putting Schaub under pressure. Clinton McDonald led the Seahawks Defensive-line with 5 tackles and 1 sack, Chris Clemons, Tony Mcdaniel and Cliff Avril each threw in another sack.
Bobby Wagner again led the team with 8 tackles as he flew around the ball the whole game. Malcolm Smith was right behind Wagner in tackles with 7. The Linebackers were constantly around the ball but when it came to coverage they seemed to be out matched covering the Texans tight ends as Owen Daniels and Garrett Graham pulled down 11 catches for 141 yards while primarily being covered by the Linebacking Corps.
The Secondary came up big this week in the 2nd half as Richard Sherman intercepted the ball from Matt Schaub and returned it for a Touchdown with under 3:00 minutes remaining in the game to tie the score up at 20 – 20. Although throughout the game the Texan receivers all seemed to be able to create separation which allowed Schaub to pass for 355 yards with 2 Touchdowns. It is never a good sign when 2nd and 3rd leading tacklers from the game are your safeties as Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor each had 7 tackles in the game. But again the Secondary did come through with 2 interception one of which was inside the redzone by Thomas.
Special Teams: A
The Seahawks special teams again had a solid game, although Jeremy Lane did cough the ball up on a kickoff return but he was able to get through the pile and recover the ball. Steven Hauschka still has not missed a field goal attempt on the season as he hit 3 field goals one of which was the game winner from 48 yards away. Jon Ryan punted he ball 6 times pinning the Jaguars back inside the 20 yard line four times and he also had a long 60 yard punt as well. Golden Tate had a big Punt return when he backed himself into the endzone before bringing it out as he weaved through the coverage to start the game winning drive on the 32 yard line.
This was not the prettiest game of the season for the Seahawks but they did show how much grit they have and belief in themselves as they came back on the road for the win. Again the Seahawks have to stop falling behind by starting off slowly; they still have yet to score a Touchdown on their opening drive. The Seahawks will take this victory and head home as they prepare for next Sunday at the Indianapolis Colts and hopefully they will not have to have nearly as many late heroics.