Seahawks gameday grades: Week 9 Seattle versus Redskins
By Andy Larkin
The Seahawks Sunday afternoon game inside the friendly confines of CenturyLink Field was one that will make any warm blooded Seahawk fan want to puke. The Seahawks outplayed the visiting Washington Redskins Sunday, but were unable to come away with a victory. In a game that would make even the most sane person want to repeatedly hit their head against a wall, the Seahawks simply couldn’t capitalize when they needed to. The Seahawks committed 16 penalties for 168 yards. When the dust settled the Seahawks fell to the Redskins 17-14.
One of the more therapeutic ways to stomach defeat is by working through the grade book. Shall we?
Defensive Line: (A)
Considering the fact that the already thin defensive line was without Sheldon Richardson, I’d say Sunday’s effort was pretty spectacular. The Seattle D held the Redskins to just 244 total yards of offense and a measly 51 yards rushing.
The Seahawks also sacked Kirk Cousins six times. You can’t ask for much more out of a defensive line.
Props to the ageless wonder, Dwight Freeney. The 16 year NFL vet notched two sacks on Sunday. A young man’s game? Nah.
Bobby Wagner was an absolute menace to the Redskins offense. The self-made tackling machine made plays in both the passing and run game. Perhaps his biggest play was coming through clean on a blitz and decking Kirk Cousins in his own end zone for a safety.
As a whole, the linebacking corps was very solid. The Redskins had very little success running or throwing for much of the game.
Again the Redskins gained just 244 yards.
Defensive Backs: (B-)
The Seahawks were without the greatest free safety in the game, Earl Thomas. Bradley McDougald filled in valiantly, but it’s tough to replace a future Hall of Famer.
For most of the game the secondary played well, as they often do. However, there were some let downs in critical moments. The most critical moment came when Cousins completed a 50 yard bomb to Josh Doctson, right over Shaq Griffin. The sequence placed the ball on the Seahawks one inch line and the Redskins were able to pound it in from there.
The Seahawks defense had an opportunity to win the game with a stop on Washington’s final drive, but were unable to do so.
*Note- Kam Chancellor absolutely clobbered Vernon Davis for the umpteenth time in his career. Vernon Davis has to be wondering why he even shows up for games in which Chancellor is lurking in the secondary. I will say, Davis played a very nice game snagging six catches for 72 yards.
Offensive Line: (C+)
The offensive line caused a lot of self inflicted wounds, Sunday. There are far too many penalties happening up front. The Seahawks are always one of the most penalized teams in the league, but Sunday was excessive. It’s not so much the stuff that happens in between the whistles, it’s the infuriating pre snap penalties that haunt this team. Sure, there were too many holding penalties, but that happens sometimes. The false starts are the most unbelievable. You can’t have three or four a game and expect to be successful. Penalties killed drives throughout Sunday’s game.
Duane Brown looked pretty solid in his first outing as a Seahawk. Brown completely neutralized anyone who line up across from him. One thing that I found especially impressive was the way he was able to finish plays. Even if he was seemingly beat off the line, Brown always found a way to recover and reroute his man.
Russell Wilson was magical a week ago. He looked like a different QB in week 9. Wilson threw two interceptions that were just bad throws. He also threw a pick on a two point conversion attempt that was nearly returned for points.
For some reason Wilson looked off for much of the day, but he was able to find a little bit of a rhythm in the fourth quarter. Wilson didn’t play the worst game of his career on Sunday, but for this team to be elite, number three has to be himself going forward.
Running Backs: (C)
Pete Carroll decided to give Eddie Lacy his opportunity to take over the role of lead back. The big bruiser put together a few nice runs early against Washington. Unfortunately, Lacy suffered a groin injury in the first quarter and did not return. The Seahawks just can’t catch a break in the running game.
Thomas Rawls took the field in Lacy’s absence and finished the day with nine carries for 39 yards. I thought he ran better than I’ve seen him at any other point this season. The tough nosed running of Rawls was somewhat encouraging.
Receivers/Tight Ends: (B)
The Seattle pass catchers had a nice outing against the Redskins secondary. No surprise, Doug Baldwin was the top performer, grabbing seven receptions for 108 yards and what should have been a game winning touchdown.
Special Teams: (F)
Blair Walsh missed three makable field goals. If he makes one, the game ends up in overtime. If he makes two, the Seahawks win in regulation. I hate to beat up on the guy too much, but he has to get the job done. I would expect the Seahawks to bring in some competition for Walsh in the coming weeks.
The return game has also been a little disappointing this season. Lockett doesn’t look as explosive as he once was. The holding penalties have also been killer.
Related Story: Seahawks falling behind in NFC West...
Thank goodness the Seahawks get to play on Thursday night. They need to get this taste out of their mouth as soon as possible. Here’s to the Hawks going out and beating the Cardinals by three scores.