Seahawks offensive and defensive grades from Week 15 victory
By Jake Luppino
Seahawks defense comes up big stopping Washington’s 4th quarter rally.
The Seattle Seahawks seemed to be in control for the majority of this game. But, as many 12s are accustomed to, the emotional distress kicked in late in the fourth quarter. With a 17 point lead entering the fourth quarter, the Seattle offense took their foot off the gas and allowed this Washington team to creep back into the ball game. Washington stole the momentum and was in pursuit of the game-winning touchdown before the Seahawks got back-to-back sacks.
In a gritty, physical game, the Seahawks just edged out a victory over a resilient Washington team. With the victory, not only did the Seahawks clinch a playoff birth, but they also move back into first place in the NFC West as the Jets shocked the world and defeated the Rams. Although it was a sloppy second half, the Seahawks came back home with the win, and that’s all that matters.
Here is the Seahawks grade report for their Week 15 victory.
The Seahawks relied heavily upon their game run in this one and it was quite successful. As a result, Russell Wilson didn’t post a huge game stats wise. But, he did his job and kept drives alive with his feet. In fact, he had the longest rush of the game. When the play broke down, Wilson scrambled out to his right, juked out a defender and rushed for 38 yards. Those are the winning plays that he is known for doing.
The stat sheet will show an interception, but it was a tipped ball that maybe Wilson should have gotten rid of earlier. Wilson showed off his great deep ball once again, hitting Freddie Swain up the sideline. Although he caught the ball, his feet were out of bounds. Later on, on his only touchdown of the day, Wilson threw a bullet to TE Jacob Hollister. Overall, it was a solid day for Wilson.
I really liked what I saw from the running backs. Coming into this game, it was no secret that Washington’s front four was one of the better ones in the league. The Seahawks stuck to their guns and ran the ball right down their throat. Carlos Hyde had perhaps the play of the day when he burst out a 50-yard touchdown rush to give the Seahawks a 20-3 lead. Chris Carson once again looked sharp, battling for every single yard. There were numerous times where there were multiple Washington defenders on him and you can just see his feet keep moving.
It was awesome to see the return of Rashaad Penny. I know he only saw a handful of snaps, but, it was just good to see him back out there overcoming his ACL injury. He will be an intriguing part of this offense moving forward as he works his way back into game shape. I expect Penny to be heavily involved in the passing attack. Regardless, Hyde and Carson put together a nice game and played a huge role in this one.
It was a weird game for the Seahawks wide receivers. Washington strong’s suit is upfront and not so much in the back end. But, for the majority of the game, Washington dropped two safeties and prevented the big-time play. Along with that, Seattle favored the run game yesterday. They felt comfortable with the matchup up front and it paid off as the rushing attack did its job.
The play calling obviously plays a critical role in this one. Last week against the Jets, Seattle incorporated the short, intermediate routes. That was on display yesterday for a short period of time, but it worked once again. In the second half, Washington made a defensive adjustment by putting 5 defensive linemen up front. As a result, Seattle drew up quick hitches and slants for D.K. Metcalf. This is going to be a huge part of this offense moving forward as more and more teams will drop two safeties and try to prevent the big plays down the field.
I was really proud of this offensive line in the win. With RT Brandon Shell inactive, it felt as if this game was going to look a whole lot like the Giants one in Week 13. But, it absolutely did not. Washington did not record 1 sack. Wilson was hit a handful of times, but nothing that drastically affected the performance of this offense.
This was a good test for this offensive line as Washington’s front four can apply a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Most importantly, they were able to provide the holes for the running backs. As mentioned earlier, Carlos Hyde had a big-time run that gave the Seahawks a big advantage in this game. While the play calling heavily favored the rushing attack, if Seattle were to get going more in the passing game, this one could have been ugly. But, I understood the conservative play calling with a 17 point lead. Overall, an impressive performance from the guys upfront.