After a long Dallas drive, Seattle takes control
The second quarter began with the Cowboys first and 10 at Seattle's 32. A four-yard run and an incomplete sets up about the 27th third down for Dallas. First down Dallas. The Hawks could have used Witherspoon over the middle on that play. Mafe makes two straight tackles to force third and five. Patrick O'Connell makes what has to be his sixth tackle of the night to keep the Cowboys from moving the chains. Dallas picks up the first, then scores on second and goal. Seems no one on the Seahawks wanted to cover the flat. Devin Bush was having words with the guys after the play. Hopefully, they clean up that communication issue. Dallas ran 17 plays to score that touchdown. That's far too many conversions to give up.
Drew Lock is in, and Seattle's first play of the second quarter is a seven-yard catch by JSN on play action. A one-yard run, then Lock throws short of Bobo. Unbelievably, Dallas is flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, and Seattle picks up the first down. D.J. Dallas rips off a seven-yard run, then Lock drops a dime to JSN for 48 yards.
Yes, he does look like a faster Doug Baldwin. Smith-Njigba is hauled down at the one, and Dallas - our guy D.J., that is - walks into the end zone. 10-7, Seattle. As Michael Robinson said on commentary after the penalty, "that's the kind of stuff that gets you cut". Uh, yeah. Dallas went from forcing a punt and getting the ball in great field position to giving up seven. Yeah, I'd cut him. The Hawks needed just six plays to go 75 yards and score.
Levi Bell makes a sweet stop on first down, but the Hawks give up a long run, then another first down completion by Will Grier. Seattle gives up nothing on the next two running plays, putting the Cowboys into third and ten. Grier avoids a furious rush, but his receiver just misses getting his feet inbounds to pick up the first. Too bad he he wasn't throwing to Lockett. Michael Bennett goes on a rant about nobody wanting potato salad - love Bennett on the broadcasts - and Dallas punts into the end zone. Seahawks ball at their 20 with 5:36 left in the half.
A short run by D.J. Dallas, then a 21-yard catch over the middle by Noah Fant. Play action again, and Drew Lock hits Cody Thompson for 32 yards. Lock misses Dareke Young in the end zone, but the Cowboys are flagged for a late hit, moving the ball to the Dallas 13. SaRodrick Thompson is stopped for no gain, then Lock hits Tyler Mabry for 12 yards. First and goal, Seattle at the one. SaRodorick Thompson scores from the one following a block by fullback - wait, who was that? Levi Bell checked in at fullback, 12s. It wasn't a devastating block by any means, mainly because the Cowboys defender wanted no part of Bell. But Bell got enough of him, and SaRodorick waltzed in. Bell has now been officially dubbed as John Cena by Bennett, as he's doing it all for the Seahawks.
Time for the Cowboys two-minute drill, third and one at their own 31-yard line. Myles Adams brings QB Grier down, setting up fourth and one. Michael Bennett, of all people, brings up how important it is not to jump offsides. Robinson calls him out, saying they would all yell, "Mike B, stay!" Love this broadcast team. Dallas punts to Dallas - D.J., that is - but the Hawks are flagged for a hold on the return. Holton Ahlers is in and starts at their own nine. Ahlers keeps the ball, of course, and picks up six yards. Running back Wayne Taulapapa picks up the first, but Seattle is flagged for holding. Another run by the U Dub alum brings up third and six. Ahlers takes it himself and picks up the first down. Or did he?
The striped dudes looked at the play for about six minutes - seriously, six minutes - then decided to measure again, and finally say the ball was short by about two inches. With 34 seconds, Michael Dickson punts from his own 19, and the ball rolls out of bounds at the Dallas 33. The Cowboys are called for holding on their first play, then flagged again. Both times, Mafe was the man who put the pressure on. And with a stuffed run, the half is over. Seahawks lead 17-7.
Geno Smith was 5-6 for 46 yards, while Drew Lock was also 5-6, but had 119 yards, largely on that sweet connection to Smith-Njigba. JSN led the Hawks with three catches for 58 yards, with seven others catching one ball each. Other than Charbonnet's 29-yard run, Seattle's running game looked anemic with just 33 additional yards. Then again, both touchdowns came courtesy of the ground game, set up by the sweet passing game.
On defense, the Hawks gave up an early TD, but after that looked like masters of the bend-but-don't-break philosophy. After that 80-yard drive, the Hawks only allowed 93 yards the rest of the way. Led by Boye Mafe, the defensive line looked good with two sacks and forced two holding penalties. Michael Jackson had three tackles, but those were all after he gave up three catches he never should have allowed. Patrick O'Connell led the team with six tackles. Overall, there was a lot to like in this half.