The Seattle Seahawks improved their record to 2-1 with a strong second-half performance against the Carolina Panthers. As with most games, the Hawks still have some things to work on. Overall, this was a solid win and points to even better things in the future.
I'm going to be upfront about this, gang. The title of this article is a bit misleading. I really can't say there were any duds in this game - at least not on the Seahawks. I'll leave it to our friends at Fansided's Panthers site to perform their own autopsy. We'll just celebrate our team's big win.
Oh, and there weren't just three studs in those sweet Super Bowl XLVIII unis, either. You could easily name a dozen Seahawks for standout performance in this game, and you'd still be missing a few guys. I'll name a few of those honorable mentions before I move on to my selections. Unless you name, oh, let's say McClendon Curtis, I probably wouldn't argue with you. Curtis is about the only O-lineman that didn't play Sunday, if you were wondering.
So let's get to my honorable mentions first. Speaking of the offensive line, at one point in the game, Seattle had exactly one of their five starters on the field. Ben Brown is the Hawks third-string center, and he was in for eight snaps, subbing for guard Damien Lewis. Starter Evan Brown and backup tackles Jake Curhan and Stone Forsythe played every snap, along with rookie guard Anthony Bradford.
The Seattle Seahawks had no shortage of studs in Week 3
This unit allowed eight quarterback hits and two sacks. No, that isn't great, but for one starter out of five, it's pretty darn good. They also helped fuel the Seahawks run game. The Hawks running backs averaged 3.4 yards before contact (raw stats from pro-football-reference-com). Compare that to the Panthers RBs, who averaged a minuscule 1.2 yards before being greeted by a white jersey. That qualifies as a stud performance to me.
Staying with offense, how about the man who engendered one of the 12s favorite chants, "More Bobo"? He only had one catch, but it was spectacular. It was critical, too, as it put the Seahawks up by 15 with 4:17 left in the game. Seattle then went ahead by two more, but we'll get to that shortly.
I cannot overstate the importance of what Bobo did on that play and what he brings to this team. He set as if staying in to block, then gave a little shuffle as to adjust his block, and then took off. Geno Smith hit him in stride at the very back of the end zone, and the 6'4" Bobo did his best Tyler Lockett impression, getting both feet inbounds with about an inch to spare. Secondaries seem to forget he can catch the ball, and when they remember, it's too late.
Wow, that was a lot for an honorable mention, wasn't it? Okay, let me get to that two-point conversion and the man who made it happen. Yes, Tyler Lockett made a typical brilliant catch in tight coverage. But Geno Smith - man, oh man. Don't forget this was a two-point conversion, so the play began at the Panthers two-yard line. Smith was under pressure, spun away once, then rolled right. He launched the ball from well outside the right hashmark across the field to the left corner of the endzone, where Lockett hauled the pass in.
It wasn't a desperation throw at all, but a perfect strike where only Lockett could make the play. Smith had one rough stretch in the game when he completed just one of eight passes, true. But he was on fire after that. Smith connected on 12 of 13 passes in the second half, leading the Hawks to 25 points to close out the win.
One more honorable mention, okay? Please? I can't count Zach Charbonnet as one of the three biggest performers in this game, not with what the other standouts did. But for a guy who just had nine carries, this guy made a statement. You know the play, of course. Charbonnet showed exactly why Pete Carroll had been talking all summer about how hard the rookie runs. He looked good on most of his carries, hitting the hole immediately and usually picking up yardage.
But the play that got the ball to the Panthers two-yard line to set up the Smith-Bobo score was special. He served notice to the league that when you play the Seahawks, you're going to get hit, even when you're up against the offense. And you may be separated from your soul, as was safety Sam Franklin Jr.