This past week was a weird week for Seattle Seahawks fans. First, the Rams took the lead in the NFC West at 2-1, then in a 30 plus point routing of the San Francisco 49ers, Russell Wilson suffered an MCL sprain in a fluky sack by 49er Eli Harold. Wilson’s knee bended in a way that would make anyone queasy, especially when it looked eerily similar to Robert Griffin III’s knee tear in Washington. Backup QB Trevone Boykin came in and threw another score and a pick. So all things considered, there were areas that needed a little tweaking. But there were incredible bright spots in this game too.
It started with Christine Michael exploding through a cut for a 41-yard score barely: 30 seconds into the game. He would punch in another score with just over 4:00 to go in the first half from 4 yards out. Even with Phil Dawson putting a FG through the uprights, Seattle kept pouring the pace on, with Wilson finding Jimmy Graham for an 18-yard score in the second quarter. Graham’s sky-high leap was one of two or three notable, contested catches (6 for 9, 100-yards, TD) in which he displayed the dominance the offense has been missing. To add fuel to the fire, Doug Baldwin was on point, securing 8 of 10 targets for 164 yards (long of 59-yards) and a touchdown.
Defensively, the Seahawks were putting a hurting on the 49ers. They kept them scoreless through one quarter, allowed only a field goal for the next two quarters, and allowed a pair of 8-yard touchdowns and a 2-point conversion in the fourth quarter to Carlos Hyde. While the touchdowns in the final quarter might have made some fans mad, or reminiscent of the slow start of the 2015 season (where huge fourth quarter leads were given up), but the reality is that the ‘Hawks defense was in kill mode, especially Bobby Wagner, who had an interception returned for 9-yards and 2 passes defensed. He was out tackled by Deshawn Shead (7 tackles Solo) and Kam Chancellor (5 Solo, 3 Assist), with Chancellor straight up leveling a 49er tight end for one of those tackles.
So fear not. The defense is still thumping the rest of the league. Yes, Wilson sustained a second major injury in three weeks, probably more thus far in the season than he’s had in the entirety of last season. But his aggressive rehab program hasn’t kept him from starting a game yet. Of course, an ankle sprain can be taped up to stabilize, but a torn knee ligament would be devastating. Trevone Boykin came in after Wilson was taken out of the game, and while he threw both a pick and a score, Boykin’s extensive starts during preseason and ability to author game winning drives have some 12s asking if Wilson should stay sit this week against the New York Jets on the road (the first 10 a.m. PST start of the season). As it stands right now, Wilsons supremely confident in his ability to not miss a single practice or game. He has not broken that promise yet. The Seahawks are on Bye the following week, and almost three full weeks of rest with no defensive players contacting Wilson is an attractive option indeed.
Next, the ‘Hawks travel to face the New York Jets, who are struggling. While the defensive line for the Jets has kept the pressure coming on opposing quarterbacks, the defense as a whole has been giving up a league high 9.7 yards per pass, thanks to cornerback Darrell Revis being torched by multiple wide receivers in the first three weeks. Offensively, the Jets Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has been average, tossing multiple TDs one week and being terrible the next, like tossing six interceptions last week against the Kansas City Chiefs. While the Jets boast a trio of above average wide receivers in Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker and Quincy Enunwa, it’s running back Matt Forte that the Seahawks will want to pay attention to. Forte, a former Chicago Bear, has recent experience playing against Seattle (he racked up 77 rushing yards in a 26-0 shutout at the hands of Seattle last year). Forte’s skills as a receiving back make him a very dangerous fourth receiver. The Jets will need that to stop a hungry legion of boom looking to make a statement on the road to head into the Bye week at 3-1.
– GO HAWKS!