I don’t want to ruin the rest of this recap by going down the list of all the negative things from the game. It was actually a really fun game to watch, but if you’re like me and don’t even like watching sports highlight shows after a Seahawks loss, I don’t want this to be another one of those things that you want to stop reading two paragraphs in.
If you’re still reading this, it would be easy to run down a laundry list of why the Seahawks didn’t get the win on the road against the Colts. It would be just as easy to give credit to the Indianapolis defense for holding the Seahawks scoreless in the fourth quarter and three field goals in the third quarter.
I really don’t want to do the list of all the negatives, so instead there are three things that were particularly disappointing about this game. After that, I can move on to more positive things.
The first thing was the officiating. I hate to go straight to that card, because I really try to only go there when it is particularly egregious. I know I wasn’t alone on this. Watching the post-game press conference, coach Pete Carroll seemed to be particularly upset with it as well.
Up 10-0, the Seahawks blocked a punt by Pat McAfee. Jeron Johnson fell on the ball and his momentum carried him out of the end zone. The call on the field was a safety, and even after the review Carroll said the referees felt Johnson didn’t have control of the football when he slid out of bounds. A 17-0 lead would’ve given the game a much different feeling and would have really taken the crowd out of the game.
The other aspect of officiating was the inconsistency with pass interference calls. At times they would call the smallest of pushes, but then fail to make calls that seemed fairly obvious. I wouldn’t go as far as saying officiating cost the Seahawks the game, because the offense had many opportunities to capitalize and couldn’t pull through.
Carroll and Russell Wilson both pointed to the Seahawks inability to convert on third down, and how those struggles led to five field goal attempts. What they didn’t talk about was the field goal they weren’t able to attempt.
Up 19-17, with the ball and the opportunity to put more points on the board before halftime, Wilson hit Doug Baldwin on the sideline to put the Seahawks in field goal range on the 24-yard line.
Instead of having a few shots at the end zone, right guard J.R. Sweezy was called for being an ineligible receiver downfield. While the rest of the offensive line was pass blocking, Sweezy was in run blocking mode and moving downfield. The penalty backed them up and Wilson didn’t complete a pass for the rest of the half.
I know that feels like more than three, but essentially it came down to bad calls, knucklehead penalties and poor performance on third down.
Now for the positives. Hopefully you’re still with me, because even I didn’t think it was going to take this long to get here.
First, I want to recognize a number of guys who were great to see back on the field. Bruce Irvin being the first who made his presence known immediately with a nice tackle on Tony Richardson on the second play of the game and then a 7-yard sack in the second quarter.
That sack set up a 3rd-and-22 that the defense blew when 135-pound T.Y. Hilton ran into Brandon Browner’s hand and crumpled to the ground. That weight might not be accurate, but if Browner keeps his hands to himself, there was no way Hilton was catching that ball.
Getting back on track with the positives, third-round draft pick Jordan Hill made it back into the lineup for the first time this season. It was also really nice to see Michael Bennett who was carted off in the last game with a back injury.
Next, I want to congratulate our quarterback. Earlier this year, Terrelle Pryor became the eighth player since the merger to record a 200-yard passing and 100-yard rushing game. This week, Russell Wilson entered that club as well. I have a feeling we will be seeing games like that more than once.
I was curious to know if it was part of the plan to run Wilson that much considering Pryor’s success was also against the Colts. Wilson said it was just part of the flow of the game and the preference was to run with Lynch.
There’s a lot to be excited about with this team. A 4-1 record after some really difficult opponents is a huge win for the start of the season. Despite each of the other NFC West teams winning this weekend, Seattle still maintains a one-game lead in the division.
What’s really exciting is that these Carroll-coached Seahawks teams tend to get even better as the season goes on, and we still haven’t seen what this offense looks like with Percy Harvin and a healthy offensive line.
One more thing that became apparent in watching the Texans play the 49ers tonight is that not only do teams lose to the Seahawks, but the loss has such an impact on their psyche that they fold up the following week after a game. Every team Seattle has beaten has lost the following week.
Next up, the Seahawks come back home to taken on the Titans. Tennessee is 3-2, but lost to the Chiefs today with backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm. The Chiefs might have the best defense in the league though, so I wouldn’t completely discount this Titans team.
That said, considering how the Seahawks play on their home field, I think we can expect Seattle to be back on the winning end next weekend.