The Seattle Seahawks suffered another fourth quarter loss from an opponent as they fell to 2-4 in the regular season. Between these two teams, a long history, one which Seattle was 4-0 all time when playing at Century Link. Those numbers would change to 4-1, and make Wilson 28-3 at home.
Linebacker Luke Kuechly returned to the field after a three game absence with a concussion. He made a statement in this game, notching fourteen tackles and not afraid to mix it up or trade words and shoves with Seattle players. Jonathan Stewart, a Washington (JBLM!) Native, would accumulate two scores on the ground, and 78 total yard (2 of those yards coming from goal line touchdowns), Greg Olsen rumbled for 131 yards from 7 receptions (off of 11 targets), and Cam Newton passed for 250 yards. After throwing two interceptions, Newton simply bounced back, scoring on a goal line dash, before Stewart gained his scores and throwing the game winning TD to Olsen with less than a minute to go in the game.
Defensively, the Seahawks brought pressure early, sacking Newton three times and picking him off twice, one by Earl Thomas II and another by Kam Chancellor. Unfortunately, Bobby Wagner’s presence was felt even with K.J. Wright stepping in at Wagner’s position. The miscues and communication woes seemed to be still present, as Greg Olsen was left mysteriously wide open for his game winning score in the fourth quarter. This appeared really eerily like the two TD day that Tyler Eifert had against the ‘Hawks last week. This caused an on the field argument between Chancellor and Sherman. Though we couldn’t hear what they were saying, I’m sure we were thinking along the same lines. Olsen was poised for an even bigger day, but was plagued by drops and minor coverage (Kevin Pierre Louis, filling in at K.J. Wright’s position).
Even more frustratingly, the Legion appeared to be a step behind their opponents this time, getting torched by long passes after beginning the game with so much pizzazz. Carey Williams again looked just a step behind his receiver assignment. Carolina instigated some trickery, on a reverse pass between Newton, Stewart, and Corey Brown for a 1st down completion. Jonathan Stewart, who had rushed for only an average of 50 yards per game with no touchdowns, notched season high yards and scores in this game. The Hawks, after only allowing 10 total points at home this season, gave up 7 in the 2nd quarter, 7 in the 3rd, and 13 in the 4th. Something just isn’t clicking with this team.
Offensively, there were many bright spots to be had, even with the lone points in the first quarter coming from the leg of Steven Hauschka, a trend that would be present throughout this battle. He would kick three field goals and two point after the kicks. Seattle scored their second rushing touchdown of the season, with Marshawn Lynch punching one in from the goal line. The Jimmy Graham complaints can probably be put to rest now, as he exploded for 140 total yards, securing 8 of his 12 targets. One of these throws came with Graham running into triple converging coverage. Though he didn’t find the end zone in this contest, it’s obvious that Wilson is beginning to feel more confident lobbing the ball to him, at one point calling Graham out as he tore down the sideline, which was a gain of 45 yards by itself.
The best offensive highlight of the evening came on a trick play by Seattle, with Wilson tossing the ball to Lynch, Lynch tossing it back to him, and Wilson hurling the ball deep to Ricardo Lockette for a 45 yard score. Wilson threw no picks in this game, and was sacked another 4 times, so maybe the offensive line issues are still just as prevalent as before. Wilson also rushed for 53 yards. Jermain Kearse was unable to reel in any of the three targets Wilson chucked his way, and Baldwin caught three of his four targets for only 23 yards.
Special teams once again appeared mum, with Tyler Lockett only totaling 55 return yards. He jumped over tackles, and in the 2nd quarter took a knee to his head from Joe Webb of Carolina. He ran fast and deep on a 60+ yarder in the 2nd quarter, but was unable to reel the catch in.
Up next, the Thursday Night Football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the ‘Hawks. Though Seattle is currently leading the series all time at 18-15, but is trailing 6-4 since 2008. San Francisco was only able to score 10 total points in both of their contest versus the Seahawks last year, being outscored by the ‘Hawks by 16 points in Levi Stadium, and 14 points in Century Link. This is shaping up to not only be a necessary win for Seattle to cement their status as postseason contenders, but also a crucial starting point for the team to finally get on track when discussing the topic of ‘finishing’ opposing teams. Because this offense’s leaps and bounds have been largely overshadowed by numerous three and outs in their final minutes, and lengthy defensive plays that have allowed other teams to close the gap. San Francisco has given up a fourth quarter lead versus the New York Giants, but slogged away and racked up consistent points (6 FGs) during their game versus the Baltimore Ravens, so there only guarantee is there might not be any guarantees and it’s time to play for keeps.