The Seahawks cruised to a 28-14 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday, and look to be one of the most complete football teams in the NFL right now. Which is wild. Because they were terrible at the beginning of the season. But now? Now the Seahawks have won four of their last five games, and are increasingly doing it in style.
Sunday’s game was a comprehensive win against a good opponent on the road, and it showed that despite losing a ton of talent this past year, the Seahawks are still damn good. Let’s. Break. It. Down.
• Where else to start but with the team’s obvious MVP*: MICHAEL, MOTHERFUCKING, DICKSON. Four punts for a 50-yard average to start is really, really good. But more good? Dickson’s game icing run out of the back of his own end zone for a nine-yard first down.
Dickson has all the punting talent in the world. This run though shows he’s ready to pick up Jon Ryan’s mantle of being an awesome lunatic willing to do anything to win a game.
*(MVP stands for My Victorious Punter).
• Russell Wilson had his best game as a Seahawk on Sunday despite only throwing 17 times. He managed to, in those 17 throws, put together a perfect passer rating, and amass 250 yards and three touchdowns. That’s insane! Everything for Russ stemmed from having great protection, but his accuracy was ludicrous. His receivers were getting inches of separation and he was hitting them in stride. It was a balls-out performance from Russ, who now looks to be back at full flight after starting the year very slowly.
• Also, the receivers? They aren’t just coming into their own on the field with the emergence of David Moore and Doug Baldin’s return to health… they’re funny as hell:
• How good is the Seahawks offensive line right now? It’s a bit tough to say if they are one of the league’s best units as they again faced a team without an elite edge rusher, but they are clearly an above-average group. And what a delight after years of piss-poor play directed by a piss-poor Tom Cable to have a good group of guys playing well. Shouts to Germain Ifedi in particular for recovering from whatever hex Cable put on him, and shouts to Duane Brown for playing like a goddamn All-Pro.
• There is a great schism amongst a certain subset of Seahawks fans: those who believe running is good and those who believe running is generally ineffective. Yesterday’s game highlights why this schism exists, and also why it is dumb as hell.
Let’s start here: the Seahawks were really good on the ground on Sunday. Now of course you have to take context into account: the Lions suck at defending the run, and the Seahawks were able to build a big lead relatively early. That means it was good that the Seahawks were able to run the ball a bunch, and it is unsurprising that those runs were largely effective. Chris Carson in particular looks good. If you think the Seahawks ran too much on Sunday because you believe running is less effective, well, that’s dumb! The opponent and situation said run, and the Seahawks ran and it was good!
But if you extrapolate from one game against a Lions team that sucks at defense that running backs are valuable and say, you should take a running back in the first round… well, that’s also dumb. Even dumber! Most of the time, passing is more effective than running, but when you can run down a team’s throat, you should do it. You should also not draft an okay running back in the first round because dudes like Chris Carson (WHO IS SO GOOD) can be had in the seventh.
Which is to say running well is good, some situations call for running, running backs themselves should not be drafted high, and Russell Wilson (who, again, was PERFECT) is why the Seahawks won on Sunday, even though Chris Carson and the running game helped him out.
• KJ Wright being back was really nice for a Seahawks team tasked with defending a bunch of weapons on the Lions. Wright’s ability to cover laterally made a huge difference as Detroit wants to spread things out and use Golden Tate and their other weapons to pick up yards after the catch. Those yards weren’t really there on Sunday and it’s a credit to Wright (and of course, Bobby Wagner).
• The Seahawks secondary is pretty good right now, especially considering all the guys they’ve lost, but we’re flirting with the abyss. Tedric Thompson, despite getting beat on one touchdown, looks to be a hard-hitting semi-functional Earl Thomas replacement. The cornerbacking trio of Griffin, Flowers, and Coleman is solidly above-average. And Bradley McDougald (bullshit penalty aside) is a star in the making. That said, the next guy up in the secondary is either Delano Hill or Akeem King and those guys are not good enough to keep this up. The health of Seattle’s DBs going forward will decide the season.
Why is that? Well let’s look at the Seahawks upcoming QBs (taking out the three free wins against the 49ers and Cardinals): Philip Rivers, Jared Goff, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Kirk Cousins, and Pat Mahomes. Yikes. Yikes, yikes, yikes, yikes, yikes. The Seahawks, after a couple dreadful games to start the season, have put themselves in position to make a playoff run. But that run will be through one hell of a gauntlet for a makeshift secondary. In some ways, this will be the toughest coaching challenge of Pete Carroll’s career. But Pete Carroll is the best defensive backs coach of all time. So the next month could be really fun. It could also be pure torture.