Hot damn! HOT DAMN! That was a good and fun Seahawks game. Did the team need to beat the damn Chiefs, who are one of the best teams in football to make the playoffs? Not really; they have the hot garbage pile that is the Arizona Cardinals coming to town next weekend. But that’s not how the Seahawks approached their electric 38-31 primetime win over Kansas City. Instead, they played an absurdly aggressive, at times ecstatic game of football. Up by three late? This Seahawks team didn’t milk the clock. They aired it out.
Speaking of airing it out, it’s best that I air out my wrongest take of the season: I criticized Seahawks offensive Brian Schottenheimer a lot in this space earlier this year. A lot. I complained about his staid play calling. I called him a country rube. Over and over again. And it was hilarious. I was wrong. Or at the very least, he is good now. But again: I was wrong. It is I who is the country rube. Brian Schottenheimer? Not a country rube. Now let’s break this game down:
• Doug Baldwin is not healthy, but he is playing out of his mind despite being in what must be a level of physical pain that would keep me from blogging for a year. On top of the groin and knee injuries he was already working through, he twisted his ankle on Sunday. That somehow did not stop him from dropping 126 yards on an array of amazing catches on the Chiefs. He then followed up that effort with a brutally honest post-game presser where he talked about both what it meant to have Richard Sherman talking shit about the team, and battling through all of his injuries this year. Doug Baldwin is an absolutely all-time great Seahawk.
• Our punting situation? Great. Michael Dickson had one of his rare shanks that only pins the opponent on their thirty, but otherwise had another stellar game including some fun dropkicks. Our kicking situation? Less great. Sebastian Janikowski is old, getting hurt and missing kicks at a pretty bad rate. This could well bite us in the playoffs. Unless our coaches let Dickson take more dropkicks. They should definitely do that. God I love dropkicks.
• Akeem King is a dude. He’s a defensive back who is just a guy. He’s just a fella who can play some cornerback in a pinch. And when the Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, who just happens to be the best in the league at the position, torched Bobby Wagner early, Pete Carroll adjusted his coverage to bring a heavy dose of the unnoted King to bear on the tight end situation. It worked a charm, with King making some absolutely crucial pass breakups that preserved the game for an overmatched Seahawks defense.
• And this defense was overmatched because the Chiefs offense is awesome. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is Russell Wilson except taller, and somehow even more likely to do weird baseball type stuff (his dad was a professional baseball player). Andy Reid is one of the league’s best play designers and has paired with Mahomes to create a world-destroying attack. And they did put up 31 points. But they also were stopped just enough to give Russell Wilson a chance to work his magic.
Russ truly was magical on Sunday. A lot of that came on his connections to Baldwin and Tyler Lockett who is finally past a tough run of injuries and living up to the promise he showed as a rookie. One of the catches he made on the sideline against the Chiefs was truly perfect football. Wilson’s deep ball accuracy is insane right now, and it will give the Seahawks the ability to match up with any team in the league. Wilson doesn’t throw the ball a lot, but when he does he puts it on the money, and more importantly, he puts it DEEP and on the money. Accurate deep ball throws are the hardest thing for quarterbacks to hit consistently, and Russ has managed to do it at an astonishing rate this season. That’s why, despite his low number of attempts, he’s not just top three in the league in passer rating, he’s also top three in touchdowns. It’s a level of performance worthy of MVP consideration.
• Chris Carson is over 1000 yards rushing on the season. I love Chris Carson. That is all.
• I thought the Seahawks offensive line injuries would doom them. Germain Ifedi was out, D.J. Fluker did not start, J.R. Sweezy got hurt. Some guy I had never heard of and whose name I will not look up now was playing right tackle for a second. But the Mike Solari system that is employed up front just works. The Chiefs don’t have a great defense but they do have a solid interior pass rush. It really did not slow Russ down at all, and frankly, I was sure it would given the injuries. Kudos to all those big dudes up front; they played great.
• This was a fun game where the breaks went the Seahawks way all night long, and the team could not stop capitalizing on them. It was a truly fun game, and now the team gets to rest dudes, or try out new stuff, or whatever against Arizona next weekend. That should be fun. Then onto the playoffs. The playoffs! And without the burden of expectations. They just get to go and try to wreck stuff. It will all be fun! What a gift for us all! Merry Christmas! Happy Channukah (that ended a while ago). Happy other holidays! What a time to be a Seahawks fan!