The Seahawks play three types of games: nail biting wins, heartbreaking losses, and ridiculous blow outs like Sunday’s 37-18 win over the San Francisco 49ers. And goddamn, I was in the mood for a blow out, and goddamn, did the Seahawks (save for one thing) deliver completely.
What was oddest about this particular win was how soft it felt. Watching the Seahawks play the 49ers was like watching a sword fight a pillow. The Jim Harbaugh/Pete Carroll rivalry era feels a million years ago now, and Sunday’s win felt like just a regular old game. Was something lost? Yeah, I guess. But on the other hand this team needed an easy win, and some time for Russell Wilson to get healthy.
(Wait, what’s that? Russell Wilson sprained his knee?)
GOD I STILL HATE THE 49ERS. LET’S BREAK DOWN THIS ATROCITY OF A DOMINANT WIN:
* Doug Baldwin is unreal. He’s one of the five best route-runners in the league and catches everything thrown towards him. I mean, look at this shit right here:
Catch of the week Doug Baldwin https://t.co/tVlKIXxlQX
— Ramu Attelli (@attelliramu) September 25, 2016
Unreal. Genius. Baldwin is already a bargain on his contract.
* I am shocked by how well Jimmy Graham played on Sunday. Absolutely shocked. That Jimmy Graham was able to return from a torn patella tendon in only ten months, and get back into game shape in two games is ludicrous. That he was dominant in his third game? Super ludicrous? Despite a fumble, Graham had one of his best games as a Seahawk, amassing 100 yards in the air and a touchdown. He looked great in the passing game. I thought there was no way he’d be doing this yet, and I’ve never been so happy to be so wrong.
* The Seahawks defense, save Earl Thomas for reasons I don’t want to deal with right now, is playing extraordinarily well. Today the pass rush was just okay, so let’s highlight the linebackers, Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright, and their dominance in the passing game.
Last year, that duo dealt with some nagging injuries that slowed them down and made the unit good but not great. Wagner missed tackles, and Wright was often exploited by tight ends Now? Wagner and Wright are utilizing their speed to disrupt everything the opposition is doing. Wagner is blowing up everything, and Wright is using his lateral mobility to shut down crossing routes and screens while relying on an improved Kam Chancellor to help him on routes down the middle. It’s good stuff! GOOD, GOOD STUFF!
* I want to look around the NFC West for a second. The Seahawks beat the hell out of the 49ers this week, which means the Seahawks are better than San Francisco. That said, the Seahawks lost to the Rams 9-3 last week, so the Seahawks are worse than the Rams. Of course, the Rams lost to the 49ers 28-0 meaning that nobody knows anything. As a friend pointed out to me on Twitter, this is the most complicated game of Rock Paper Scissors ever waged. And while the Cardinals may be the “fire” in this game, they just got blown out by the Bills to fall to 1-2, so I actually have no idea what’s going on right now.
* Trevone Boykin got his first regular season action and he’s okay. He made a few nice throws to noted genius Doug Baldwin, was able to make plays with his legs, and only made one truly bad decision. That said, it was a doozy, a throw into contested space that no starting quarterback in the league would make. Hopefully Russell Wilson stops getting hit so that Boykin doesn’t have to become a starter before he outgrows those throws.
Oh yeah. Russell Wilson got hurt again. While he likely suffered a mild MCL strain that will heal quickly enough for him to play next week, it looked really bad. And it’s part of a run of injuries that were unprecedented in his career.
Part of the blame falls on his offensive line, sure. The pass blocking is bad, pockets aren’t holding up, and Wilson doesn’t have time to find receivers, especially when other teams are blitzing. But it’s also on Russ. In the past Wilson has taken nothing like the hits he’s taking now. And each hit he takes carries with it the risk of serious injury. That Russ has survived these last two injuries, and in fact the team has won both games he suffered an injury in is very lucky. He’ll have to adjust his approach or we’re all going to be very upset.
Going into this weekend I was worried about the Seahawks in the abstract. I assumed the Cardinals would beat the Bills, meaning the Seahawks had to beat the 49ers. And given the Seahawks offensive struggles and the aforementioned rock paper scissors nonsense, I had just enough doubt. Now, with a win on the books, a Cardinals loss on the board, and Wilson suffering another hit, my doubts about this team are reduced and specified. When the Hawks play the Jets and their interception-prone offense, all I want is for Russ to survive. If he does, with the quality the team is exhibiting, the rest will handle itself.