12th Man: Week 10 vs. New England Recap
Before I get started with my review for Sunday night’s game, let me take a moment and express my gratitude to former Seahawk Christine Michael. The team moved on from him earlier this week, and while I can see why the team decided to do so, now isn’t exactly the time to kick a guy while he’s down (update: the Packers have claimed him. Good luck!) He impressed last season upon reuniting with the team, earning another shot at the roster this season, and certainly did what he could to help the team win games. I salute him for that and hope he manages to put it all together one day. Now, with that said…
Every time I set minimal to no expectations for this team, especially on the offensive side, they manage to shut me up. Since I prefer being happy to being right, that’s a trend that will likely continue (hopefully through another Super Bowl). Seattle certainly impressed in New England on Sunday night. While Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels wore my patience out with their commentary, the Seahawks wore the Patriots out in a similar fashion. I must have severely overestimated the effectiveness of their defensive line because Seattle made things happen on the ground and in the air that were wholly unexpected on my part. On defense, our LBs struggled a bit against New England’s massive TEs (Rob Gronkowski is 6’6”, 265 while Martellus Bennett is 6’6”, 275) but managed to do what no other team has done this season – keep Tom Brady out of the end zone while picking him off once. Kam Chancellor’s fresh legs were very much welcomed back in this game, making key contributions against the run and in coverage, helping to make a game-winning stop on fourth and goal (despite Gronkowski’s push off!)
As much as I criticize the Seahawks offense, I absolutely must give them credit where credit is due. Rookie back C.J. Prosise took a chainsaw to the opposition, racking up 153 yards on 24 touches. He’s also better than I expected, showing a capability of handling much more than third down work with some nice runs between the tackles. Russell Wilson showed off his improving mobility on some play action passes, maximizing a number of opportunities to push the ball downfield. I’m not exactly sure why Wilson loves Jermaine Kearse so much, but… it’s not being reciprocated. That aside, he was very willing to spread the ball around, while giving Jimmy Graham enough attention to warrant the constant double coverage he drew. I would have anticipated the Patriots bringing substantial pressure on defense, yet they didn’t. Instead, they used those opportunities to drop extra defenders in coverage, even sending a two-man rush three times in the final drive of the first half. It was at this point I realized they no longer deserved to win that game. The Seahawks seemed to realize that too, with Wilson finding Lockett for a big gain, and Baldwin for an open touchdown as a result. The offensive line play didn’t make me want to reach for a bottle, so it seems the team is finally taking strides there. Cassius Marsh has been a bit quiet as of late, but Damontre Moore showed up again this week, with half a sack. With Michael Bennett at least a couple of weeks away, this pass rush has been impressive, being anchored by Cliff Avril and Frank Clark.
I admittedly took a great deal of pleasure in Doug Baldwin abusing Malcolm Butler. Enough with the fucking goal line play already. 6-2-1; On to the Eagles.