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October 6, 2014 at 11:30 PM

Six impressions of Seattle’s win over Washington

Here are three things that stood out in Seattle’s 27-17 win over Washington Monday night from beat writers Jayson Jenks and Bob Condotta.

First, Jenks:

1, The value of field position really stood out. There’s a reason coach Pete Carroll wants Russell Wilson to throw the ball away on third down rather than risk a turnover, and that reason played out in the third quarter against Washington. Seattle’s offense completely stalled after halftime, but the Seahawks won the battle for field position, and it made life next to impossible for Washington’s offense against Seattle’s defense. Consider this: The Seahawks’ drives in the third quarter started like this: at Seattle’s own 44, at Seattle’s own 45 and at Seattle’s own 40. Washington’s drives in the third quarter looked like this: At own 20, at own 1 and at own 9. It’s not a pretty way to win, but the Seahawks used punter Jon Ryan and their defense to keep the lead.

2, Third down is still a problem. The Seahawks entered the night converting 39 percent of their third downs, which ranked them 21st in the league. They converted just 5 of 14 third downs (36 percent) against Washington, and it’s something that Percy Harvin addressed in the locker room after the game: “We’re not converting at a high rate on third downs. We’re not staying on the field. I don’t feel like we’re putting up enough points. With our defense dominating teams like that, I feel our offense has to pick it up a little bit.” That will need to change against better teams.

3, Bobby Wagner continued playing at a high level. Wagner said he wanted to make a name for himself this season, and so far he has done that. Wagner had another impressive game against Washington, and it was a more versatile performance than piling up a bunch of tackles. He did lead the Seahawks with eight tackles, but he also had three tackles for a loss, a sack and two passes defended. He was all over the field in just about every way a linebacker can be.

And from Condotta:

1.It’s hard to avoid the penalties, a season-high 13 overall, seven on the offensive line. Carroll said the penalties “set off the tempo of the night.” They also simply prevented the game from being a blowout with Percy Harvin having three touchdowns called back. Carroll said he’d never seen anything like it. Seattle had been doing pretty well at not being called for too many procedural things through the early part of the season. So maybe this was just one of those things of coming off a bye and a few guys not being on top of their game. “We were just a little bit out of whack,” Carroll said.

2.I though this might be a game where Seattle could get some big plays in the passing game with Washington injured and young at cornerback. But that part of the game also seemed a bit out of tune at times. Wilson seemed to miss an open Paul Richardson once and Jermaine Kearse another time, and the protection at other times was lacking. Seattle’s two longest passing games came on plays where Wilson evaded pressure and made something happen — the 36-yarder to Cooper Helfet and the 30-yarder to Marshawn Lynch. The longest pass to a receiver was 20. Maybe it doesn’t matter — Seattle keeps winning. But at some point they may need to stretch the field a little better.

3. Boy do teams really not want to kick it to Harvin. He didn’t get a single return  as Washington seemed to do everything possible to not kick it to him.  But that led to Seattle starting its first three drives following a kickoff at its own 35, 29 and 44, the latter following the ill-fated onside kickoff that basically altered the field position of the game for most of the third quarter. It was simply another way that Harvin alters games even if he’s not touching the ball.

 

 

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