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November 9, 2014 at 8:38 PM

Seahawks impressions from Jayson Jenks and Bob Condotta

Here are three impressions on Seattle’s 38-17 win over the New York Giants Sunday from beat writers Jayson Jenks and Bob Condotta.

First, from Jenks:

1, Seattle’s defense is starting to look like itself again. I know, the Seahawks just played the Giants and Raiders, and they should beat up on both those teams. But the defense still has played much better the last three weeks, stopping the run, forcing quarterbacks to move around and causing turnovers. Earl Thomas’ interception at the end of the third quarter was his first of the season, and his 47-yard return was the turning point in the game. The Seahawks have forced at least two turnovers in each of their last three games, something they hadn’t done in consecutive weeks until this point. The energy, the gang tackling, the dancing on the field- it all has started to give the feel that Seattle’s defense is getting closer to its 2013 form.

2, The injury to Brandon Mebane could be a huge blow. Coach Pete Carroll didn’t offer a timetable or a prognosis for the severity of Mebane’s injury other to say that Mebane had pulled a hamstring. But Mebane was immediately listed as not being able to return to the game, which usually indicates that it could force him to miss time. Mebane has been one of Seattle’s best defensive players this season, and he is one of the biggest reasons Seattle ranks first against the run this season. He was a monster up front against the Giants, forcing running backs to change directions and on occasion causing such a quick push up the middle that Eli Manning nearly tripped over his own lineman while dropping back. Jordan Hill and Kevin Williams filled in for Mebane on Sunday, but those are big shoes to fill if his injury sidelines him.

3,Russell Wilson still needs to play better. Wilson rushed for 107 yards, the third time this season he has rushed for more than 100 yards. He also became just the third quarterback since 1961 to have at least three 100-yard rushing games in a season. But Wilson also threw two picks – the first time he’s done that since the middle of last season – and both didn’t look like particularly good decisions on his part. Wilson played well in the second half of the St. Louis game a month ago, but other than that he has been inconsistent in his last five games. He hasn’t thrown for more than 200 yards in four of his last five games, but measuring Wilson’s passing yards has never been a great indicator. More telling is this: He is completing 57 percent of his passes in his last five games, including three games of posting a completion percentage under 60 percent.

And from Condotta:

1. Marshawn Lynch is still the driving force of this team. Not that there’s been any doubt about that. But he proved it again today with another performance that should further put to rest any talk about whether the uncertainty over his future would have any impact on his play this season. There’s been zero evidence this season to support the idea that any unhappiness by Lynch about his future or his contract situation has bled onto the field. Still, that idea has been out there. It shouldn’t be any more. Who knows what the future holds for Lynch. But in the present, he remains the main cog in the team’s offense engine.

2. Things looked a lot cleaner up front with Max Unger back in charge at center. The Seahawks didn’t have a single penalty committed by an offensive linemen and it’s zero coincidence that Unger was back for the first time after missing four games with a foot injury. The job of a center to get everything settled up front is a subtle one. But it’s also pretty valuable and we saw what it meant today to have Unger back in control up front.

3. The Seahawks are on pace to set a team record for season rushing. Sure, a 350-yard rushing game really boosts the stats. And true, tougher defenses await now. But for the moment, the Seahawks are on pace to set a franchise record in rushing, averaging 170.9 yards per game after today’s contest — the record is 161.2 by the 2012 team. Seattle is also averaging 5.5 yards per attempt — the 2012 team averaged 4.8. For all that’s been written and said at times about this team’s commitment to the run, the stats make it hard to argue that Seattle isn’t living up to its word of leading with the run.

FAN ZONE:

 

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