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December 7, 2014 at 10:14 PM

Three impressions on the Seahawks’ win over Philadelphia

Here are three impressions on Seattle’s 24-14 win over the Eagles Sunday from beat writers Jayson Jenks and Bob Condotta.

First, from Jenks:

1, On a day when the whole defense played well, I thought cornerback Byron Maxwell and defensive end Michael Bennett really stood out. On one three-and-out for the Eagles, Maxwell was in tight coverage to force an incomplete pass on first down, made a good open field tackle on second down and dove and knocked away a pass on third down — and got a high five from former teammate Chris Maragos for all that. Maxwell played what I thought was his best game of the season. Bennett had three tackles, including two for losses, but his factor was not in the stats. He forced LeSean McCoy to cut back with his penetration, and on Jordan Hill’s sack, his pressure on the outside forced Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez to step up in the pocket, which is where Hill was waiting. Bennett and Maxwell were both all over the place.

2, The offense played a better game than it might have felt at times. There were times when it felt like the offense was having trouble moving the ball, when Marshawn Lynch was getting stopped at the line, when Russell Wilson was missing throws. And there were times the offense struggled – Wilson in particular probably cost the Seahawks two field goals in the first half by taking sacks instead of throwing the ball away earlier. But the final numbers tell a slightly different story: The Seahawks averaged 4.1 yards per carry, Wilson completed 22 of 37 passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns, and Wilson completed passes to 10 different receivers. Plus, the Seahawks dominated time of possession more than two to one. Lynch turned the ball with a fumble in the fourth quarter — the Seahawks first turnover in three games — but they still did a good job of protecting the ball and allowing the defense to take control.

3, I wouldn’t worry about punter Jon Ryan. Ryan fumbled a perfect snap in the first quarter, and the Eagles recovered the ball and eventually scored a touchdown. He also dropped a really good snap against the 49ers, although that time he recovered, ran and somehow still punted the ball. After this latest dropped punt against the Eagles, Ryan also followed it up with a 32-yard punt out of bounds on his next kick. But Ryan has been so steady for the Seahawks over the years, and he’s one of the most consistent punters in the league. I doubt that many Seahawks’ fans are really worried about Ryan, but he’s too good to let those mistakes continue to carry over. ​

And from Condotta:

1. This was another game where Russell Wilson’s stats don’t come close to indicating his value to the win. A stationary quarterback might have been sacked six times, at least, by the Eagles today. But Wilson time and again evaded the rush to not only bail the team out, but more often than not make a positive play out of nothing. It’s something Seahawks’ fans see every week. But just because they see it every week doesn’t mean they should lose appreciation for it. As one national NFL writer Tweeted, at one point Seattle’s offense today seemed to be telling Wilson to run around and make something happen. As he usually does, he did, and to positive effect. Wilson’s style is unique, and not necessarily fantasy-football friendly. But that it works was proven again today.

2, The Chris Matthews move turned out to be really interesting. I’ll admit I sort of figured Matthews was being put on the active roster as a reward for a job well done in practice. Instead, he had a key role on most special teams, and also had a handful of snaps as a receiver. And he was active instead of Bryan Walters, who has been the team’s primary punt returner this year. Walters being inactive meant the Seahawks went with Doug Baldwin as the returner — and you can’t help but wonder how that is all going to unfold. As for Matthews, he has been an intriguing receiving prospect at 6-5 though he didn’t do much in the off-season. That he can contribute on special teams, though, might help keep him on the roster long enough to develop. Certainly, seeing the way he played on special teams today opens some new avenues for thinking about his future with the team.

3. The big picture of this game is simply how the Seahawks came in and dominated what appeared to be one one of the hottest teams in the NFL. There was a lot of talk around the league a few weeks ago about the Seahawks not being what they were. I think we’ve found out the last few weeks that such chatter may have been premature. Seattle has some areas on offense where it could be better, no doubt. But every team has its issues. The way Seattle is playing defense right now, anything and everything seems possible.




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