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Take 2

A different spin on sports by The Seattle Times staff and readers.

October 7, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Seahawks MNF national media reaction: Rants for penalties, raves for Russell Wilson

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, center, greets Washington's Trent Williams at the end of Seattle's 27-17 victory at Fedex Field on Monday night.  John Lok / Seattle Times staff

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, center, greets Washington’s Trent Williams at the end of Seattle’s 27-17 victory.
John Lok / Seattle Times staff

From Russell Wilson’s remarkable performance to the Seahawks’ ridiculous number of penalties, the national media had plenty to write about after the Seahawks’ 27-17 victory at Washington on “Monday Night Football.”

There were cheers for Wilson and jeers for an offensive line that was the worst offender in a flag-filled night in Landover, Md.

Here’s what the national media and major newspapers say about the Seahawks’ victory.


The Seahawks are a very young team, and that’s good and bad.

Yes, the Seahawks have unbelievable team speed on both sides of the ball, and there was a lot of it on display, especially on the defensive side. That’s why Cousins was in a claustrophobic nightmare through most of the game. But part of that youth — and Seattle was the youngest team ever to win a Super Bowl — is a predilection for repeated mistakes. That was also on display. Seattle’s penalties took away several touchdowns, including three from Percy Harvin alone.

Some of those calls were bunk, especially the call on guard James Carpenter in the fourth quarter, but one has to expect that from a crew run by Jeff Triplette. In a larger sense, however, this was on the Seahawks, especially the Seahawks’ offensive line, to rein it in and do their jobs.


Two members of the Legion of Boom secondary were crying foul after Seattle was assessed with 13 fouls, including three penalties that negated a trio of Percy Harvin touchdowns.

“I’ve never seen that in football,” said all-pro cornerback Richard Sherman. “I’ve never seen that ever. I’d be curious to see those calls.”


Monday night, millions of fantasy football fans across the world were left clutching their stomachs in agony. During the Seattle Seahawks’ 27-17 victory over Washington, wide receiver Percy Harvin got three touchdowns called back.

That isn’t supposed to happen. No one deserves to watch their dreams and fantasy aspirations be ripped away from them, and three times is flat-out criminal.


Good things happen when (Russell) Wilson has the ball. He also passed for 201 yards, completing 18 of 24 throws for a 127.3 passer rating to become the first man to pass for over 200 yards and rush for over 100 yards in a Monday night game.

He threw for two TDs and ran for another, and he did it on a night when the rest of the offense seemed to be in a trance most of the game. Wilson had Washington defenders all around him on almost every snap, yet he performed a wizardry that you had to see to believe.


The quarterback dashed up in the pocket, backpedaled, moved to his right and made a throw that resulted in a big play. Another time, in another bind, he backpedaled, spun out to his left and dumped the ball to the running back for a killer first down.

It was the type of quarterback play (Washington) hoped to see on their home field. It just wasn’t the guy they hoped to see it from. In Monday’s 27-17 Seahawks’ victory, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson provided a blueprint that the guy who couldn’t play, Robert Griffin III, would be wise to follow. It also was a reminder that, yes, mobile quarterbacks can win in the NFL — and survive.


The Seattle Seahawks won a Super Bowl by playing exceptional, generation-transcending defense and smashing the ball down people’s throats. It’s how they win games. But don’t ignore Russell Wilson‘s exponential growth as a quarterback throughout this process, with Wilson continuing to take steps on Monday night.

Whatever limitations and caveats people try to put on Wilson are irrelevant. He just set the single-game Monday Night Football record for rushing yards by a quarterback (122) while becoming the first quarterback in MNF history to pass for 200 yards and rush for 100 yards.


Best running quarterback: Russell Wilson pierced the (Washington) defense twice on the game’s first drive with runs of 16 yards and 29 yards. The first play after that 29-yarder was a touchdown pass. It was not an auspicious beginning. Presumably, Washington’s defenders then went to the sidelines and said “don’t worry, he’ll never do that again,” because on the first play of Seattle’s next drive, Wilson ran for another 13 yards. A couple plays later, he ran for 22 more. He finished the night with 11 carries for 122 yards, the most ever by a quarterback on “Monday Night Football.”

This was after the first quarter.


But Wilson, who had dazzled with his legs (122 rushing yards — second most ever by a quarterback against [Washington]) while doing damage with his arm (201 passing and two touchdowns), had a few more heroics left in him.

Facing third and four at the 50, the quarterback escaped the initial rush and scrambled to avoid nose tackle Chris Baker. Wilson flipped the ball over two other linemen’s heads to running back Marshawn Lynch, who raced 30 yards before getting tackled at the 20. Seattle ran down the clock and tacked on a 43-yard field goal with 21 seconds left for the final margin.

“We got beat by a better team,” safety Ryan Clark said. “We got beat by, as far as I’m concerned this weekend, the best player in the NFL. Russell Wilson made every play he had to make for his team to win, and we didn’t.”


It’s hard to carve a hole in anyone’s head for losing by 10 points or fewer to the Seattle Seahawks. They are the class of the NFL at the moment, their fans don’t fear for their quarterback’s life when he runs the read option, and defensively the Legion of Boom camouflages the warts.


Richard Sherman is never shy to voice his opinion, and after his Seahawks delivered a 27-17 loss to (Washington) , Sherman unloaded on receiver Pierre Garçon. Throughout the Monday night game it seemed Sherman and Garçon were exchanging words, and asked about the situation after the game, the vocal defensive back did not hold back.

“Pierre doesn’t matter in this league,” Sherman said. Asked to clarify his comments, Sherman replied, “I mean exactly what I said.”

Garçon was held to two catches for 23 yards against Seattle, and it appears he may have even pulled Sherman’s long hair at one point during the game.


The Seattle Seahawks continue to defy convention, winning games with a blueprint that differs from the other 31 teams in the league.

By the end of the first quarter of Monday night’s 27-17 victory over (Washington), Russell Wilson already had more rushing yards than Trent Richardson has managed in any single game with the Indianapolis Colts. By the end of the night, Wilson owned the Monday Night Football record for most rushing yards by a quarterback (122) in a single game.

The Seahawks entered FedExField with a superior game plan and a clear edge in personnel. A misleading final score notwithstanding, they overcame execution issues to remain in control throughout the game.


The Seahawks continue to play extremely sloppy football. Seattle was flagged for 13 penalties for 90 yards. The offensive line had a particularly rough day with several holding penalties and Carpenter’s personal foul. You just don’t expect that from the best team in football.


There can’t be any arguing anymore. There isn’t any debate. Put the hot takes in the freezer, and mute the hashtags.

Russell Wilson is an elite NFL quarterback.

How do we know?

Forget the Super Bowl ring. Forget all the amazing stats he’s compiled during his young career. He didn’t finally reach a milestone in one statistical category, or cross some magic threshold in another. Against Washington, at FedEx Field, in a game where nothing broke his way and few of his teammates were having strong games, Wilson simply took over.


It’s not much of a surprise that Seattle was penalized 13 times, but it is a surprise that it let Washington hang around for so long, even allowing them to cut it to a one-score deficit in the third. The Seahawks surely knew this was a game they could easily win, which can often mess with a team’s collective head.

But the mounting penalties and general sloppiness, especially on the offensive line, are lingering issues that could mount as the season rolls along.


Were it not for the self-inflicted wounds, the Seattle Seahawks might have had a cakewalk against Washington … As it was, they settled for a 27-17 win in a Monday night game flush with “neutral zone infractions,” holds, false starts and even a 15-yarder that was called because someone, according to the referee, “hit a player on the ground unnecessarily.”


On a night in which they weren’t always razor-sharp, the Seahawks had more than enough to fend off underdog Washington.

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