By Cedric Williams
Back in October when the Seattle Seahawks were playing poorly—with an offense that was struggling and a defense that was yelling at each other on the sidelines—many NFL experts were wondering if this team was even capable of making it through the season without swallowing itself from the inside out.
Three weeks later, it’s late November and Seattle has won three straight. And now those same experts are wondering if the Seahawks are the best team in the league.
The Dallas Cowboys have a sparkling 9-1 record and are the talk of the league as that franchise tries to rediscover its glory days of the ’90s. But Seattle is the team with the veteran roster and championship pedigree, and they seem to be finding their stride as 2016 hits the home stretch of the season.
That pedigree was again on display Sunday afternoon at CenturyLink Field, as the Seahawks delivered another magnificent performance in a 26-15 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. That game has some believing Seattle may be the team to beat once the NFC playoffs begin in January.
Quarterback Russell Wilson was once again the star on offense for the Seahawks. He passed for 272 yards with one touchdown, while also catching (yes, catching!) a 15-yard touchdown pass on a brilliantly executed split-end reverse pass thrown by teammate Doug Baldwin. That trick play fooled the entire Philadelphia defense and became the first touchdown pass caught by any QB in Seattle franchise history.
Baldwin also had a big day catching the ball, with four catches for a game-high 104 yards. Running backs C.J. Prosise and Thomas Rawls combined for 133 yards and a score to lead the Seahawks running game.
Linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright were just terrific in leading the Seahawks defense on Sunday. Engram had a game-high 15 tackles and a quarterback sack, while Wright added 10 tackles of his own. Seattle held the high-flying Philadelphia offense to just 308 total yards (most of which came at desperation time, after the Eagles had fallen behind 23-7).
The Seahawks also picked up a pair of interceptions by Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman, which helped snuff out a couple of Philadelphia offensive drives during a time when Seattle’s own offense was taking over the game.
Special Teams: C
Seattle’s special teams units were rather ordinary on Sunday. To Philadelphia’s credit, return man Tyler Lockett didn’t get many chances to do much, as the Eagles tried to kick away from him as often as they could.
Punter Jon Ryan averaged just 46.5 yards on six punts, which is not his best day. And kicker Steven Hauschka made just four of the six kicks he attempted on Sunday, two-of-three field goals and two-of-three PATs. Hauschka also fell victim to one of the worst extra-point kicking days in league history, which saw a record 12 PATs missed throughout the league on Sunday.
Head coach Pete Carroll clearly had his boys ready to play on Sunday, which is hardly ever a problem for this particular group. But just in case his ‘Hawks did need an extra boost, Carroll dialed up that split-end reverse pass from Baldwin to Wilson, which had the whole stadium buzzing for the rest of the day.
Carroll also deserves kudos for having Seattle’s defense ready to devour a Philadelphia offense that had been struggling for the past several weeks.
Next Up: The Seahawks will go back on the road to face the upstart Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, November 27. Kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m.