By Shannon Sanchez // @ShannonSanchez3
The Seahawks have made news this week. Being one of the more outspoken teams on social issues, players like defensive end Michael Bennet and wide receiver Doug Baldwin could be seen on CNN talking about equality and justice. The team made strides on this issue by announcing that they are starting a new foundation called Seahawks Players Equality & Justice for All Action Fund “to support education and leadership programs addressing equality and justice.” Being as outspoken and comfortable as they are in the spotlight, they can highlight their emapthy and outrage as they face the multitude of question on this subject. Off the field the Seahawks have remained true to what they have always been.
Now, on the field has been a different story.
As the Seahawks get ready to play on Sunday Night Football, some of the painful questions that have come up over the last 3 weeks are still demanding to be answered. There have been questions about the fabled defense. Are they getting old? Have they lost their identity? There were comments made by safety Kam Chancellor calling out the defense after last week’s loss to the Titans, referring to their undisciplined play. The offense has also been put under the microscope: Why is quarterback Russell Wilson inaccurate? Is it in his head? Is the O-line ever going to get better? Where is tight end Jimmy Graham? Running back Eddie Lacy? Have they lost their identity as a run first team? Where are the big plays?
Only on Sunday night could answers start clearing some of the anxiety. The first half looked to be giving some ambiguous answers. Seahawks went down the field and scored a field goal with their first offensive drive. The defense had an interception that cornerback Justin Coleman ran back for a touchdown. But at the end of the half, Indianapolis, playing with a third string center and quarterback Jacoby Brissett that has only been with the team for 5 weeks, led 15 – 10.
The second half brought the Seahawks to life. Russell Wilson came out with an emotion that we hardly ever see from his usually poised demeanor after a 22 yard touchdown run. The big plays came with passes over the middle to wide receiver Paul Richardson who had 3 receptions for 65 yards. One 21 yard pass to Richardson over the middle helped to set up the Wilson TD run.
Although having made two interceptions, Wilson began finding his target with better accuracy than was seen in the first three weeks. The offensive line has looked better, in the second half giving their QB time to throw and opening holes for the running game. Jimmy Graham made his presence felt with 6 targets for 61 yards, the longest 33 yards, which set up the first of two touchdowns by running back J.D. McKissic. Running back Chris Carson was a steady influence in the rushing game with 11 carries for 42 hard yards. The Seahawks were able to command the game plan with their preferred method of run first.
The second half showcased the defense as well. This time it was linebacker Bobby Wagner scooping up a fumble and running it in for the TD. Keeping the Colts to three points and only 24 yards of offense in the second half. Defense recorded 3 sacks and 11 quarterback hurries for the game. By the end of the night, Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett had been rushed, harassed and injured in a late game sack. Lesser known names like defensive tackles Nazair Jones and Garrison Smith, defensive end Marcus Smith were key players in the defense.
And aside from the potentially devastating injury to RB Carson in the 4th quarter, the questions have been answered in a very satisfactory 46 – 18 victory. Looking ahead to next week, the Los Angeles Rams will present a very tough challenge to this team that is slowly finding its way.
Talk Seahawks with Shannon on Twitter // @ShannonSanchez3