By Shannon Sanchez // @shannonsanchez3
Tennesee 33- Seattle 27
This weekend was guaranteed not to be a typical weekend in the NFL. With the reaction to the harsh comments from President Trump, there was not going to be a business as usual attitude. From the outset, the game had a different feel, with both teams opting to stay in the locker room for the national anthem.
The defense began the game with performances that we have come to expect. They forced a three-and-out on the first drive. Defensive end Michael Bennett and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson were among many notable participants in shutting down Tennessee. Then Seattle received the ball on their 20 to start their drive and that is where things began to get interesting. Seattle went three-and-out with the offensive line getting penalized three times, two holding penalties and one unnecessary roughness all on just one third down play.
From that moment, the game turned into a flag fest and both teams paid dearly. Tennessee had two touchdowns taken away and Seattle had a key interception by safety Kam Chancellor taken back because of defensive pass interference on cornerback Richard Sherman. This sparked outrage by Sherman who took off his helmet to continue arguing with the official, and that caused an additional unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that took Tennessee from their 44-yard line to Seattle’s 25-yard line, for a gain of 31 yards.
The drama continued into the second quarter when Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota scrambled for 4 yards and was pushed out of bounds by linebacker Bobby Wagner. Sherman hit Mariota out of bounds and was called for an unnecessary roughness penalty. Chaos ensued as Tennessee players came to the defense of their quarterback and Seattle came to the defense of their cornerback. At the end of the fracas, there were offsetting personal fouls and the down was played again.
Tennessee was able to put 6 points on the board before Seattle was able to get a sustainable drive going. It was toward the end of the second quarter when Wilson was able to connect with wide receiver Doug Baldwin for a 4-yard completion in the end zone. Tennessee answered back immediately with a drive that ended in a field goal and the score was Seattle 7-Tennessee 9 at the half.
The roles were switched in the second half when the offense was able to get going but the defense was worn down by the intensity and passion that was expended in the first half. Running back DeMarco Murray was able to run for 115 yards, most of which came in the second half including a 75-yard touchdown in the third quarter. The defense had no turnovers since the Chancellor interception was nullified by the penalties and no sacks. Penalties at key times kept plays alive that ended in Tennessee scores.
Quarterback Russell Wilson scored 4 touchdowns on a day where the offensive line had been under pressure to start performing better than the abysmal start in the first two games. The offensive line wasn’t that bad this week, although it wasn’t that good either. There were plays that Wilson had time to allow the play to unfold, but there were other examples of fumbled snaps and penalties.
Coming back from a 16-point deficit, Seattle got to within 6 with 1:50 left to play. It looked like the defense held Tennessee to a three-and-out and would have given Seattle the ball back with 11 seconds left, but the game ended after a defensive penalty with 12 men on the field.
Injuries include Doug Baldwin with a possible groin injury and linebacker Dewey McDonald with a possible knee injury.
Going into Week 4, there are so many more questions than answers. There is a lot of unrest in the land of the 12’s and it’s understandable. Next week is a home prime time game against Indianapolis and hopefully, everyone can recalibrate.
Featured image photo courtesy of Mark Zaleski/AP
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