How the Seattle Seahawks defense saved Christmas for their fans

By Shannon Sanchez //@ShannonSanchez3

Seahawks 21 – Cowboys 12


Right before kickoff I quickly listed a few things that I hoped the Seahawks would give to all their fans for Christmas. My list included:
1. Stop the run.
2. Wide receiver Doug Baldwin and tight end Jimmy Graham with quality and successful targets.
3. A clean game for guard Germain Ifedi.
4. A run game of our own.
5. A touchdown on our first offensive possession.

I thought it was a pretty good list.

When I was young I would ask for very specific Christmas presents, but there were occasions that I did not get exactly what I asked for.  Much to my pleasant surprise, the gift I ended up with was much better than what I asked for. This is exactly what happened today.  In a game where a loss for either team meant their playoff hopes were gone, Seattle came to play with a slightly different list than I penned.

Here are the answers to my list: As far as stopping the run, running back Ezekiel Elliott, in his first game after a 6 game suspension, rushed for 97 total yards.

When it came to Baldwin’s and Graham’s contribution to the offense, Baldwin led the passing with 4 targets for 35 yards. The numbers were unimpressive, he was invisible the first half but came up with one of the two touchdowns scored by the offense. in the second half. The other touchdown was scored by Graham in his one and only target of the game.

Ifedi came through with no penalties this week.  Our own run game was led by quarterback Russell Wilson for 29 yards.  Total rushing for the game by the Seahawks was only 76. The last and most specific wish was a touchdown on the first offensive possession, which did not happen once again.

Now on to the gifts that the Seahawks gave their fans: A fumble caused by defensive back Byron Maxwell as he punched the ball out of wide receiver Dez Bryant’s hands. A pick six by corner Justin Coleman, who ended up getting flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after he hopped into the giant Salvation Army bucket during his touchdown celebration. Although, not even the Salvation Army had a problem with his antics.

Then another gift, an interception by linebacker K.J. Wright. The defense kept steady pressure on quarterback Dak Prescott and gifted us with four sacks by defensive back Shaquill Griffin, defensive ends Frank Clark, Michael Bennett, and Dion Jordan.  They also were gratifyingly miserly in their red zone defense, not allowing one Dallas touchdown.

Although the offense was able to capitalize on the turnovers and converted them into touchdowns, it was the defense who saved Christmas. In a week where all aspects of the team were under question and doubt, the defense stepped up and came to play. The offense was still sputtering, having no run game and no rhythm on passing. Wilson was sacked three times for a loss of 33 yards. Not all can be blamed on his protection.

With one game left in regular season, we all hope that the gift-giving continues one more week as the Arizona Cardinals come to town. We need Carolina Panthers to donate to our Christmas by beating the Atlanta Falcons.


Talk Seahawks with Shannon on Twitter @ShannonSanchez3

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