After struggling on the road in week one, the Seahawks returned home and completely dominated the Dallas Cowboys 27-7. It started with a fumbled kickoff and that was enough to fuel the 12th Man and the Seahawks took advantage of the opportunity and never looked back. I took a lot of positives out of this game. Here are some of my thoughts after this great win.
“They Just Can’t Play Here:” That was a statement from my friend Alan regarding Dallas’s special teams after the Cowboys fumbled the opening kickoff. The biggest headline leading into this game was the Tony Romo botched snap six years ago and the Cowboys continued their special teams struggles into this game. The Cowboys kickoff fumble turned into three points, then later in the quarter Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith blocked a punt and Jeron Johnson returned it 5 yards for a touchdown. Seahawks special teams 10, Dallas 0 after the first quarter. I have to believe that the crowd plays a part in the terrible play by Dallas’s special teams, not to take anything away from our special teams. It is amazing looking back into hindsight that those scores alone would have been enough to beat Dallas yesterday.
My Russell Wilson Evaluation: After getting off to a slow start, Russell Wilson shined in the second half. He ended the game 15/20 for 151 yards and a touchdown. His 75% completion percentage in a single game is the highest for a Seahawks rookie quarterback in franchise history. His stat line may not be the most impressive, but his decision making is what really caught my eye. Each of his throws were right on the money and he did not force any throws into double or triple coverage. Through eight quarters, Wilson has only turned the ball over once and that one turnover came on a hail mary before halftime of the Arizona game. In his last 73 games dating back to USC, when Pete Carroll teams win the turnover battle their record is 70-3. When we take care of the ball like we do we have a great chance to win or at least be competitive. This is turning into my favorite attribute of Russell Wilson’s play. His numbers may not be the best but the way he plays the game mentally gives us our best chance to win.
Our Defense Continues To Prove It Can Be A Top 5 Unit: Through two games the Seahawks have allowed an average of 13.5 points per game. At this pace the Seahawks could be a very tough team to pick against as the season extends and teams potentially get thinner and tired. I was very impressed by the way we tackled. One play in particular; a second quarter swing pass from Tony Romo to DeMarco Murray where K.J. Wright went for the tackle, and was able to wrap him up long enough for Bobby Wagner and Kam Chancellor to come over and help make the tackle without letting Murray get away. I think our tackling has improved as a whole but there is still some work to do. Our run defense continues to be dominant, only giving up 49 rushing yards to the Cowboys. The pass rush did not meet my expectations this week because Romo was only sacked once. This needs to change soon especially since Green Bay comes to town next week.
Cleaning Up Our Laundry: After getting flagged 13 times in Arizona, the Seahawks only got penalized 5 times against Dallas for a total of 35 yards. There were only 10 penalties combined in the game which makes me wonder was there that significant of change in one week’s time or were the replacement referees just letting them play? I am very satisfied with this stat but I was concerned multiple times in this game about Breno Giacomini. Giacomini is a very fiery competitor and at times he can let the opponent get under his skin. He was flagged twice in the preseason for personal fouls on one drive and it looked like that could have happened again a couple times yesterday. These are the penalties that kill drives and kill games. All in all I am hoping this game is a sign that we have cleaned up our mistakes, however that big of a positive difference in only one week’s time is going to keep me cautiously optimistic heading into future games.
Our Best Receiver: I was asked by Alan in the middle of the game who I thought is our best wide receiver. After a little bit of thought I answered Golden Tate. He looked at me surprised but I explained my opinion that whenever Tate gets the ball in his hands there is a chance he can make something explosive happen. He can make plays when given the opportunity and I think he may have the best hands on the team. Tate can even make a huge block when the time warrants him, just like he did when he leveled Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee:
Tate is an emerging talent that I will predict right now will be our leading receiver by the end of the season.
Same Old Romo, Same Old Cowboys: According to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in Texas, the Cowboys have a .500 winning percentage dating back to the 1990’s. Going off of this stat I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that after the Cowboys surprisingly beat the defending world champion New York Giants they would slump off and lose to the Seahawks. The Cowboys may be the most inconsistent and overrated team in all of football, and it drives me crazy when I hear talk that Tony Romo is an elite quarterback in the NFL. 23/40 for 251 yards and one touchdown and one interception is not elite in my book. Dallas is an average team at best. They can challenge for the NFC East title but in no way are they legitimate super bowl contenders, at least not at this point in the season.
Random Thoughts: I woke up at the earliest time for a week of football in two years (5:45am). By the time I got home for Sunday Night Football I was beat… One of my roomates made bloody Mary’s before leaving for the tailgate. Tomato juice and vodka at 7:30 in the morning is not my idea of a good time… Alan, Jake, and I tailgated about two blocks north of the stadium with Jake’s brother Chris and his friends. Usually I am used to going to the bars before Seahawks games because parking lot tailgating is either too expensive or too bare but Sunday was one of the best tailgates I have been at in a long time. It felt like a college atmosphere, almost as if we were prefunking for a Husky football game… Alan bought a Marshawn Lynch jersey before the game. Great investment in my opinion… The alumni day ceremony was one of the worst I have seen. Everything seemed rushed and because of limited time, the Cowboys were introduced halfway through the ceremony… The Seahawks defense was introduced to the crowd to a roaring ovation… Former Seahawk Paul Johns sung the National Anthem. Johns sings the anthem on alumni day almost every year… Shawn Springs raised the 12th Man flag, continuing the tradition that a talented and popular former Seahawk raises the flag at the home opener… Two rows down there was a lady who got super drunk and obnoxious, calling out Seahawks fans for not starting trash talk with Cowboys fans in the fourth quarter. I’m all for having a good time at a game but when you get mad at other Seahawks fans for not being a$$holes towards the opposing fans, I have a problem with that… I brought six bags of Skittles into the game for whenever Marshawn Lynch did something great. We threw four bags worth of Skittles when he scored his fourth quarter touchdown… One fan across the aisle looked back in anger because I think one of our Skittles hit him or went down his back. If you are going to make a big deal about a single Skittle, then I’m sorry. I’ll buy you some tissues for the Green Bay game sir… The Seahawks wore blue jerseys and blue pants on Sunday. I don’t think we will wear gray at home this season… The giveaway was a mini 12th Man flag. Mine ripped before the game even started… The halftime show was the Red Bull skydiving team. I’m always entertained to watch people jump out of airplanes for our entertainment… After the game we went back to the tailgate, drank a couple more beers, then bussed back home to Wallingford… I am very disappointed that the other NFC West teams all won on Sunday. It makes the division look better and we get more national media coverage but it does not help the Seahawks gain any ground on taking the division lead.
I believe the Seahawks are off the next two days and preparation for next week’s Monday night matchup against the Green Bay Packers. Check back this week for my notes heading into week 3. Go Seahawks!