Quick thoughts following Seahawks’ 24-23 win over Patriots

Seattle’s 24-23  comeback win over New England  is a sure sign that the Seahawks are a franchise on the rise.

Seattle rookie QB Russell Wilson took advantage of an inexperienced Patriots’ secondary, but Wilson, finally given some protection, showed off a big-time, accurate arm. He completed 16 of 27 passes for 293 yards and three TDs. No picks. Anybody still think Matt Flynn should be starting?

Seattle’s defense gave up 398 passing yards, but what do you expect when Tom Brady is throwing 58 passes. The secondary also picked Brady off twice, forced him into a couple of intentional grounding penalties, one at the end of the first half that cost the Patriots a chance to kick a field goal. I thought the Hawks rattled Brady, who had just one interception coming in, and that doesn’t happen often.

“Tom Brady’s never played a game in Seattle and I don’t think he’ll want to play another one,” said NBC’s Dan Patrick.

Earl Thomas picked Brady in the end zone and almost had two more. Richard Sherman got his third interception of the year. Kam Chancellor (11 tackles, 7 solo) and Brandon Browner (6 solo) had some big tackles.

Rookie linebacker Bobby Wagner was all over the field, finishing with 14 tackles, 7 of them solo. Linebacker K.J. Wright had 10, 8 solo.

Special teamer Leon Washington showed why he is so special. Washington’s late punt return set up Wilson’s winning touchdown pass to Sidney Rice. That was a big, big play.

Doug Baldwin finally looked like the Doug Baldwin everybody’s been expecting to see. The slot receiver has been battling some nagging injuries, but he looked healthy on Sunday. Two catches for 81 yards, including a 24-yard TD and he also drew a pass interference penalty. Baldwin, Rice, Golden Tate, Braylon Edwards. The receiving corps, at least for a game, looked like it might be good enough to get it down after all.

And how about Edwards’ 10-yard TD catch on a fourth-down pass with 7:21 letf? Wilson threw it early and Edwards came back to make a great catch as the defender had his back to the ball.

Seattle made a lot of great plays, and they needed every one to win. They needed Russell Wilson to outplay Tom Brady and he did.

They won despite gutty Wes Welker getting loose for 10 catches, 138 yards and a TD. Welker took a couple of big, big hits, but kept coming back.

They won without getting a sack, although Chris Clemons had three QB hits and the Hawks were able to force Brady into some poor throws.

They won with Marshawn Lynch rushing for a pedestrian 41 yards on 15 carries.

They played a relatively clean game in the penalty department, finishing with four for 35 yards. And the one on Breno Gincomino, the oft-penalized offensive tackle, wasn’t really his fault, as commentator Dan Fouts pointed out. Wilson should have stepped in the pocket, but he drifted left and Gincomino ended up grabbing his guy to avoid a sack.

A big win, but could Seattle have pulled it off on the road? The 12th Man was so loud  my windows in Illahee were shaking. Not really, but that loud home crowd gets another assist.

All in all, one of the best wins since the Seahawks’ Super Bowl season, but it won’t mean much if they lose Thursday at San Francisco. The Seahawks and Niners, thumped 26-3 by the New York Giants, are both 4-2. But the Seahawks are 0-2 in the NFC West and 0-3 would be a tough hole to dig out of it.

San Francisco lost its starting left tackle, Joe Staley, to a concussion. If he can’t play in four days, that’s got to be good news for Seattle. Here’s ESPN.com’s quick recap of the 49ers-Giants game. And here’s ESPN.com’s quick recap of the Seahawks-Patriots game.

Physically, mentally, there’s no way of relating to how tough it must be to get up for another game in four days, a road game no less against a team was considered by many to be the class of the NFC. Pete Carroll and his coaching staff have their work cut out for themselves this week.



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