Letdown? Were you thinking letdown?
Letdown? Were you afraid that the Seahawks, favored by 19.5 points to beat the Jaguars, might not bring it on Sunday?
As it turned out, there was no need to worry. The Seahawks blew out the Jags, 45-17, and after three weeks, they’ve given us all a lot of reasons to believe that they are the class of the NFL.
In case you’ve lost count, the Seahawks have now won eight straight regular-season games and 10 straight home games. Average score over the last five games at the Clink: 38.5 to 10. Seattle’s last home loss? San Francisco beat the Hawks 19-17 on Dec. 24, 2011.
Yeah, the Seahawks are pretty damn good. There are so many things to like about this team, and I keep going back to their depth.
Where did defensive tackle Clinton McDonald come from? Dude had 1.5 sacks and seemed to be everywhere against the Jaguars.
And how many teams in the league would like to have Tarvaris Jackson starting at QB right now? He was 7 of 8 for 129 yards and a TD. T-Jack wasn’t healthy during his first stint with the Seahawks, but still managed to throw for 3,091 yards and 14 TDs. Because of his familiarity with the system and his relationships with the players, he’s the perfect backup for Seattle. If QB Russell Wilson goes down, there’s would be no reason to panic.
And as good as offensive tackle Russell Okung is, the Seahawks didn’t really skip a beat up front on Sunday. Journeyman Paul McQuiston started in Okung’s place and the Hawks averaged a season 4.3-yards per rushing play.
Strange stat of the day: 2 catches, 5 yards, 2 TDs. Yep, that was the line for tight end Zach Miller. He had a 1-yard grab for the game’s first score and Wilson found him for a 4-yard TD that made it 14-0 early in the second quarter.
On his first TD, Miller was all by himself. He faked a block in a tight formation at the goalline, dropping to the turf before getting up and waltzing by himself into the end zone. “It was wide open. Worked even better than it did in practice,” Miller told reporters after the game.
Catch of the day: That diving 35-yard TD catch by Doug Baldwin was ridiculous. Golden Tate (10 catches, 158 yards, 0 TDs), Baldwin (9, 177, 1 TD) and Sidney Rice (8, 127, 2 TDs) are legit and Jermaine Kearse (3, 66, 1), who tweaked an ankle on Sunday, fits the mold. They’re all athletic and aggressive to the ball. And Seattle will add Percy Harvin later in the year. Like I said, depth is not a problem.
Leon Who?: I thought the Hawks would miss Leon Washington, the electrifying kickoff and punt returner, and maybe they will but Tate’s looked good returning punts (10 for an 11.2 average). They’ve only returned three kickoffs, so it’s too soon to tell on that one. Kearse (23 yards), Jeremy Lane (22 yards) and Tate (24 yards) have all returned one.
No luck for Niners: While the Seahawks were taking care of business, the 49ers were not. They were 10-point favorites to beat Indianapolis at home, but the Andrew Luck and the Colts, missing six starters, crushed the Niners 27-7. Coming off a 29-3 loss to Seattle at the Clink, the 49ers have to be doing some soul-searching. QB Colin Kaepernink (13 of 27 for 150 yards with an interception and 0 TDs) looked lost at times.
This could be a long year for the Niners if they don’t get healthy. Top receivers Michael Crabtree (Achilles) and Mario Manningham (knee) are out and tight end Vernon Davis (hamstring) missed the game against Indianapolis and might not be ready for this week’s Thursday game at St. Louis. In addition, All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis (groin) left Sunday’s game in the third quarter, nose tackle Ian Williams suffered a broken ankle against the Seahawks and they will be without All-Pro defensive end Aldon Smith indefinitely. He was arrested on charges of drunk driving and marijuana possession on Friday (his second arrest since he’s been in the league) and while he played on Sunday, several sources reported that he would enter a treatment center this week. You wonder why they played Smith at all. All in all, it adds up to a troubling start for the 49ers.
Two-game lead: So three weeks into the season, the Seahawks (3-0) have a two-game lead over the 49ers (1-2), Rams (1-2) and Cardinals (1-2) in the NFC West.
This is the sixth time in franchise history that Seattle has gotten off to a 3-0 start. They’ve never been 4-0.
Sikma sighting: Jack Sikma, a fan favorite in Seattle when he played for the SuperSonics, raised the 12th Man Flag before the game. The center who helped the Sonics win an NBA title had his jersey No. 43 raised to the rafters at KeyArena. Sikma was a seven-time All-Star is currently an assistant coach with the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves.
While on the subject of the 12th Man Flag, I speculated that former Seattle guard Gary Payton, recently inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, might be asked to raise the flag for the Seahawks-49ers game. I later was told that Payton, an Oakland native, is a big 49ers fan.
Texans next: Early odds for next Sunday’s game at Houston: Seattle’s favored by three. The over-under is 43.5. For what it’s worth, I predicted Seattle would beat Houston in the Super Bowl. The Texans pulled out a couple late wins and lost at Baltimore on Sunday. There’s no shame in losing to the Ravens, but the Texans, unlike the Seahawks, aren’t exactly playing like a Super Bowl contender at this juncture.