Seahawks make progress towards playoffs

The Seattle Seahawks entered week nine of the NFL season with a 4-3 record. Their opponent in the NFL Game of the Week was the 5-2 Los Angeles Chargers who were on pace for their best start in franchise history.

The Seahawks drew first blood in the game with a first quarter touchdown pass to Jaron Brown for his only reception of the game. The Chargers answered quickly with a touchdown of their own, but a missed extra point by Caleb Sturgis kept the Seahawks in the lead 7-6.

The second quarter was all Los Angeles as they scored two more touchdowns, with Sturgis making an extra point but with a failed two-point conversion by the Chargers. Seattle kicker Sebastian Janikowski did kick two field goals in the second quarter, only making one which made the halftime score 19-10 Chargers.

While the third quarter was scoreless, both teams would put up a touchdown in the fourth. The Chargers scored off an interception return with a missed extra point, and the Seahawks scored off a pass to Nick Vannett. Eight points behind, the Seahawks made it to the end zone one last time where an incomplete pass with no time on the clock would end the game 25-17.

Russell Wilson put up a lackluster performance, going 26 for 39 with 235 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. His quarterback rating for the game placed at 89.2, the second lowest individual quarterback performance of the season. His offensive line didn’t do him any favors either, allowing four sacks marking the most since week two against the Bears.

Chris Carson left the game early with a hip injury, leaving Mike Davis to do the heavy lifting in the run game. He eventually went for 62 yards on 15 carries. Carson finished with 40 yards and Rashaad Penny had 11 of his own.

The Seahawks’ receiving core didn’t pull together any real consistency with big plays, the only pass longer than eleven yards being a 42 yard reception by Doug Baldwin. Baldwin would lead the team with 77 receiving yards, followed closely by Vannett and Davis with 52 and 45 respectively.

The Seahawks defense kept in good form, particularly in the second half. Philip Rivers has good protection but was still sacked twice by Jarran Reed and Frank Clark. Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright were keys in all of Seattle’s successful defenses, and Delano Hill got some significant playing time for the first time in his career, and he performed well all things considered.

The Seahawks’ main point of positivity was in punter Michael Dickson having a career game for himself. He would punt the ball six times with an average of 50 net yards. He even landed four of them inside the opponents’ 20 yard line which is crucial because it meant the Chargers would have to gain more ground each drive.

Moving forward, the Seahawks are operating the best they can with the number of injuries they have. Carson and safety Bradley McDougald both have not practiced and are unlikely to play in week 10 after leaving in the middle of week nine’s loss. Doug Baldwin is back to practicing, along with linebacker Shaquem Griffin. The Seahawks are trending upward and with both games against the Rams out of the way, I’d expect Seattle to continue making progress towards the playoffs.