Wilson, L.O.B. Back to Elite Form

Balancing All-Pro paychecks and winning ways is the struggle of teams ascending to the NFL’s top tier, and the Seahawks have not been immune. Contracts for big name players have pilfered the supporting cast which made Seattle so dominate in 2013 and 2014. Good franchises figure this out. Yet, others go the way of the 02’ Bucs and 12’ Ravens, and soon slide into obscurity. After Sunday night’s thrilling victory over the Patriots, the Hawks are gearing up for a fifth consecutive postseason run.

VIA GETTY IMAGES
VIA GETTY IMAGES

Kam Chancellor celebrates.

The 6-2-1 Seattle Seahawks 31- 24 victory over the New England Patriots (7-2) at Gillette Stadium was a statement in the most hostile of environments – you can’t shake this team.

Russell Wilson did not look like a QB playing through three lower body injuries, and torched the Patriots for 348 yards, three touchdowns, and zero picks. After lobbing less than a score-a-game through the first eight weeks, Wilson’s improving health was a boon to team in control of the NFC West division and chasing a 1st round bye. He again seemed to float in the pocket, and darted around pass- rushers to extend plays. Essentially, he was danger-Russ again.

Wilson was aided by a great showing from a beleaguered and hodgepodge O-line, which has caused fits for offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. Sunday night’s rushing performance vaulted the Hawks, who have struggled to establish offensive momentum, and kept the Patriots defense honest through a tough 60 minutes.

Entering week 9 Seattle was one of the worst rushing teams in the NFL, but outgained the Patriots on the ground—finishing with a respectable 96 yard. After weeks of struggling to sustaining drives into the redzone, the Hawks scored on 7 of 9 possessions.

Among all the great performances was the return of Seattle’s defense to elite form. The Legion of Boom, as with early last year, struggled without SS Kam Chancellor. His return to the field seemed an obvious boost to both Sherman and Thomas, whose chemistry had been off lately.

Many of the blown coverages that had plagued Seattle earlier in the year evaporated and allowed the defense to pin their ears back and harass Brady, who looked mortal throwing his first interception of the season and no touchdowns.

In a twist befitting the epic finish of the two teams Super Bowl XLIX rematch, two All-Pros in Chancellor and TE Rob Gronkowski battled on the edge for a fade pass that fell harmlessly to the turf as two jockeyed for leverage. No flag was thrown, and two plays later it was it was the Patriots who failed to score from the one yard line in the game’s waning seconds, allowing the Seahawks to escape Foxborough with their second consecutive win.

As the rest of the NFC shakes out down the last half of the year, the Hawks are proving they have the recipe to go deep in the playoffs and beat the league’s best on their own turf.

Les may be reached at
ltobias@su-spectator.com

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