As they so often do, the Seahawks made it harder than it had to be, but they got the job done nonetheless. Seattle outlasted the Washington Football Team, 20-15, after carrying a 20-3 lead into the fourth quarter.
Washington reached the Seahawks 23-yard line in the game’s final minutes on a potential game-winning drive. L.J. Collier and Carlos Dunlap saved the day for Seattle, though, with back-to-back sacks to seal the Seahawks 10th win of the season. At 10-4, Seattle has now clinched a playoff spot for the eighth time in nine years.
Here are some immediate takeaways from a patented ugly, yet important victory for the Seahawks.
1. Have a day D.J. Reed
Quinton Dunbar is expected to come back next week. Tre Flowers might not be far behind him. But Reed is making a case to keep the starting right corner job. He was tremendous on Sunday, regularly in tight coverage against stud wideout Terry McLaurin.
Reed was credited with two official pass breakups, but there were several other occasions where he made life difficult for McLaurin. Reed also intercepted Haskins in the third quarter, marking his second pick of the season.
Reed was a waiver wire pickup by John Schneider over the summer, and it has proved to be one of Seattle’s best pickups of the season. He has started at all three corner spots for the Seahawks
2. Running game propels offense
Russell Wilson finished the game with just 121 yards, one touchdown and one pick on 18-of-27 passing. The one score was a 17-yard fastball caught by Jacob Hollister.
But while the passing game was limited – Tyler Lockett had just 34 yards on four catches and DK Metcalf had just 43 yards on five catches – Seattle’s running game was mostly efficient. Chris Carson carried the ball 15 times for 63 yards. Carlos Hyde ripped off a 50-yard touchdown run. Wilson chipped in 52 yards rushing, highlighted by a 38-yard scramble up the right sideline.
Things sputtered in the fourth quarter with Seattle gaining just 39 yards over the final 15 minutes of the game. Wilson’s interception came in that window on a pass that was tipped at the line of scrimmage. Washington’s defense is one of the best in football, and so some of the struggles make sense, but there’s still obvious room for growth for Wilson, Brian Schottenheimer and the offense as a whole.
3. One running back returns, another leaves injured
Rashaad Penny returned from a year-long absence due to an ACL tear and made his 2020 debut on Sunday. He carried the ball just twice for six yards. Notably, Hyde only had two carries. It was Carson’s show in this one. Seattle’s lead back had 15 carries in a bell cow-type role that we hadn’t seen to this point.
But while Penny came back to the lineup, DeeJay Dallas suffered what appeared to be a serious ankle injury. He was carted off in the first half with an air cast covering his right ankle. Dallas suffered the injury on kickoff coverage.
Odds and ends
-- Mike Iupati left the game with a neck injury and was replaced by Jordan Simmons.
-- K.J. Wright was flagged for a dubious personal foul penalty on a crucial third-down play in the fourth quarter. What would have been a 4th-and-4 situation turned into a first down for Washington. McLaurin ducked his head upon making a catch, making it impossible for Wright to make a tackle without making contact with the receiver’s helmet.
-- Wilson wasn’t sacked once despite Seattle missing Brandon Shell. Cedric Ogbuehi played admirably against Chase Young and Co.
-- Josh Gordon will be eligible to return in Week 16.