Defense dominates, Offense opens up
Seattle Seahawks 16, Carolina Panthers 12
When: 1:00 PM PST, Sunday, November 7, 2012
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
Sunday was a game highlighted by rookies. On the Seahawks side of the ball, Russell Wilson, Bruce Irvin and Bobby Wagner planed very well. For the Panthers, middle linebacker Luke Kuechly was all over the field.
Russell Wilson did not have a great game. For the first time in his NFL career, I saw him throw an interception that made me think, “There is a rookie throw.” That said, I saw a lot to be excited about.
The offense started to open up the playbook a bit. Russell handled the change well. We got to see Wilson show off his arm, and we got to see receivers make some plays.
There is still a long way to go. This was the first real sign of life from the Seahawks passing attack, and I am excited.
Of course, the offense didn’t need to do much in Carolina because the defense was absolutely suffocating.
Richard Sherman #25
13 targets, 4 receptions for 40 yards, those are the numbers Steve Smith put up when Richard Sherman got into the veterans head. Steve Smith is used to mouthing off during the game to get his opponent off of their game.
Richard Sherman, a second year player, turned Smith’s game around on him.
In every game, there are a few moments that decide the outcome. At the beginning of the 4th quarter Jonathan Stewart caught a 3rd down pass. After gaining enough yards for the first down, Richard Sherman stripped the ball out of Stewart’s arm.
Stewart ended up falling on the ball after it traveled behind the first down marker, forcing the Panthers to punt.
The Seahawks ended up turning that next possession into a field goal that extended their lead from 3 to 6 points. Without those extra points, the Panthers could have kicked a field goal on their next drive instead of going for it on 4th down.
The Panthers could not convert with an errant Cam Newton pass, and the Seahawks took over on their own 1.
Brandon Browner #39
Speaking of Important plays, on third down Brandon Browner hit Louis Murphy at the 1-yard line, stopping him dead in his tracks, saving a touchdown and forcing the pre-mentioned 4th down play.
Also, late in the third quarter, Browner played a quarterback run option to perfection. After forcing Cam Newton to pitch the ball, he stripped it out of Jonathan Stewart’s arm.
Browner fell on that fumble and it ultimately lead to Seattle’s only touchdown. No, you didn’t just have déjà vu, Stewart had two huge fumbles during the game.
One caused by each of Seattle’s starting cornerbacks.
Bruce Irvin #51
A lot of people, myself included, were critical of Bruce Irvin. The moment Pete Carroll and John Schneider drafted him with the 15th overall pick in this years draft, I felt they could have done better. I didn’t hate drafting Bruce, just felt Melvin Ingram was the better option.
Melvin Ingram is still looking for his first sack of the season. Bruce Irvin added a couple to his season total, bringing it to 4.5.
The player that I wanted the Seahawks to draft (Melvin Ingram) had a stupid roughing the passer penalty that negated an interception for a touchdown. Ingram’s San Diego Chargers lost that game by 7 points.
The player the Seattle Seahawks drafted (Irvin) sacked Cam Newton, stripped the ball from his hand, and put the final nail in the Panthers coffin.
It isn’t just Ingram who’s being outplayed by Irvin, Bruce leads all rookies and is among the league leaders in sacks this season.
Consider me silenced.
Bobby Wagner #54
Prior to Bobby Wagner‘s 1.5 sack performance on Sunday, the last time a Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker had more than one sack in a game was November 1. . .2009!
That alone would be enough to deserve to be on this list.
Bobby’s solid play in the middle of the field was instrumental in holding the Panthers to just 190 total yards in the game. Wagner had a rookie moment or two, but all in all, he looked really good in the 5th start of his career.
Golden Tate #81
3 receptions for 31-yards, it would have been 4 receptions for 87-yards if not for a Breno Giacomini holding penalty. Even-though Tate didn’t have a ton of reception, he made the most of every one.
Two were for 1st downs (one of which was a 3rd down play), and the other one was a touchdown.
I have said it before, and I will say it again, “Golden Tate is playing like he finally understands what it means to be a professional.”
The Seattle Seahawks defense is ranked first in the NFL in total defense. They are ranked second in scoring defense, behind the 49ers. The weakest link on defense is Marcus Trufant playing out of position at nickel back.
When Walter Thurmond III comes back in a couple weeks, I expect him to replace Trufant. Walter is much better suited to play inside than Trufant. Yes, I said it, as good as this defense has been, I expect them to get better in the next month or so.
You have watched them play, watched them dominate.
Is this the best defense the Seattle Seahawks have ever had?