Seahawks’ stable affect sets them up for season’s home stretch
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Seattle Seahawks peaceable perceive how to electrify in spite of every thing.
They had been in hazard of shedding some other shut game Sunday when Russell Wilson found David Moore for a 35-yard, game-tying touchdown. Seattle’s protection then stiffened correct in time on the Carolina Panthers‘ ensuing power (which ended with Graham Gano‘s left out fifty two-yard field goal strive), sooner than a long pass from Wilson to Tyler Lockett situation up Sebastian Janikowski‘s 31-yard game winner as time expired.
Take a breath, Seattle.
The Seahawks are 6-5 after their 30-27 preserve against the Panthers (6-5) and in very most provocative place apart for a wild-card space as their season reaches the house stretch.
“We correct came up with the huge performs after we wished to,” receiver Doug 1st earl baldwin of bewdley said in a raucous Seahawks locker room. “We had some mishaps within the first half of, which is similar outdated. But when the game’s on the highway, for no subject motive, we correct effect performs.”
That became once merely on both aspect of the ball.
Seattle’s protection allowed Carolina to march the total formula to the 5-yard line on the gap possession sooner than forcing a turnover on downs when linebackers Bobby Wagner and Austin Calitro stopped Cam Newton correct short of the highway to make. It might possibly well perchance be that roughly day for Seattle’s protection — long drives that ended with key stops.
They received one more within the zero.33 quarter from security Bradley McDougald, who had talked just currently about his perception that there is a incompatibility for a protection between a turnover and a takeaway. A turnover, in McDougald’s gape, is something that happens — luxuriate in a free ball bouncing correct to a defender or an overthrown pass landing in his lap. A takeaway, on the assorted hand, is something a protection makes happen.
The free balls did now no longer bounce Seattle’s formula Sunday because the Panthers recovered all 5 of their fumbles.
But McDougald left nothing to chance when he tipped a Newton throw up the seam and came down with the interception shut to the goal line, thwarting one more Carolina scoring chance. It became once Seattle’s first takeaway in three-and-a-half of games.
“Oh my gosh, what a play,” Pete Carroll said. “To be plus-one [in turnover differential] on for the time being became once massive. We wished it.”
Seattle’s final defensive live came correct sooner than Gano’s omit when cornerback Tre Plant life, credited with two of the 5 compelled fumbles, made a contend with in space that saved DJ Moore from a predominant down. Plant life had one more initiate-field contend with on zero.33 the total method down to power a Panthers field-field-goal strive correct sooner than halftime.
Though it rankled Carroll that his protection gave up 220 yards on the ground and a season-high 476 yards in all, he liked the method in which the community executed.
“The protection had a demanding time currently,” he said. “[Christian] McCaffrey became once good and Cam became once good, but after we received them within the purple zone, we stopped them. We had four huge stops and they also had been all predominant, and the turnover became once massive down there. We received them the place apart we wished to to find them ample to preserve the football game, but now we hang received loads of work to electrify. We don’t desire to scamper attempting these kinds of yards and that roughly output from the assorted aspect.”
The tiresome start up however, this game did now no longer practice what had change into a well-recognized script for Seattle’s offense.
Its No. 1-ranked rushing attack had produced no now no longer as much as one hundred fifty yards on the ground in seven straight games, something that hadn’t occurred apart since 2004. However the Panthers had been intent on stopping that and efficient in doing so. Some Seahawks avid gamers even said center linebacker Luke Kuechly became once calling out their flee performs sooner than the snap.
Chris Carson‘s spectacular hurdle-became-somersault alongside alongside with his 1-yard touchdown had been highlights on an otherwise quiet day for Seattle’s starting up operating relieve. He carried sixteen events for 50 five yards and Seattle executed with very most provocative seventy five yards rushing on 28 makes an strive.
“They’re all about stopping the flee,” correct guard D.J. Fluker said. “We became once luxuriate in, ‘OK cool … we’re gonna pass the ball.'”
Carroll had said bigger than once that as effectively and as on the total because the Seahawks had been operating the ball, there would strategy a time after they’d want Wilson’s correct arm to retain them to a preserve. That time came Sunday.
Wilson delivered, especially when the Panthers blitzed. They sent 5 or extra pass-rushers on 17 of his 33 dropbacks, per ESPN Stats & Recordsdata. On these performs, Wilson went 10 of 15 for 192 yards and a touchdown — the tying rating to Moore. Wilson executed with two TDs to support him on crawl to interrupt his earlier profession high of 34, no interceptions and one more strategy-from-within the relieve of victory.
The preserve became once the 71st within the conventional season for Wilson, breaking a tie with Dave Krieg for basically the most in franchise historical past. He already held the document for blended normal-season and postseason wins with seventy eight coming into Sunday.
Janikowski’s game-winner from 31 yards out became once his 2nd of the season following the one he had against Arizona in Week 4.
The Seahawks’ potential to shut out games had been in quiz after their three newest losses (vs. the Rams in Weeks 5 and 10, and the Chargers in Week 9). They’d of endeavor to tie or scamper forward on their final possession in all three games but failed. Sunday’s preserve follows one more stable affect final week against Inexperienced Bay, when Wilson led a leisurely scamper-forward power and the Seahawks ran out the clock after forcing a three-and-out.
Sooner than Sunday, anyone looking to trail holes in Seattle’s situation as a playoff contender might well perchance hang without complications pointed to this: Easiest one of the most 5 teams the Seahawks had crushed (the 6-5 Cowboys) entered Sunday with a winning document. Two (Arizona and Oakland) had very most provocative two wins apiece.
Surprise no extra whether the Seahawks are playoff-caliber after this preserve. It came in an early kickoff, on the East Cruise against a Panthers crew that had received 10 straight at Bank of The United States Stadium dating to final season.
“With out reference to what anyone says, this became once a predominant game for us,” 1st earl baldwin of bewdley said. “We wished to preserve this game to support our playoff hopes alive.”
Here is how critical the game became once for the Seahawks: Had they lost to the Panthers, they would hang had a 26.4 % chance of making the playoffs, per live projections from ESPN’s FPI after Sunday’s early games.
The preserve upped these odds to Seventy four.zero %.
In dispute that they’re very valuable alive now, especially with a ample final agenda. The Seahawks will play four of their final 5 at CenturyLink Field.
The lone highway game is against the 2-9 49ers and one of their home games is against a Chiefs crew that might well perchance moreover merely expend its foot off the fuel by the time it comes to Seattle in Week sixteen. Seattle moreover hosts San Francisco, Arizona and Minnesota and desires to be appreciated in all three.
Things are attempting up for the Seahawks after their most spectacular preserve of the season.
“Any preserve is massive, but this leisurely within the season they change into that valuable extra critical,” McDougald said. “We’re struggling with for our playoff replacement and we’re on a real form walk correct now. … One other massive highway preserve. We started off tiresome, I felt luxuriate in we received stronger because the game went on and correct to preserve in that type is gargantuan.”