Spurred on by ten early special teams points and an impressive defensive effort, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense finally got it together and Seattle coasted easily to a 27-7 victory.
It is hard to believe that just one week ago the Seahawks were faced with serious doubts after a disappointing loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
Note: That "dismal" Arizona Cardinals team just went into the New England Patriots backyard and came away with a win. Maybe Seattle is much better than you thought.
What we saw today was the team Seahawks fans expected to see. Not a finished product by any means, but one that can flash brilliance and win big.
Let's take a look at the Seahawks final post-game grades!
FOURTH QUARTER / POST GAME: B (15-20, 151 Yards, 1 TD)
Overall Russell Wilson was a mixed bag. His day consisted of several poorly thrown balls, some confusion in blitz reads, and also some wonderful plays from the pocket. The thing that stands out to me is that in two games now he seems to get better as the game goes on. Very impressive trait for a young quarterback.
THIRD QUARTER: B (11 - 15 , 117 Yards, 1 TD)
Russell Wilson started off very slow in the third but led an eight play, ninety yard drive ending with a quality touchdown pass to Anthony McCoy.
His ball placement has still been sketchy and it could have led to a serious injury to Sidney Rice on a crossing pattern.
SECOND QUARTER: B- (9-12 ,85 Yards)
Russell Wilson is still struggling with accuracy issues but managed to put it together on the Seahawks last drive of the half. Key throws to Sidney Rice and Zach Miller allowed the Seahawks offense to overcome some costly penalties and put three more up on the scoreboard.
FIRST QUARTER: C- (2-4 ,16 Yards)
Russell Wilson has been wildly innacurate at this point in the game. Needs to settle down in order for the Seahawks offense to stay on track.
FOURTH QUARTER / POST GAME B+
With the lead increasing, the Seahawks wisely pounded the air out of the ball by running nineteen times to kill the clock and any chances of a Cowboys comeback.
Overall the Seahawks offense made the proper adjustments at halftime, increased the tempo, and featured running back Marshawn Lynch (26 Carries, 122 yards, 1 TD, 4.7 YPC Average).
The biggest surprise to me was back up left tackle Frank Omiyale. His pass protection vs Demarcus Ware and the stout Cowboys front 7 was superb considering his last minute addition to the starting lineup. Right guard J.R Sweezy and the rest of the Seahawks offensive line seemed much improved from game one as well.
Baby steps, but very nice progress indeed.
THIRD QUARTER: B (225 total yards, 1 TD)
The Seahawks made an effort to get Marshawn Lynch (15 Carries, 85 yards) involved in the offense and his success opened up the passing game. The tempo has increased, and the unique three tight end formation in the red zone was masterful.
SECOND QUARTER: B-
The Seahawks continue to shoot themselves in the foot with costly penalties. The 11 play drive in the second quarter could have been so much more if Russell Wilson didn't have to bail the offense out of long yardage situations.
Note: John Moffitt has been replaced by rookie right guard J.R Sweezy due to injury
FIRST QUARTER: C
So far the Seahawks special teams unit has done the job for the offensive unit. At the quarter mark the Seahawks have racked up only 28 total yards, two first downs,and have not looked sharp in the passing game.
This will need to change as the game evolves.
FOURTH QUARTER / POST GAME: A
In the end, the only thing the Cowboys had going for them was Tony Romo's elite ability to avoid the pass rush with subtle moves in the pocket. As the Seahawks defensive line started to take control in the second half the Cowboys faltered. DeMarco Murray was held to 44 yards on 11 carries, and the Seahawks secondary held Dez Bryant to 3 catches for 17 yards.
Stats I loved:
Cowboys Turnovers: 2
Cowboys 1-4 on third down in second half
Tony Romo's sad face
The stats I didn't love:
Cowboys: 7-13 on 3rd down
THIRD QUARTER: B+
The Seahawks secondary is making life rough for the Cowboys receivers and the rest of the defense held the Cowboys to two drives, and two punts.
SECOND QUARTER: B+
The Seahawks defense is still flying around but the Cowboys have been able to rack up the yardage despite the aggression (11 first downs, 211 total yards). At the half Tony Romo (14-26, 170 Yards) has been the key to the Cowboys offensive success. His ability to manipulate the pocket and find targets down field under immense Seahawks pressure is a big reason this game is close at half.
Strong Safety Kam Chancellor
Free Safety Earl Thomas
Cornerback: Brandon Browner
Defensive End: Chris Clemons
FIRST QUARTER: B+
The Seahawks defense has been flying to the football and has made life difficult for the Cowboys running game.
As for the passing game, Tony Romo has made some great plays in the pocket highlighted by a huge 26 yard gain to Kevin Ogletree down the sideline.
Great defensive start, but the Seahawks need to start getting home on their pressures.
FOURTH QUARTER / POST GAME: A+
The Special teams couldn't have played a much better game. Everything they did today was executed with mid-season levels. Giving your defensive unit and a rookie quarterback a quick ten point lead in front of your home fans is something that coaches dream for.
Big reason Seahawks win today.
THIRD QUARTER: A+
Not a lot to evaluate in the third but as usual the return coverage has been stellar.
SECOND QUARTER: A+
Another quarter down, another continuation of typical special teams play. In particular, The Seahawks kick return game. The Seahawks are filling their lanes well making returns and exercise in futility.
FIRST QUARTER: A+
What can you say other than...Wow!
The Seahawks special teams has been stellar thus far. From blocked punt return touchdowns, a fumble recovery, great punt placement, equaling 10 points. Wonderful.
FOURTH QUARTER / POST GAME: B+
As we all know, the game gets easier with a lead heading into the fourth quarter. The ability to bring pressure was increased as Tony Romo was forced to drop back on nearly every snap. The way in which the coaching staff prepared the defense for the Cowboy's offensive attack was impressive.
Additionally, the decision by the offensive coaching staff to pound the ball seems obvious considering the score, but that only works when you execute.
Credit assistant Head Coach Tom Cable for getting the most out of left tackle Frank Omiyale, and the rest of the Seahawks offensive line which allowed the continual Marshawn Lynch running plays to be called.
Also give credit to Pete Carroll and his entire staff for eliminating the large amounts of penalties that doomed the Seahawks in game one against the Arizona Cardinals.
THIRD QUARTER: B+
Huge kudos go to the Seahawks offensive staff for their creative play-calling on the Seahawks long touchdown drive. The tempo and multiple concepts utilized put the Cowboys defense on their heels. The best of all was the three tight end bunch formation running verticals into the end-zone. Massive confusion led to easy toss and catch for six.
SECOND QUARTER: B
The coaching staff has still not corrected penalty issues. This lack of discipline cost the Seahawks points in the second quarter.
This must be corrected.
FIRST QUARTER: B
The Seahawks coaching staff did a great job in game preparation heading into this game and it is showing. Two of the three phases (Defense, Special Teams) have been as advertised.
The only unit that needs work is the offense. Look for the Seahawks to make the running game the focus in the 2nd quarter.