Bruce Irvin & Bobby Wagner Providing 1-2 Punch on 'Hawks Defense

Thomas HolmesCorrespondent IIIOctober 9, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 07:  Bruce Irvin #51 of the Seattle Seahawks stikes a pose after sacking quarterback Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers during play at Bank of America Stadium on October 7, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

A win is a win and though the offense gave up more points than the defense, for a few moments on Sunday the Seattle Seahawks actually looked like a team capable of moving the football.  Yet instead of taking a step forward by cashing in and scoring touchdowns, the 'Hawks more often than not settled for field goals.  

That's great news for anyone who owns kicker Steven Hauschka in fantasy football, but the reality is that the 'Hawks need to find the end zone with greater consistency against their upcoming slate of opponents. 

Until then, the 'Hawks will sit on the cusp of respectability, which, for quite a few football fans across the country, often boils down to Sports Illustrated's Peter King and his Fine Fifteen each week within his "Monday Morning Quarterback" column.

This week I was surprised to see Bruce Irvin on pace for a potentially impressive rookie campaign.

15. Seattle (3-2). Bruce Irvin's on pace for a 14.5-sack season. His speed is impossible to handle for almost any tackle in the NFL. What a smart pick -- assuming Irvin can stay on the field.

While some could argue that Irvin is a one-trick pony given he has only five tackles with his 4.5 sacks, the level of disruption he brings has helped make a difference as the 'Hawks defense continues to take shape. 

On top of two more sacks on Sunday that accounted for minus-19 yards, his strip of Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in the game's closing seconds essentially sealed the win.

Meanwhile, fellow rookie Bobby Wagner (the 'Hawks No. 2 pick after Irvin), also seems to be progressing nicely, contributing three solo tackles and 1.5 sacks on Sunday. 

Granted, we're only five games into the season, but kudos to Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider for once again drafting two more defensive players who have already managed to fit seamlessly into the team's defensive schemes.

Like many fans and observers, I wondered if the selections of Irvin and Wagner made sense given how both positions were critical to the team's success this season, and how neither player seemed like a sure thing before the draft. 

To be honest, while I took to Wagner right away, Irvin still looked like a work in progress that some (myself included) hinted at being a potential bust.  Once again though, it helps to be patient as Irvin has really started to look like the quarterback hunter the team sorely lacked last season. 

We still have a long ways to go, but so far so good as both Irvin and Wagner have provided the 'Hawks with the one-two punch they were brought in to provide.   

Now if only the player the 'Hawks drafted in the third round could cement his status in the starting lineup. 

I suppose we just need to be patient with him?