Seahawks vs. Dolphins: Seattle's Biggest Winners and Losers from Week 12
The Seattle Seahawks went into Miami looking to improve on their paltry road record and continue their march towards a playoff spot.
Unfortunately, Seattle was unable to overcome its road woes, and it fell to the Dolphins 24-21 on a last-second field goal.
Seattle never really got in sync on offense, and despite some good individual plays, the Seahawks did not look like a team that was confident that it could take care of business on the road.
Here are some of the winners and losers from the Week 12 game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Miami Dolphins. In a game like this, it is hard to find a lot of winners.
Winner: Russell Wilson
On paper, Wilson had a good game, as he was an efficient 21-for-27 for 224 yards and two touchdowns. No picks and no fumbles. He also ran for 38 yards, and he showed good patience even when the pocket was collapsing.
Wilson was not perfect, and the last Seattle drive of the game was not exactly inspiring. However, it is hard to blame Wilson when the offensive line was not giving him much time or opening holes for Marshawn Lynch.
The offense really did not get rolling under partway through the second quarter, but it is hard to lay all the blame at Wilson’s doorstep.
Loser: Offensive Line
The Seattle running game just could not get going against a Miami defensive line that had no problem dealing with the offensive line of the Seahawks.
Unfortunately, we have seen this movie before, and we know how it ends.
The offensive line has arguably been Seattle’s weakest link all season, as the line has battled injuries and chemistry issues throughout the year.
Seattle's offensive line gave up two sacks, and it was a little manhandled.
Marshawn Lynch is a bruising back, and Russell Wilson can do a lot with his feet. However, they need just a few blocks to work their magic.
Today, that did not happen.
Winner: Bobby Wagner
Wagner continues to rack up tackles, as the rookie linebacker had another nine tackles to go along with two pass deflections.
Bobby also had an interception, and he should have had a second pick that would have ended a red-zone drive for the Dolphins in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, that interception was nullified by a penalty called on Earl Thomas.
So far, Wagner has been exactly what Seattle hoped he would be when he was picked in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft.
Unfortunately, his good effort did not lead to a road win.
Loser: Earl Thomas
I list Earl Thomas as a loser, mostly because his penalty nullified a Bobby Wagner interception in the end zone. On the next play, the Dolphins scored a touchdown to tie the game at 14.
You understand the NFL’s sensitively to protecting the quarterback, but that was a situation where Thomas could not have done anything to avoid the hit. In addition, it was not like he launched and went helmet-to-helmet.
Unfortunately for players like Thomas, it is becoming very hard for defensive players to do their job, even if they are careful.
Thomas is not a loser, but he sure lost on that play.
Winner: Leon Washington
Thomas penalized. Interception nullified. Miami scores. Game tied. Big momentum shift.
But wait! Who is that streaking down the field and weaving his way through Dolphins on the ensuing kickoff? It’s Leon Washington!
Washington ran the ball back 98 yards and swung that momentum pendulum back in Seattle’s favor.
This was Leon’s first kickoff return for a touchdown in 2012, and the eighth of his career.
A couple more runbacks like that would be nice as the season progresses.
Loser: Pass Rush and Run Defense
The good news is that Chris Clemons registered his first sack after a four-game drought.
The bad news is that none of the other Seahawks got a sack against Miami.
Overall, Seattle did not apply enough pressure, particularly in the second half. Rookie Ryan Tannehill seemed to get much more comfortable, particularly in the fourth quarter.
You can blame the secondary for a general lack of containment, but a solid defense starts with the pass rush.
Miami ran for 189 yards and two touchdowns. Not exactly a run-stifling performance on the part of the Seattle defense.
Remember when the Seahawks recorded eight sacks against Green Bay? Neither do I.
Loser: 1st-Half Offense
The Seahawks could not get anything going in the first half from an offensive standpoint.
We are talking nothing.
Seattle did go into the half with a 7-7 tie, but the first four drives were all three-and-outs for a grand total of seven yards.
Seven yards. In four drives. Yikes.
Overall, the first half yielded one touchdown and five punts.
Pretty weak stuff.
Maybe the sprinklers should have gone off in the first quarter so that the offense could have woken up.
Loser: Marshawn Lynch
After four straight games of over 100 yards rushing, Lynch was limited to 46 yards on 19 carries. He averaged a paltry 2.4 yards per carry, and he was unable to find the end zone.
Again, it is hard to put all the blame on Marshawn, as the offensive line did not exactly do him very many favors.
The passing game is certainly improving, but Seattle is still built around a power running game. When the quarterback almost has more yards than the running back, your ground game is not working.
Seattle still needs Marshawn Lynch to lead the way. Marshawn, in turn, needs the offensive line to lead the way.