3 Takeaways from Seahawks' Week 12 Win
The Seattle Seahawks picked up their eighth win of the season on Monday night and reclaimed their spot atop the NFC West. After stumbling through Weeks 9 and 10, they have won back-to-back games, while the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams both lost in Week 12.
Monday's win came against a Philadelphia Eagles team that has just three wins on its resume, so it might mean more in the standings than it does to the Seahawks' momentum. However, this doesn't mean Seattle can't take away some positives from a game that wasn't nearly as close as the final score might indicate.
The Seahawks dominated the Eagles, plain and simple, and they may have learned a few things along the way.
Here are our three biggest takeaways from Monday night's 23-17 win over Philadelphia.
The Pass Defense Is Making Progress
Throughout most of 2020, poor pass defense has been Seattle's Achilles' heel. While the defense still ranks dead-last in passing yards allowed, it has shown growth in recent weeks.
On Monday, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz was held to just 215 passing yards with two touchdowns and an interception. However, those numbers are a bit misleading, as 33 of his passing yards came on a late fourth-quarter Hail Mary.
Yes, Wentz has been awful this season. No, the Seahawks shouldn't view this game as a turning of the tide in the pass defense department. However, this marked the third straight game in which Seattle has allowed fewer than 300 passing yards. It had just two such games in their first eight.
The midseason addition of pass-rusher Carlos Dunlap has helped tremendously up front, and the former Cincinnati Bengal now has 4.0 sacks in four starts.
While the Legion of Boom days are long gone in Seattle, if the Seahawks can field a functional pass defense—as they did against Philadelphia—they should win more often than they lose moving forward.
This Offense Is Different with Chris Carson on the Field
While quarterback Russell Wilson is the centerpiece of the Seahawks offense, Seattle is a more balanced and potent team when running back Chris Carson is in the fold. He made his return after missing four games with a foot injury, and the expectations were palpable.
The 26-year-old did not disappoint in his return. He bullied Eagles defenders—especially during his 16-yard second-quarter touchdown run—and finished with 41 yards and a score on just eight carries. He also caught two passes for 18 yards.
When Carson is healthy, the Seahawks have a solid duo in him and Carlos Hyde. While Seattle only rushed for 76 yards as a team on Monday, they did enough to keep Philadelphia honest, help set up play action and take some of the pressure off of Wilson's shoulders.
Wilson May Be Better as a Game Manager Than a Gunslinger
For much of his career, Wilson has been utilized as a game-managing quarterback who occasionally puts the team on his shoulders and delivers the big game-changing play.
That's no knock on the 32-year-old who, more often than not, is superb in the clutch. However, fans have long wondered what it would look like if the offense flowed through his throwing arm.
We got to see that early this season, as Wilson ripped off 19 touchdowns and just three interceptions in his first five games. However, leaning heavily on the pass also opened him up to mistakes.
In Seattle's three losses, the quarterback tossed seven interceptions and lost three fumbles.
It was back to game-manager modes for Wilson on Monday, when he threw for a modest-but-efficient 230 yards and one touchdown. The occasional big plays were still there, of course, and this formula seems to be where he is at his best.
The Wisconsin product has thrown for just 427 yards over his last two games, but more importantly, he hasn't turned the ball over—and the Seahawks have won both games. While it's fun to see coordinator Brian Schottenheimer open up the offense with him, Seattle is more dangerous when he's efficient instead of prolific.
Wilson is one of the best signal-callers in the game, and he's going to provide the big play when the Seahawks need it most. However, Seattle is harder to contain when they have a semblance of balance on offense and he isn't forced to try winning games via a shootout.