Of all the things you can question about the Seattle Seahawks, what you can’t is their ability to just somehow find a way.
This felt like the annual dreary home loss on a wet field that inevitably would come back to haunt them somehow.
But give these Seahawks just an inch, or even less, and they find a way to take a mile.
And while many are sure to question Mike Zimmer’s decision not to kick a field goal and at least assure that the worst his team would likely get out of regulation is a tie, that opening was all Seattle needed to pull off yet another hard-to-believe comeback.
And now Seattle heads happily into the bye at 5-0 for the first time in team history.
And if a skeptic will note they also are 21 seconds away from maybe being 2-3, an NFL axiom is that your record is what you are.
Onto the grades:
Quarterback: OK, so Russell Wilson threw one really bad pass on the interception that looked like it would doom the Seahawks for good, and there were a few other un-Wilson-like moments on a night when he had his lowest passer rating of the season at 100.7 and his lowest yards of the season at 217.
But, boy, that comeback. How many other quarterbacks really pull that off? Two perfect fourth-down passes were enough to undo a night of potential misery.
And consider that with three more touchdown passes Wilson remains on pace for 61, which would shatter the NFL single-season record of 55 set by Peyton Manning in 2013.
Running back: So much for the thought that some of us had that the Seahawks would rely more on their running game in wet, windy conditions.
Seattle’s tailbacks had just 11 carries overall.
But Chris Carson made the most of what he got. He had a really rugged 29-yard touchdown in which he plowed through perennial Pro Bowl safety Harrison Smith that turned into a thing of beauty and six more catches.
It feels like the Seahawks need to get Carlos Hyde back, though.
Receiver: For much of the night there wasn’t much – Seattle had just one drive of longer than 38 until the final drive.
But when there had to be, there was everything, as DK Metcalf, who had just one catch for 13 yards in the first half, ended up with another big night, with six catches for 93 yards and the two fourth-down receptions on the final drive, including the touchdown to win it.
Tyler Lockett also was held in check much of the night but came up big on the last drive.
This felt like a night, though, when Seattle saw it has needs for a third receiver.
David Moore had his hands on what would have been a spectacular touchdown catch late in the third quarter. He’s made a few of those already this year, though, so it’s hard to expect him to make them all.
Tight end: It’s hard not to really have all the feelings as Will Dissly got his first touchdown since tearing his Achilles last season at Cleveland, which occurred almost exactly a year ago on Oct. 13. Greg Olsen had a 20-yard play to key Seattle’s first touchdown drive in the third quarter.
Offensive line: The Seahawks’ offensive line really struggled early, like just about everyone on offense did, giving up four sacks on 11 pass attempts.
But when Wilson really had to have time at the end, he got it – or, at least, just enough of it (he wasn’t sacked on 25 pass attempts in the second half).
Jordan Simmons appeared to do yeoman’s work filling in at left guard.
Defensive line: Here’s another position where the grade gets a lot better based on the victory.
The 201 rushing yards seemed like it might be the story of the game, especially with the Vikings appearing ready to run out the clock on the final drive. Carroll said later “we just got blocked” at times during the game.
But then came that final stop when the Seahawks really had to have it.
Epitomizing the way the game went the most was Benson Mayowa, who like the rest of the line got pushed around at times early as the Vikings rushed for 4.9 yards per carry on 41 attempts.
But when it mattered Mayowa came up big, such as the sack and fumble on the final play of the game and playing a key role in stopping each of Minnesota’s final two runs, reversing field on the third down run by Thielen to help stop him a yard short before then helping gang up to stop Mattison on the fourth down run.
Jarran Reed was big early and had four tackles.
L.J. Collier had his first career sack in the first half in turning in what felt like the best game of his career so far.
Damontre Moore forced the fumble that led to Seattle’s second touchdown, a play also ruled a sack.
Linebacker: K.J. Wright showed he could catch it, with the interception that helped key the third-quarter onslaught.
Bobby Wagner tied a team-high with 14 tackles and was especially big at the end helping make the stop on the Vikings’ failed fourth-down run.
And Cody Barton also seemed to have a nice game in his second start at weakside linebacker tying a team-high with 14 tackles and helping clog up the final fourth down play
But the rushing yards would have been a hard pill to swallow for this group if not for the comeback.
Secondary: The Seahawks again had too many lapses in coverage, especially in man situations.
Particularly struggling was Tre Flowers, who had to play part of two series in the second half when Quinton Dunbar left for a time for the locker room to have an injury checked out.
Ryan Neal, again getting the start at safety in place of the injured Jamal Adams, missed on a tackle for a loss in the fourth quarter but also had a pass defensed and two tackles for a loss.
Shaquill Griffin had a big pass breakup on a third-down play that forced a field goal in the second quarter and had two pass breakups and eight tackles.
Ugo Amadi didn’t see as much action at nickel with Seattle playing more base defense to try to defend Minnesota’s run.
Special teams: This was again another day when the special teams played a huge role in the win.
Michael Dickson downed four of his five punts inside the 20, and when given a chance to unleash one had a long of 60.
Seattle again got great coverage throughout, most notably a rocking hit by Moore on a kickoff return following the touchdown that put Seattle ahead 21-13 of Ameer Abdullah.
And late in the third quarter, Amadi downed a Dickson punt at the 3 after Seattle had been stopped, leading 21-19.
Linden Stephens had done the same earlier in the game, downing Dickson’s punt from the Vikings’ 37 was downed at the 2.
Of Minnesota’s 11 possessions, the only one that started outside its own 25 was on the interception.
And stopping the two-point play was monumental.
The special teams have simply been a big strength all season.
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