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Sports >  Seattle Seahawks

Dave Boling: Credit Pete Carroll, the Seahawks’ win over the Giants commands respect from offseason ridiculers

Oct. 30, 2022 Updated Sun., Oct. 30, 2022 at 8:03 p.m.

By Dave Boling For The Spokesman-Review

SEATTLE – The 2022 Seattle Seahawks – the Legion of Exhumed.

The season hadn’t even started when they were given up for dead. Hopeless. Helpless. Destined to be doormats.

But with an absolute thrashing upset of the New York Giants, the Seahawks moved to 5-3 and solidified their grasp on the NFC West Division lead.

All of which makes this a good time to credit the staff, head coach Pete Carroll in particular, for somehow being able to convince this young team that the throngs of critics were off their rockers.

The ridicule came from all quarters, and even continued in this game. How’s this for an insult? Late in the game, referee Jerome Boger announced that a penalty was called against the coaching staff of “the Seattle Mariners.”

Carroll and the Seahawks have heard the contempt for months.

“We’re human,” Carroll said about his guys being motivated by the early ridicule. “It’s normal and natural, but (the motivation) is deeper than that.”

No mistake, coach, this season has been an eight-week fight for respect.

The 27-13 win over the previously 6-1 Giants leaves no room for anyone to see the Seahawks as flukes.

Sunday they played a complete game: The offense was creative and efficient, the defense reminiscent of earlier units, the special teams practically carnivorous, forcing a pair of turnovers.

Combined, it wasn’t just a winning effort, but an intimidating effort.

Especially on defense.

The Giants were the No. 2 rushing team in the league, but were held almost 100 yards below their average on the ground, with back Saquon Barkley struggling to 53 yards and 2.7 yards per carry (well below his season average of 5.7).

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones was sacked five times, upping the Seahawks’ sack total in the past three games to 14.

It made this feel like a throwback game for the Seahawks, and that’s a high compliment.

Uchenna Nwosu, edge linebacker, looked a little like Cliff Avril back at his peak, coming up with a pair of sacks and a forced fumble. Safety Ryan Neal looked a bit like a young Kam Chancellor (two tackles for losses among this six total). And “old” Bruce Irvin looked an awful lot like a young Bruce Irvin.

The crowd even carried echoes of the early 12s, perhaps like the 2005 throng that forced the visiting Giants into 11 false starts.

And quarterback Geno Smith? He was practically flawless once again, perhaps the most unexpected development of all in this surprising season. He completed 23 of 34 attempts for 212 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

The Hawks’ first touchdown drive, early in the second period, was an indicator of how this game would go. The big play came on third-and-14 at their own 43. Under pressure, Smith fired a sizzling rope to D.K. Metcalf, who fought to stay upright amid a cluster of Giant defenders. Within moments, every Seattle offensive lineman had sprinted downfield to shove Metcalf past the first-down marker.

The effort was the kind of thing you see on teams that are totally tuned in and willing to sell out for every yard.

With 17 games on the schedule now, it’s hard to make halfway evaluations after eight games, but another five wins in the second “half” would bring the Hawks to a highly unexpected 10 wins. Or maybe even 10 wins and a tie, to be more mathematically precise.

Carroll warned: “The story’s not written yet,” he said. “It’s happening and I’m really excited about it. We’re just warming up.”

He looked back, saying he hates that “we were so crappy early in the year.” And he looked even further back, for a comparison. “We’re looking like we used to look.”

That’s a pretty weighty statement.

This team has won three straight, and after road games against a pair of 3-5 teams (at Arizona and against Tampa Bay in Germany), five of their last seven games are at home.

Really, anything is possible, especially considering so many of their talented players are rookies and young guys on the rise.

Certainly, it’s time to recognize them as the Seahawks, not the Mariners, and to once again put respect on that name.

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