There are four games to go, so obviously a lot can happen. There are a lot of hot takes out there, and people are going to be bringing ’em this week when they talk about how Russell Wilson should be in the MVP conversation, but I’m here to tell you that through 12 games, Russell Wilson IS the MVP. There is no team that depends on a single player the way the Seahawks depend on Wilson. An argument could be made for Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay, but no one ever votes for the guy who gets injured for the majority of the season, even though the evidence is clear as day on the field (watch literally any Brett Hundley-started game), but I would argue Wilson means more. Where Wilson goes, so go the Seattle Seahawks. It may not be what everyone wants, but it’s what we’ve got, and it’s time to embrace that fact.
Wilson was again fabulous last night, as the Seahawks won 24-10. 227 yards passing, all 3 TDs, a 118.6 rating, and 31 yards on the ground. The Seahawks converted 50% of their third downs and maybe more importantly, were in control the entire way, as they jumped out to a 10-0 first quarter lead and cruised to the finish.
There was a real Team Effort vibe to this win, as it didn’t come easy. Yeah, the Eagles were held to 10 points, but they racked up 425 yards, and there were a number of impact plays that could’ve swung the game in any direction. Most infamously was probably the first drive out of halftime. The Seahawks were up 10-3, and the Eagles got the ball to start. The running game was churning along, and Wentz led them right down the field (including a quarterback sneak on 4th & 1 when they were in field goal range). Wentz kept the ball and looked like he was going to punch in a 5-yard TD run, but Sheldon Richardson knocked the ball out and Michael Wilhoite made sure the ball went through the back of the endzone for a turnover. Score there, and the game is likely tied with most of the second half left to play.
Then, there were a couple of Eagles drives that resulted in punts, when they had 4th & short opportunities to convert near midfield. Seattle scored a field goal on the opening drive of the game, and the Eagles responded with a punt from their own 47 yard line, when Wentz could’ve easily snuck the ball across for the 1 yard they needed (he would go on to do just that a couple other times in this game, with predictably successful results). Right before the half, the Eagles had the ball 4th & 2 from the Seattle 46 and punted. Then, they DID go for it on 4th & 3 from the Seattle 25, in the second half, down 17-3, but failed. And again, after trading scores to make the game 24-10, they went for a 4th & 6 from the Seattle 40 and failed. Convert any of those opportunities, and you have to wonder how this game would’ve turned out.
I remain convinced the Seahawks would’ve won regardless, as I thought our offense had a good handle on this game, but the biggest What If came when the Eagles brought the game to within 17-10, on a drive that was ALL Carson Wentz (showing what a thorn in our sides he’ll surely be for years to come, including an insane 51 yard pass on 3rd & long as he was falling to his right, nearly sacked). The Seahawks had a 3rd & 8 from around midfield. Wilson kept it for 6 yards and lateralled to Mike Davis for another 17, but on replay it looked like the ball ended up going forward, which would’ve not only taken back the first down, but would’ve added a 5-yard penalty that surely would’ve resulted in a Seahawks punt. We ended up scoring a touchdown to go up 14, and essentially sock away the victory, but punt there and all the momentum is going Philly’s way. Why they never challenged that, I’ll never know. I get that you already blew one of your challenges earlier, but that play was SO HUGE! I’d rather lose the challenge if it even POSSIBLY means getting the ball back.
It’s tough to know what this game means in the grand scheme of things. Obviously, we’re talking about a primetime game and a victory over the consensus best team in football, but so much was going in Seattle’s favor: being at home, Philly being due for an ugly loss, Seattle being due for a really clean game (only 5 penalties, no turnovers, no huge breakdowns in protection, and even a respectable game from the running backs). But, this changes nothing. The Seahawks are still a game back of the Rams. The Falcons and Panthers lost, so now we’re currently in the 5-seed. But, we’re still two games back of the top seed in the NFC, and if we turn right around and lose to the Jags this Sunday, it’ll be all for naught.
We’ve been here before in recent seasons. All the hype is behind Seattle, as the rest of the NFL collectively says, “Here we go again with these Seahawks!” It’s December, the team has a terrific record in the month of December, and even though we might only be a Wild Card team, we’re that proverbial “Team You Don’t Want To Face In The Playoffs”. Even though you absolutely wouldn’t care if you faced the Seahawks, as long as you’re the home team, but whatever. This is all familiar territory, and we all – as Seahawks fans – lose our collective shit, salivating over the next four weeks and all the possibilities. Hey! 12-4 COULD be a top 2 seed! HEY, just win out and the Rams go on the road for the playoffs! And so on and so forth.
And you know what happens next? The Seahawks go out the very next week and lay an egg. Last year, it was the last game in November, but it was the Bucs game, where we could only muster 5 points in a demoralizing 14-5 defeat. The year before, it was a primetime game in Arizona, that we lost 39-32, but ironically kickstarted a 5-game winning streak.
I’m just saying, don’t let the Jags sneak up on you. This is EXACTLY the type of defense that should suck any momentum right out of this team.
Enjoy the win for now, but don’t get too caught up in all the hype. There’s a lot of ways this thing can turn to shit.