Seahawks keep the pedal down

  • Thu Dec 1st, 2011 9:12pm
  • Sports

By John Boyle Herald Writer

SEATTLE — Early in the fourth quarter, a familiar feeling came over the Seahawks sideline.

For the second time in five days, Seattle had a 10-point lead against a beatable opponent, and less than a week after blowing that lead, the Seahawks weren’t about to let the same thing happen against the Philadelphia Eagles.

And instead of falling apart in prime time, the Seahawks finished strong to beat the Eagles 31-14.

“We all felt like we let one get away,” linebacker David Hawthorne said of last week’s loss to Washington. “We were in the same situation tonight. … It was kind of the same scenario, and we just honed in and got the job done today. It was amazing.”

If the 67,039 at CenturyLink Field were a little uneasy as Seattle tried to hang onto another lead, they weren’t the only ones. The players were well aware of what had happened to them in this same building less than a week ago, and how close this game mirrored that loss last weekend.

“We were in the same situation, we were up 10, and we all looked at each other and said, ‘It’s time to finish, it’s time to show how we play,’ cornerback Roy Lewis said.

And finish they did. With the Eagles driving, hoping to make it a one-score game, Hawthorne stepped in front of a pass intended for running back LeSean McCoy, and with the help of a Chris Clemons block, returned it 77 yards for the game-clinching touchdown.

This time, there would be no disappointing late-game letdown for the Seahawks, who improved to 5-7 with their third win in four games. The Seahawks now get a long-weekend off before returning to action next week to prepare for a Monday night game against St. Louis.

One of the biggest reasons that the Eagles (4-8) have had such a disappointing season is their propensity to gift the ball to opposing teams, and indeed the turnover bug bit them again Thursday. After stopping the Seahawks on their first possession of the game, Philadelphia gave the ball right back.

Philadelphia quarterback Vince Young threw a pass that was catchable for only one player on the field. Unfortunately for Young, that one player was Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor, who made an impressive diving catch for his fourth interception of the season.

It was the first bad pass Young threw Thursday, but far from the last, as the Seahawks picked off the Eagles backup four times.

Six plays later, Marshawn Lynch bullied his way through a swarm of would-be tacklers and broke free for a 15-yard touchdown run. The play was just the beginning of a very impressive day for Lynch, who added a 40-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter to give Seattle a 14-0 lead. Lynch finished with 148 yards on 22 carries, his fourth 100-yard game in five weeks, and his eighth straight game with a touchdown.

“Marshawn was just a monster again,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said.

Philadelphia hung around, thanks mostly to the play of dynamic running back LeSean McCoy, who rushed for 84 yards, added 49 receiving and scored two touchdowns. But ultimately McCoy’s efforts couldn’t overcome a quarterback who threw four interceptions — three of which led to Seattle touchdowns — or a defense that had no answer to Lynch.

“I think this was our best game as a team,” quarterback Tarvaris Jackson said.

And while Lynch and the Seahawks’ defense were the stars of the game, Jackson quietly had himself a heck of an evening as well, completing 13 of 16 passes for 190 yards and an 11-yard touchdown to Golden Tate that gave Seattle a 24-7 lead in the third quarter. His quarterback rating of 137.0 was the highest of his career in a game in which he attempted at least 15 passes.

That Jackson didn’t have to carry the Seahawks is exactly what Carroll wants from this team. The formula of running the ball, creating turnovers and finishing games off strong is precisely how Carroll wants his team to win games.

“It’s one of my favorite (wins) because of the way it happened,” Carroll said. “We took the ball away from them, we took care of the football and we ran it.”

Herald Writer John Boyle: jboyle@heraldnet.com. For more Seahawks coverage, check out the Seahawks blog at heraldnet.com/seahawksblog