Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks grade out in their 40-3 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday at Lumen Field:
This was more like it for Russell Wilson and the Seattle offense. The Seahawks hadn’t had a truly outstanding offensive performance since their Week 8 37-27 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Wilson had one mishap, when his jump ball to DK Metcalf in the end zone was picked off thanks to a tremendous effort by Jets safety Marcus Maye. Otherwise he was near perfect, throwing four touchdown passes — he now has a career best 36 this season with three games remaining — and the offensive line did a good job giving him time. And the run game moved full steam ahead, gaining 174 yards on the ground.
After allowing a field goal on the game’s first possession, Seattle’s defense pitched a shutout the final 54 minutes. The Seahawks turned the Jets over at a key moment on Damon Harrison’s forced fumble early in the second quarter, and the defense could have had a a host of other takeaways had the Seahawks not dropped three would-be interceptions. The defense was made to look a little better than it actually was because the Jets missed three field goals in the first half and Seattle had a couple potential pass-interference instances go unflagged. But when a defense is facing the league’s worst offense it has to keep the score down, and the Seahawks did just that.
It was an uncharacteristically mediocre day for Seattle’s special teams, which have been a big plus all season long. Kickoff and punt coverage was suspect, particularly in allowing a 66-yard kickoff return in the second quarter. Kicker Jason Myers has had a weird season as he’s perfect on field goals — and has made 29 in a row dating back to last season — but he missed his third extra point of the campaign. D.J. Reed, who took over punt return duties a few weeks back, continued to stand out with his fearless full-speed-straight-ahead approach. Punter Michael Dickson practically had the day off.
The coaches got Seattle off to a good start with their creative play calling on Seattle’s opening offensive possession, not only mixing the run and pass but also getting receivers involved in the run game. The decision to not go for it on fourth-and-1 at the 23 in the second quarter can be questioned, but taking the field goal seemed a reasonable choice. The two-minute drill at the end of the first half was handled expertly, including the willingness to run the ball while in the hurry-up. The coaches even got Wilson out of the game at the right time late in the third quarter. All-in-all, a good rebound after Seattle didn’t look prepared in last week’s upset loss to the New York Giants.
Finally — finally! — the Seahawks blew out a team they were supposed to blow out. Seattle has the tendency to play to the level of its competition, both good and bad, and facing an 0-12 team conjured up nightmares about just how low the Seahawks could go. But even though the Jets are winless, this was the worst they’ve been blown out this season, and the Seahawks gave their fans the rare opportunity to relax in the fourth quarter. Next week’s game at Washington will be a much stiffer test, but at least the Seahawks got things rolling in the right direction.
– Nick Patterson, Herald writer