Sunday, April 21, 2024
45.0°F

THE CHEAP SEATS with STEVE CAMERON: Seahawks taking care of business — with more weak foes to come

| December 2, 2020 1:25 AM

Did the Seahawks firmly establish themselves as Super Bowl contenders?

Or outright favorites in the NFC?

Bosses of the West Division?

No, no and no.

The Seahawks simply took care of business Monday night, and often made harder work of it than necessary.

Against an Eagles team that is both riddled with key injuries and short of talent in several important spots, Seattle merely performed something like euthanasia on a patient in plenty of pain.

And yet…

That 23-17 victory was both easier and harder than score would indicate.

I mean, you never really thought the Hawks could lose — even though they were stopped on fourth-and-two on each of their first two drives.

And the failed plays were both disastrous.

You know, sometimes when you screw up promising early chances with botched finishes, the thought creeps in that you’ve kept a lousy team in the game — and you might pay for it down the road.

But it never felt like that with the Eagles.

PITY POOR Carson Wentz.

The guy is still a decent quarterback, but the Philly offensive line has been decimated by injuries — there have been 10 different starting units in 11 games – and the Eagles simply have not acquired any receivers that can help Wentz before he gets buried.

Seattle, the team that had 12 sacks in its first seven games, had six on Monday night.

The Seahawks defense, which truly does look like it has come back to life, pretty nearly shut out the hapless Eagles.

Philadelphia’s first touchdown drive, the one that cut its deficit to 14-7 in the second quarter, was aided by an atrocious officiating blunder.

After a shotgun snap got past Wentz, he chased it about 25 yards backwards and, with Carlos Dunlap about to drag him down, Wentz heaved the ball out of bounds.

It was almost 5 yards short of the line of scrimmage, and should have been intentional grounding with a massive loss — but somehow none of the officials noticed.

The Eagles’ other touchdown came on a Hail Mary with 11 seconds left and the score 23-9.

So…

Nah, it was almost impossible to think the Seahawks could lose despite all that putzing around in the first quarter.

For one thing, DK Metcalf was having none of the nonsense that seemed to affect so many of his teammates.

Seattle’s freak of nature caught 10 balls for a career-high 177 yards against an excellent cornerback, Darius Slay — and the only shock was that he never quite got into the end zone.

Close…

But he left the points for somebody else.

AS FOR the defense…

Yeah, it was only the battered and banged-up Eagles, but there have been serious signs that Seattle — where ferocious defense often has been taken for granted — may be getting its groove back.

There was that scoreless second half performance against the Rams, and then an outstanding effort in bottling up Kyler Murray and Arizona — and now this throttling of the Eagles.

It helps to have your starters on the field, obviously, with corner Shaquill Griffin the latest to return.

Super safety Jamal Adams is healthy, full healthy, at last — and he’s all over the place.

Feelin’ it, too.

“The swagger’s through the roof, man,” Adams announced. “We’re playing with a lot of swag, we’re playing with a lot of confidence.”

THEY’RE also playing with a full complement of key players, which hasn’t been the case most of the year.

One possible downer on Monday was that Dunlap, who has four sacks in four games, suffered some kind of foot sprain in the fourth quarter.

Fingers crossed on that one, because Dunlap has made the entire defensive line better.

He’s almost impossible to handle with a single blocker.

OK, even though final score didn’t show it, the Seahawks were on cruise control against Philly.

That was the first of four games that MUST be won — Eagles, Giants, Jets, and Washington.

More business as usual is necessary for the next three weeks.

And then maybe we’ll talk about what these Seahawks can accomplish.

Email: scameron@cdapress.com

Steve Cameron’s “Cheap Seats” columns appear in The Press on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. “Moments, Memories and Madness,” his reminiscences from several decades in sports journalism, runs on Sundays.

Steve also writes Zags Tracker, a commentary on Gonzaga basketball which is published each Tuesday.