COMMENTARY | In Week 6, the Seattle Seahawks found the remedy for the sting of their first loss of the season.
The Seahawks captured their first ugly home win of the season Sunday, overcoming a slap-myself-on-the-forehead moment right before halftime to beat the Titans, 20-13 in front of a crowd of 68,127 at CenturyLink Field.
This was the type of win that Seahawks fans haven't seen all season from their team. There was no explosive offensive output or momentum-shifting defensive touchdown.
No, Seattle simply overcame its mistakes and did enough to pull out a victory. For a team with Super Bowl aspirations, these are the types of wins that it needs -- the grind-it-out variety against inferior opponents.
Despite missing two of its five starters on the offensive line, as well as its starting tight end, and despite firing multiple bullets in its own foot, Seattle escaped with a victory.
Coming off a disappointing loss in Indianapolis the week prior, the Seahawks and their fan base uttered a collective, "We'll take it," at the end of this one.
Here are five things we learned from Week 6:
1. Stop Freaking, Call On Marshawn Lynch
The award for the Week 6 spark on offense goes to Beast Mode, who ate up the Titans defense for 77 yards and two touchdowns on the ground and another 78 yards in the air, including a 55-yard, catch-and run in the fourth quarter that set up a Steven Hauschka field goal.
On that play, the Seahawks ran the read-option with Wilson rolling to his right and Lynch leaking to the left side of the field. Wilson set his feet and threw to the opposite sideline, finding a wide-open Lynch, who ran to the Tennessee 25-yard-line. It was Seattle's longest play on offense Sunday.
As always, Lynch churned his legs for extra yards on almost every run. He even flashed his balance on one play, seemingly hopping on one leg while shaking off a defender and getting the first down.
As has often been the case ever since he came to Seattle, the Seahawks relied on Lynch to carry them offensively.
2. Even On A Pedestrian Day, Russell Wilson Can Post Big Numbers
Do you remember Week 1, when you looked at the final stats and Wilson had somehow compiled an impressive line?
Well, he did it again.
The Seahawks quarterback didn't throw a touchdown pass (sorry, fantasy owners), but he did complete 23 of 31 passes for 257 yards and a rating of 98.5. More importantly, Wilson didn't throw an interception.
He also used his legs, rushing 10 times for 61 yards.
That means Wilson had his hand in 318 of Seattle's 404 offensive yards. He was elusive when he had to be, threw on the run and seemed to make the right play at the right time.
Numbers are one thing, but smart decisions are the reason Wilson is considered one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL.
3. Seattle Needs To Clean Up Its Mistakes
Had the Seahawks played a better team, their mistakes might have cost them the game.
Seattle committed two turnovers, including a Sidney Rice fumble -- one that came as he tried to stretch for more yards despite catching the ball past the first down marker.
But if that made Seattle fans' stomachs churn, the other turnover made them lose their lunch.
A little background first: As the second quarter wound down and after Seattle scored its first touchdown, Hauschka, the kicker, was part of the defensive wave of tacklers on kickoff and took on returner Darius Reynaud head on.
Guess who lost that battle.
Fast-forward to the final seconds before halftime. The Seahawks had spiked the ball on the Tennessee 4-yard-line, setting up an easy chip shot for any kicker, right?
Not so, apparently. With Hauschka on the sidelines recovering from the hit on the kickoff, Pete Carroll elected to send in the field goal unit, with punter Jon Ryan taking the kick and safety Chris Maragos as the holder.
What ensued next was just plain ugly. Maragos bobbled the snap and, in a last-ditch effort for a score, tried to heave the ball toward the end zone. Instead, the ball squirted out of his hand. Tennessee's Jason McCourtney picked up the ball and ran the other way for the 77-yard touchdown, giving the Titans a surprising 10-7 lead going into halftime.
Though it might have been a perfect storm of events leading to that score, you can be sure that Seattle's coaching staff will be preaching execution over the next four days.
4. Despite Shaky Start, Seattle's Defense Played Solidly
In the loss to Indianapolis in Week 5, the Seahawks secondary gave up big plays and a late lead.
Coming into this week, members of the defense talked plenty about not letting it happen again. For the most part, it didn't.
A Jake Locker-less Titans offense mustered only 66 yards on the ground and 157 through the air. Chris Johnson ran for 33 yards on 12 carries. Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 17 of 29 passes, but those were mostly dinks and dunks.
On the other side, Richard Sherman collected another interception, and Seattle had three sacks.
The Seahawks still need to work on their penalties -- like Sherman's late hit on Fitzpatrick out of bounds -- but if they can continue to hold offenses to single-digit scores, it will show that the late implosion in Indy was a fluke.
5. Seattle Is In A Great Position For The Rest Of The Year
Six games into the season, the Seahawks are where many thought they'd be: On top of their division.
Given injuries to the offensive line, Chris Clemons and Percy Harvin, as well as a four-game suspension of Bruce Irvin to start the year, 4-2 might have been considered a success.
But Seattle came out of the first six games with five wins. Had the defense held in Indianapolis, this team would be undefeated.
Seattle fans should have plenty to look forward to the rest of the season, with the return of Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini on the offensive line, as well as Harvin's first games in a Seahawks uniform.
The Seahawks also have a favorable schedule the next five games, with the Cardinals, Rams, Buccaneers, Falcons and Vikings before a Week 12 bye and a Dec. 2 game against visiting New Orleans.
The Saints, by the way, suffered their first loss of the season Sunday in New England, pulling them into a tie with Seattle atop the NFC.
If the Seahawks can get healthy and win the games they're supposed to win -- be they ugly or not -- it will bode well for their postseason run.
More from this contributor
- Seattle Seahawks: Sorry Sidney Rice, but Time to Make Room for Others in Receiver Corps
- Seattle Seahawks: Will Overtime Thriller in Houston Be Team's Season-Defining Win?
- Seattle Seahawks: Should Team Re-Sign Golden Tate when Season Ends?
- Seattle Seahawks: Russell Okung's Injury, Absence Lingers Heading into Week 4 at Houston
Brent Champaco is an award-winning sportswriter who has covered professional, college and high school athletics in the Northwest. He has worked for several newspapers, including The News Tribune in Tacoma, and was a Senior Local Editor at Patch.com. He lives just outside of Seattle with his wife and two daughters. Follow him on Twitter at @Champacoblog.
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- Marshawn Lynch