One of the Seahawks defining characteristics through five games is their ability to excel in moments of sudden change. Seattle’s defense has forced 10 turnovers, while the offense has scored eight touchdowns off of those takeaways. The other two were end of game situations.
That means every time the defense has given the Seahawks an extra possession, Russell Wilson and Co. have taken advantage. Conversely, while the offense has only turned the ball over four times, the defense has allowed just three points off of those giveaways. (One was a pick-six, but those points don’t go against the defense.)
Pete Carroll said Seattle’s ability to thrive in sudden change is no accident as the team practices such situations on a regular basis. He estimated that 40% of team drills during training camp are dedicated to sudden change.
“There is a real routine to get your mind together on both sides of the ball when you take the field that we have always found has made us better at it,” Carroll said on Monday. “We've always been pretty good at this stuff, pretty effective.
“I think it comes from having a routine to it. Everybody comes off the bench, when they get to the field, they've been connected in the moment, the opportunity, the situation, what's there, what just happened, all that.
“A lot of times guys are drinking Gatorade over there, they're talking about the game. All of a sudden, bang, something happens. We want to get them all reconnected. We've been doing that and practicing that for a long time.”
Here’s a rundown of all 10 takeaways for the Seahawks defense as well as Seattle’s subsequent response offensively.
1. Marquise Blair forces a fumble on a Falcons fake punt (Week 1)
Atlanta surprised Seattle with a fake punt in the third quarter, and it worked. The Falcons gained enough yards for a first down, but Blair saved the day by forcing a fumble that was recovered by Freddie Swain.
Five plays later, Wilson hit Greg Olsen for a 7-yard touchdown to put Seattle up, 28-12.
2. Quandre Diggs intercepts Matt Ryan’s Hail Mary (Week 1)
Diggs end zone interception secured Seattle’s first win of the season and came with just 19 seconds left in the game. Wilson took one knee to run the rest of the clock out.
3. Quinton Dunbar intercepts Cam Newton (Week 2)
Dunbar’s first interception as a member of the Seahawks came in the third quarter against the Patriots. Five plays later, Wilson hit Swain across the middle for a 21-yard score.
Griffin’s first pick of the season came in the final minute of the second quarter against the Cowboys. It took just five plays for Wilson to find Tyler Lockett for a 1-yard score with just :07 remaining in the half.
5. Jarran Reed’s sack-fumble against Dallas (Week 3)
6. Ryan Neal seals Seattle’s win by intercepting Prescott. (Week 3)
Wilson just had to take one knee after Neal’s end zone interception with just :06 left in the fourth quarter. The takeaways was the first of Neal’s career.
7. Ryan Neal intercepts Ryan Fitzpatrick on game’s opening possession (Week 4)
It didn’t take Neal long to record his second interception in as many weeks. Seattle promptly marched down the field and scored on Chris Carson’s 1-yard touchdown run.
8. Shaquill Griffin intercepts Ryan Fitzpatrick. (Week 4)
Griffin’s clutch fourth quarter interception of Fitzpatrick also gave him a pick for a second-straight game. Carson scored on another 1-yard run just two plays later.
The Seahawks scored 21 points in a matter of 1:53 in the third quarter against Minnesota. This one should have been a touchdown for Seattle’s defense as K.J. Wright scooped up the loose ball after Moore’s sack and ran it into the end zone. But the refs blew the play dead, ruling it was an incomplete pass. Seattle scored anyway after that call was overturned and ultimately ruled a fumble. Wilson hit DK Metcalf for a 13-yard touchdown two plays later.
10. K.J. Wright intercepts Kirk Cousins. (Week 5)
Wright intercepted Cousins on the Vikings very next possession. It was a beautiful one-handed grab on a pass Cousins couldn’t quite get over the Seahawks linebacker. Carson’s beastly 29-yard touchdown run came on the very next snap.