Seattle Seahawks (2-0)
vs. Dallas Cowboys (1-1)
1:25 p.m. | CenturyLink Field | Seattle
TV: FOX | Radio: 710 AM/97.3 FM | Stream: NFL Game Pass
Adam Jude's third-quarter thoughts
Bow down to Mr. Unlimited
Russell Wilson became the first QB in NFL history to throw four touchdown passes (or more) in each of his team’s first three games. Wilson’s 13 touchdowns ties Patrick Mahomes (2018) for most of any QB through three games.
Wilson’s fourth TD pass of the game came early in the third quarter, on another 1-yard pass to Jacob Hollister, giving the Seahawks a 30-15 lead.
The score was set up by Jarran Reed’s strip sack of Dak Prescott on the first snap of the second half.
Big plays abound
No defense in the NFL had allowed more big plays in the first two weeks than the Seahawks.
We saw why in the third quarter.
Prescott torched the Seahawks for pass plays of 52 and 42 yards as the Cowboys needed just 39 seconds to cover 94 yards to score on Cedrick Wilson’s 42-yard catch-and-run. Shaquill Griffin was beat in coverage.
The Seahawks have effectively shut down Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys run game, but they’ll continue to get challenged deep in this fourth quarter.
There was much consternation about the loss of Marquise Blair to a season-ending knee injury, and rightfully so. Blair was the breakthrough player of training camp, the answer to the Seahawks’ frustrating issues at nickel cornerback.
Enter Ugo Amadi.
Amadi, a second-year defensive back out of Oregon, is having the best game of his young NFL career, showing that the Seahawks might be OK without Blair.
Amadi has two tackles and two pass breakups so far, including a breakup in the first quarter that saved a touchdown.
Bob Condotta's halftime thoughts
Seattle offense still rolling
The Seahawks' red-hot offense continued in the first half despite a little sloppiness.
The Seahawks had 268 yards and 23 points and could have had seven more if not for DK Metcalf’s gaffe resulting in a fumble through the end zone.
Russell Wilson was off-target on one third down throw and a few times seemed harried under pressure. But he still put up an impressive stat line, going 15 for 22 for 198 yards and three touchdowns. Wilson may well be on his way to another career touchdown day — he had five last week against the Patriots and now has eight in his last six quarters, and 12 in 10 quarters this season.
Seahawks again stopping the run, at least
Job one for any Pete Carroll defense is stopping the run, and the Seahawks are again at least doing that.
Ezekiel Elliott has just 14 yards on seven carries and has been almost a complete non-factor other than his 1-yard scoring run.
Expect Dallas to maybe just give up the run in the second half the way Atlanta and the Patriots did.
Guard suddenly an issue
Seattle ended the half playing without either of its starting guards, with both Damien Lewis and Mike Iupati out with injuries.
Lewis suffered an ankle injury on the second series and did not return and was replaced by Jordan Simmons.
Iupati suffered a knee injury late in the second quarter and was replaced by Jamarco Jones and his return listed as questionable.
Expect Dallas to try to exploit that with more pressures in the second half.
Seattle came into the weekend ranked as the third-worst defense on third downs. That’s been a huge factor already, with the Cowboys converting five of their first six third-down plays — including Dak Prescott’s 28-yard pass to Amari Cooper to the Seattle 5-yard line. That set up Ezekiel Elliott’s 1-yard TD run a few plays later, tying the score at 9-9.
To make up for their porous pass rush, the Seahawks have had to blitz often — including seven blitzes from safety Jamal Adams. In the first two games, Adams blitzed 10 times in each game.
How about this three-play sequence:
— Tyler Lockett broke free behind the Dallas defense, completely uncovered as he ran past three deep defenders, for a 43-yard touchdown from Russell Wilson, giving the Seahawks a 7-3 lead.
— On the ensuing kickoff, Dallas’ Tony Pollard fumbled the ball at the Dallas 1.
— On Dallas’ first play, Ezekiel Elliott slipped and was ruled down in the end zone, giving the Seahawks a safety and a 9-3 lead. That was nine points for Seattle in just seven seconds of game time.
More Russ magic
Wilson has 10 touchdown passes in nine quarters this season — and about a yard away from having an 11th touchdown pass in the final seconds of the first quarter, but DK Metcalf has the ball punched out of his hand at the Dallas 1 as he casually jogged into the end zone at the end of a long reception.
Credit to Dallas rookie Trevon Diggs for the heads-up play there, but that’s also just a bone-headed play from Metcalf. That can’t happen.
Another bummer for the Seattle offense: rookie right guard Damien Lewis left with an ankle injury in the first quarter. His return is questionable. Lewis has been one of the most consistent linemen for the Seahawks through two games, and one of the best in the NFL at run-blocking. That’s not a small loss if he’s out long-term.
Rookie Damien Lewis leaves with ankle injury
Seahawks rookie right guard Damien Lewis left the game with an ankle injury midway through the first quarter.
Lewis appeared to get his ankle rolled up on in traffic on Seattle’s first play of its second series, a run by Chris Carson for 2 yards.
Lewis was helped off the field and then after being evaluated in the medical tent on the sidelines was carted off to the locker room.
He was officially listed as questionable to return.
He was replaced by Jordan Simmons with Seattle scoring a touchdown three plays later on the drive to take a 7-3 lead.
Jordyn Brooks starts at weakside linebacker; K.J. Wright moves to strongside
The Seahawks had made it clear that Jordyn Brooks would get his first career start at linebacker with Bruce Irvin now out for the year.
What they tried to keep more vague was where exactly Brooks would be playing -- weakside or strongside?
The answer came during pregame warmups as Brooks lined up at weakside, which meant moving veteran K.J. Wright to the strongside spot, where Irvin had been playing.
The basic difference in the two positions is that the strongside backer lines up closer to the line and can have more coverage and rush responsibilities.
The weakside spot lines up off the line next to middle linebacker Bobby Wagner.
Another difference is that the Seahawks typically take the strongside backer off the field in the nickel package while leaving the weakside backer on the field.
But with Brooks having just 15 snaps so far in his career and Wright a trusted veteran, it will be interesting to see if the Seahawks will use the two maybe a little interchangeably.
Quinton Dunbar inactive for Seahawks
Among Seattle’s six inactive players for Sunday’s game is starting cornerback Quinton Dunbar, who was listed as questionable going into the game with a knee injury. Also inactive is backup safety Lano Hill, who apparently came down with a hip injury late in the week.
Coach Pete Carroll indicated Friday that Dunbar would be able to play, saying he’d been held out of practice Friday to give him some additional rest.
But Dunbar wasn’t able to go, and Tre Flowers will get the start at right cornerback.
Hill was not listed on the injury report during the week but Seahawks general manager John Schneider said during his pre-game radio show on the team's radio network that Hill has a sore hip that flared up late in the week.
Combined with nickel corner Marquise Blair now out for the year with a knee injury and Seattle will play today without three of its top six defensive backs heading into the season.
The other inactive players were injured offensive lineman Cedric Ogbuehi (pec) and injured cornerback Neiko Thorpe (hip), along with tight end Luke Willson and offensive lineman Kyle Fuller, each healthy scratches.
Among Seattle’s 48 active players is defensive end Benson Mayowa, who had heen listed as questionable going into the game with a groin injury.
Also active for the first time are rookie defensive lineman Alton Robinson and running back DeeJay Dallas.
Dunbar was acquired from Washington for a fifth-round pick in March but has struggled in the first two games of the season. According to Pro Football Reference he has given up the most passing yards in the NFL at 212.
Hill took over at free safety last week when Quandre Diggs was ejected in the first quarter and played a key role in the final play of the game when he blew up a lead block that allowed L.C. Collier to sneak through and tackle Cam Newton for a loss of one at the 1-yard-line.
What to watch for when the Seahawks play the Cowboys in Week 3
Seattle’s game Sunday with Dallas represents not only a matchup of two leading MVP candidates — quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott — but also a chance for the Seahawks to achieve one of their best starts in franchise history.
A win Sunday would make Seattle 3-0 for just the seventh time in 45 seasons but also the only time under Pete Carroll other than 2013.
Let’s look at some keys to the game.
Seahawks-Cowboys predictions: Seattle Times writers make their picks for Week 3
Bob Condotta (2-0)
Seahawks 35, Cowboys 31. A matchup of two hot offenses and MVP-candidate quarterbacks points to a lot of, well, points being scored. Both teams are also riding the momentum of winning their most recent game on the final play. Seattle’s defense is obviously troublesome, but right now it doesn’t seem like there’s anything that can stop Wilson and the offense. But this time, it may be Wilson who needs to make the last-minute play to pull it out for Seattle.
See the rest of the picks here.
There’s more than one Seahawk playing like an MVP. Don’t overlook Bobby Wagner
We’ve seen Jamal Adams wow fans and teammates with his blitzing and playmaking. We’ve seen Lano Hill smash fullbacks and L.J. Collier make game-saving tackles.
We’ve seen Quinton Dunbar and Quandre Diggs pick off quarterbacks, and Shaquill Griffin deny receivers.
But let’s be clear about one thing: This is Bobby Wagner’s defense.
Read more here.
The Seahawks’ Jamal Adams and Shaquill Griffin have their own motivations to beat the Cowboys
The Seahawks defense heads into Sunday’s game against Dallas knowing the high-wire act of the first two weeks — when it allowed more total yards (970) and passing yards (831) than any team in the NFL — isn’t a sustainable recipe for success.
“We’re going to get better,’’ promised Seahawks safety Jamal Adams when he talked to the media via Zoom on Thursday. “We’re striving for that.’’
For Adams and another key member of the secondary — cornerback Shaquill Griffin — there’s personal pride riding on Sunday’s game against the Cowboys, as well.
Read more here.
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