Football is actually back, and so are the Monday reactions and overreactions. Yes, we’re back to arguing about pass-interference calls, agonizing over dropped catches and salivating at stat lines. This feels oddly familiar.
In routing the Falcons 38-25 on Sunday, the Seahawks did nothing to squelch the preseason hype surrounding them as a potential Super Bowl contender. Jamal Adams’ addition gave the Seahawks brought the energy and spunk back to the defense, as Larry Stone writes. And the Seahawks let Russell Wilson
cook loose, as the QB delivered a nearly flawless opening act in what could be an MVP campaign, connecting on 88.6% of his passes (a career high) for four touchdowns while surpassing 30,000 career passing yards in the process.
Football is back. And on the first Sunday of the season, the Seahawks didn’t disappoint. Here’s what national media members had to say about Seattle’s win over Atlanta.
NBC Sports’ Peter King named Russell Wilson and Jamal Adams as two of his players of the week.
On Wilson: Another case of incredible efficiency by an incredible quarterback. Four touchdown passes, four incompletions. Wilson, in the first game of his ninth NFL season (man, where has the time gone?), completed 31 of 35 throws for 322 yards, with the four TDs and no picks, all while being pressured or sacked 13 times. Maybe this is finally the year Wilson wins his elusive MVP, or at least gets his first MVP vote.
On Adams: Let’s hope those three big draft choices Jets GM Joe Douglas got for this latter-day Kam Chancellor pay off. Adams was great in his Seahawks debut as Seattle beat the Falcons 38-25, leading all tacklers with 12, sacking Matt Ryan once and pressuring him twice more, with two more tackles for loss. He made his presence felt with a huge first-half hit on Julio Jones. Adams’ best play of the day: With Calvin Ridley on a Jet sweep at the Seattle 19-yard line, Adams swooped in and stoned Ridley for a loss of one.
CBS Sports’ John Breech gave the Seahawks’ performance an ‘A’ grade, despite the high passing yardage they allowed.
Russell Wilson will get most of the credit for this win — and he should — but the Seahawks also got a lot of help from their bend-but-don’t-break defense. The Seahawks didn’t do a great job of slowing down Matt Ryan — they surrendered 506 yards — but they did come up with several clutch plays when they had to have them. Not only did they stop the Falcons on four different fourth-down attempts, but they also forced two turnovers in the second half with a fumble recovery and an interception. The Seahawks have now somehow won four straight regular season games where they gave up 500 or more yards.
In handing out awards to quarterbacks, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell gave Wilson the “Top Chef Award for Expert Cooking.”
What I found particularly interesting is what the Seahawks did early in their 38-25 win: throw the football. In the first quarter, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer officially called up 14 plays. Eleven of those plays were passes, and while two of them were sacks, Wilson went 9-for-9 for 86 yards on the other pass attempts. …
If we use that 11-for-14 mark, 78.5% of Seattle’s first-quarter plays were called passes in the huddle. That’s the highest ratio for any first quarter of any Seahawks game in the Wilson era. And crucially, despite leading comfortably most of the way, they never let off the gas. They finished with a 65.5% pass ratio, which was the first time in the Wilson era in which they won a game by 10 or more points and finished the game having called for passes more than 60% of the time. … The Seahawks, finally, are letting Wilson take over as the focal point of their offense for the entirety of games.
Wilson was magnificent in Sunday’s opener against the Atlanta Falcons, going 31-of-35 for 322 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions as the Seahawks rolled to a 38-25 victory. It’s not that Wilson’s hyper-efficiency is particularly novel, it’s that the Seahawks allowed him to drop back at will without automatically deferring to the run game on first and second downs. …
If the Seahawks are to lift the Lombardi Trophy for the second time, it will be on Wilson, and more to the point, it will be on Carroll and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to let him loose. It appears that the Seahawks are no longer intent on getting in their own way and by letting Wilson operate freely at the peak of his powers, they may have truly unlocked their full potential.