And here come the Cowboys.
The Seahawks (2-0) already have faced two of the NFL’s top quarterbacks in Matt Ryan and Cam Newton. Now they’ll have to contend with Dallas’ Dak Prescott, who is coming off a historically great performance in the Cowboys’ improbable comeback over the Falcons on Sunday.
The Cowboys are 1-1, with their defeat coming against the Rams in Los Angeles in Week 1.
Kickoff in Seattle is set for 1:25 p.m. Sunday. Here are three things to know about the Cowboys this week:
They got lucky Sunday
The Cowboys get credit for a victory over Atlanta on Sunday, but let’s be honest: The Falcons blew that one.
The Falcons led 20-0 after the first quarter and had a 15-point lead with eight minutes left in the game. Dallas scored 16 points in the final three minutes to pull off the 40-39 victory, doing so only after the Falcons failed to recover an onside kick (because they clearly were unaware they were allowed to recover the onside kick before it traveled 10 yards).
It was one of the most unlikely comebacks in league history.
ESPN’s win probability model gave the Cowboys a 0.1% chance to win late in the second quarter. And according to the Elias Sport Bureau, NFL teams were 444-0 since 1933 when scoring at least 39 points with zero turnovers. The Falcons are the first team to hit both those benchmarks and lose.
Dallas’ only lead of the game came when Greg Zuerlein connected on a 46-yard field goal as time expired.
The victory was Mike McCarthy’s first as the Cowboys’ coach.
“Those are the moments, when you’re sitting on the porch at the end of the journey, you’ll look back on,” McCarthy said, via The Dallas Morning News. “I mean, it was a great regular-season win for us, no doubt about it. To come early in the season like this, I think there is definitely an opportunity to build off this win.”
Prescott accounted for 468 totals yards and four touchdowns Sunday, becoming the first player in NFL history to throw for 400 yards and score three rushing TDs in the same game.
“Yeah, sure, I had to find them and had to make some plays here and there, but that was a team win all the way around,” Prescott said after the game, via ESPN. “I think my stats today show just that. I wouldn’t have been able to throw for as many yards if the offensive line wouldn’t have protected the way they did and the receivers wouldn’t have got open.”
Dallas was without two starting offensive tackles Sunday, both sidelined by injury. Two undrafted free agents started at the two tackle spots for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys appear to have an emerging star in rookie receiver CeeDee Lamb, who had his first 100-yard receiving game (six catches for 106) Sunday. Star running back Ezekiel Elliott added 22 carries for 89 yards and a touchdown.
Prescott has thrown for 716 yards through two games, third most in the NFL, with two touchdown throws and no interceptions.
In three games against the Seahawks, Prescott has thrown for 575 yards with two passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown and five interceptions. The Cowboys are 1-2 in those games, the lone win a 24-22 Dallas victory in the playoffs in January 2019.
Dallas has pass-rush problems, too
Atlanta’s Ryan attempted 37 passes against the Cowboys and was sacked only once Sunday.
Dallas has just two sacks in two games.
“To be perfectly honest with you, I think we need to do a better job of executing our pass rushes, whether it’s the rush, whether it’s how we handle the pocket,” Dallas defensive coordinator Mike Nolan said, via The Dallas Morning News. “The challenge this week is that we have a quarterback (in Russell Wilson) that’s very mobile, more mobile than the last two we’ve faced.
“It won’t always be the pocket, as it’s been these past two weeks. It’s going to be more on the perimeter. So it’ll be a big challenge this week again. We’ve just got to continue to do a better job working on that area going forward.”
Much as the Seahawks, Dallas is dealing with significant injury issues on its defense. Notably, linebacker Leighton Vander Esch is out with a broken collarbone, and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence left the game Sunday with a knee injury.