Monday, September 27, 2010
Leon Washington sets franchise record in Seahawks 27-20 win over Chargers
The Seattle Seahawks(2-1) led by 2008 pro bowl kick returner Leon Washington's career day prevailed over the San Diego Chargers(1-2) 27-20 in front of Qwest field in Seattle. The Seahawks won the game despite allowing a franchise record worst 455 yards passing and gaining just one first down in the second half. The Seahawks blew several opportunities in the first half to put the game open. Good teams find ways to win and with Leon Washington returning not one but two kickoffs for touchdowns the Seahawks found a way to win.
The game started off slow for both teams as the game was scoreless in the first quarter. Seattle facing a 3rd and 5 from the seven yard line elected to call a toss sweep to Justin Forsett which was blown up for a loss. The Seahawks had to settle for a field goal. The first of many wasted opportunities. On the Seahawks next possession Matt Hasselbeck found Deion Branch for a 41 yard touchdown. After San Diego had challenged the play it was ruled a fumble out of the end zone. It was the correct call as Branch had fumbled the ball before crossing the pylon and the ball had squirted out of bounds for a touch back so Seattle still remained up just 3-0.
The Seahawks moved the ball on their next possession this time resulting in a Matt Hasselbeck touchdown strike to John Carlson for 9 yards to make the game 10-0. On the ensuing kickoff Seattle had forced a fumble. With just 12 seconds remaining in the half and Seattle facing a 3rd and 1 from the two yard line and no timeouts the Seahawks called a quarterback draw to the aging Matt Hasselbeck who was stuffed. He didn't make the first down so the Seahawks couldn't spike the ball and didn't get the field goal unit out in time so the score remained just 10-0 at halftime.
The second half began with Leon Washington taking the opening kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown. Washington who had made the pro bowl in 2008 with the Jets as a return man gives the Seahawks another weapon. The return was the longest kickoff return in franchise history.
The Chargers offense started to get in a groove. Led by Phillip Rivers 455 yards passing the Chargers would cut the lead to 20-12. The Chargers overcoming their own mistakes and penalties finally drove down the field into Seattle's red zone. Rivers hit Gates for a 12 yard touchdown to make the score 20-18, on the two point try Rivers hit former Boise State standout Legedu Naanee for the two point conversation to tie up the game.
With a little over six minutes left in the game and the Seahawks offense lacking any punch the Seahawks had to find a way to score again. On the ensuing kickoff Leon Washington ran it back again for a touchdown 99 yards. That was his second kickoff touchdown of the game which already makes him the franchise record holder for most kickoff return touchdowns in Seahawks history.
The Seahawks had to hold the Chargers on two red zone attempts. The first time Roy Lewis batted a ball away on 4th down. The second attempt with 20 seconds to go in the game Earl Thomas the first round pick had his second interception of the game off Rivers to secure the win.
This is a game the Seahawks found a way to win. The Chargers turned the ball over five times and were flagged another 11 times. The Chargers once again much like the Kansas City loss found a way to lose to an inferior team. The Seahawks are now 2-1 and head off to St.Louis(1-2) who they have beaten 10 consecutive times.
- Seahawks have a dangerous special teams this year. With Leon Washington returning kicks(4 for 253, 2 TD's, 63.3) and Golden Tate returning punts(3 for 44, 14.7 avg)you can see why the Seahawks traded away Josh Wilson. The big cry about losing Wilson was because of his special teams well with these two along with Butler and Forsett the Seahawks special teams is fine.
- The Seahawks pass defense is bad. For the second straight week they were shredded by the opposing quarterback. Luckily for the Seahawks they play six divisional games vs a rookie QB(Bradford), Derrick Anderson(bad) and Alex Smith(bad) along with games vs Josh Freeman, Jimmy Clausen(rookie), and any Raiders quarterback. Thats over half the schedule against young inexperienced quarterbacks or crappy quarterbacks.
- Last week I had complained that the Seahawks need to give Forsett more carries and they did. Forsett ran the ball 17 times while Washington had just one carry and Julius Jones didn't even play in the game.
- The Rookies are making an early impact on the season. Golden Tate every time he touches the ball he is capable of turning that into a big play. Earl Thomas is that play making safety that Seahawks have lacked since Kenny Easley in the 1980's. Cham Chancellor and Walter Thurmond have stepped up and played well in Nickel and Dime coverage situations. The Seahawks when they get 6th overall pick Russell Okung back could be a very impactful draft class if not the most impactful class in Seahawks history.
- I watched the game at Muggy's sports bar in Meridian, Idaho. For those who don't know Meridian is a short drive from Boise like less than 15 miles. It was a great atmosphere and each room had a separate game for the particular fan base. Since I had a long drive ahead I didn't have any drinks but it was fun watching the game with those fans.