Seattle’s offense is quickly improving.
Extra emphasis on the word “quickly.” That has been key to Seattle’s offense sparking to life. It’s all about tempo. Seattle is at its best when it’s playing fast. Everyone wondered whether Seattle’s second-half success against Atlanta was a fluke borne as much out of the Falcons’ satisfaction with their first-half success as Seattle’s shift to the no-huddle offense. Well, that hypothesis was disproven in the first half. The Giants knew Seattle would be using a hurry-up offense, New York prepared for the Seahawks to go without a huddle and all that saved the Giants from a double-digit halftime deficit was the fact Seattle turned the ball over twice in the red zone.
Charlie Whitehurst isn’t an instant upgrade at quarterback.
Sunday’s game showed there isn’t some sort of steep dropoff from starter Tarvaris Jackson to the backup, Whitehurst. Whitehurst led three second-half scoring drives, including one for the go-ahead touchdown. But Whitehurst is not necessarily better than Jackson. That sounds like a criticism; it’s not. Whitehurst played well enough to win, he avoided backbreaking mistakes, but he was also pretty quick to bail on a play and throw the ball out of bounds. He throws a beautiful deep ball, but there are times that he appears gun shy. The Seahawks haven’t kept an offensive messiah parked on the bench. He was adequate Sunday and roughly the equivalent of Jackson.
Chris Clemons needs to be mentioned with league’s top pass rushers.
He’s earned that. He led the Seahawks in sacks with 11 last season, but with four sacks in five games this season, he demonstrated his career-year wasn’t a one-time deal. Did you see how quick he got around Giants tackle Will Beatty? He was flying off the edge, and he not only stripped the ball from quarterback Eli Manning to force one Giants turnover, but his pair of sacks certainly contributed to making Manning uncomfortable in the pocket.
Three things we already knew
Undrafted Doug Baldwin is uncanny.
It’s usually not a good sign when an undrafted rookie is leading the team in receptions. But undrafted rookies aren’t usually as proficient as Doug Baldwin. He has caught 20 passes so far this season, most of any Seahawk. Cincinnati’s A.J. Green and Atlanta’s Julio Jones are the only two rookies who’ve caught more passes this season, and they were both top-10 picks. Baldwin has a great feel for coverages and incredible toughness in going up to get a ball. If he keeps up this kind of production, he’s going to challenge Joey Galloway’s franchise records for receptions as a rookie.
The Seahawks don’t have a shut-down secondary. Eli Manning threw for 420 yards, the second-highest passing total given up by Seattle since 1998. Cornerback Brandon Browner’s interception saved the Seahawks’ victory, but Seattle must find improvements in that pass defense. Seattle has ranked in the bottom six teams in the league in pass yardage allowed for each of the previous three years and the absence of cornerback Marcus Trufantthis week because of a back injury probably isn’t going to help matters.
Seattle’s run defense is legit.
Sure, the Giants were missing Brandon Jacobs, but Ahmad Bradshaw has been effective for them, and the quickest way to slow Seattle’s hurry-up offense was to dominate time of possession. Didn’t happen. Seattle was so stout up front the Giants had to take to the air.