Four Downs with Bob Condotta and Adam Jude: Recap of the Seahawks’ victory over the Broncos

What was to be one of the most memorable regular-season games in Seahawks history somehow managed to exceed even the wildest expectations for its drama and suspense.

Which means there’s still plenty to discuss the next day when we begin our weekly Four Downs review of the game that was, recapping Seattle’s wild 17-16 win over Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos with reporters Bob Condotta and Adam Jude.

1. What did you think of Denver’s decision to settle for a 64-yard field goal at the end?

Judas: A 64-yard field goal at the sea level! — was less atrocious than the Broncos’ clock-running at the last minute. And it’s absolutely fair to hold Wilson accountable for that. Denver’s rookie coach Nathaniel Hackett will likely get the most criticism in Denver, but Wilson is a veteran quarterback who has been in those moments, thrived in those moments, for years and years. Wilson imagines himself among the all-time greats, but can you imagine Tom Brady massacring like this at the last minute? There’s a clip of Peyton Manning, simulcasting the game with his brother on ESPN2, repeatedly calling a timeout and losing it that the Broncos were letting the clock tick down to 20 seconds. At that point, the Broncos limited their options. And you know it had to eat at Wilson that he didn’t have a chance, on fourth down with the game on the line, to win his way in his return to Seattle. Just a weird sequence in every way.

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll shakes hands with quarterback Russell Wilson after a 17-16 win over the Denver Broncos on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022, in Seattle.  221558

Conduct: There is some irony in the fact that Wilson pushed himself out of Seattle a little, or almost entirely, depending on who you believe, in part so he could play for a coach who would always put the ball in his hands when it mattered. , instead of having the ball taken from him. out of his hands when it mattered most in his first game with his new team against his old team? There are reasons why sports are so compelling because you just can’t make those things up. Two stats help further delineate what a poor call it was: Brandon McManus is now 2-for-11 shooting from the field of 58 yards or more and hasn’t made more than 55 out of Denver’s rarefied air or in a dome since 2016, according to the Athletic. With the Seahawks, Wilson thrived on fourth-down plays and 4-6 yards. During his decade in Seattle, Wilson was 22-for-29 on such plays, making the first down 20 times with a 145.7 passer rating. So yes, there is little to defend Hackett’s decision. And on Tuesday, Hackett agreed, saying “looking back, we definitely should have.” He also defended the thought process of letting McManus try. But, that’s a Denver problem right now.

2. Did Russell Wilson’s greeting surprise you?

Judas: Of course. She was expecting some boos, but he was also expecting a lot of applause. We have a reputation here in Seattle for being nice (perhaps too nice, sometimes), and it’s an earned reputation. We can also be passive-aggressive, sure. But there was nothing passive about the reaction to Russ. There’s no denying Wilson’s greatness, and there’s no denying what he meant to Seattle over the past decade. And while he wasn’t received with the same level of vitriol that Alex Rodriguez received upon his return in 2001, he wasn’t that far behind.

Conduct: He was a little bit, you could really hear him in the press box being booed as he walked out onto the field for warm-ups. But I think the fans maybe took the lead from Pete Carroll, who made it clear last week that a little booing could help the Seahawks win, and maybe all the ex-players in attendance as well, like Richard Sherman, Marshawn Lynch and Doug Baldwin. .

3. Is the Seahawks’ formula for success sustainable?

Judas: I keep going back to what Pete Carroll said the day the Wilson trade became official in March, when he laid out his view that the Seahawks need a “point guard” at quarterback, someone who can get the rest of the players involved because “We” are going to win with defense, we’re going to win with the way we play on special teams. We will run football to help everything fit together”. Carroll would argue that the Seahawks’ formula, his formula, has been and can continue to be sustained, regardless of QB. As it relates to this roster and this season, it’s fair to wonder if Seattle’s defense can maintain what it did Monday night, particularly with inexperience at cornerback and a major injury to star safety Jamal Adams. But at least Carroll has a team and a formula that should make this season more enjoyable than most predicted.

Conduct: The basic formula outlined above yes, the Seahawks can win within the big picture. However, doing it specifically as they did on Monday will be difficult to replicate. Seattle gained just 253 yards and was outscored for 180 yards, including a staggering 176-34 run in the second half. According to Pro Football Reference, Seattle is 12-61-1 when outscored for 180 yards or more. Somehow, they’re 7-9 under Carroll in such games, which speaks to Carroll’s ability to get the Seahawks to win games when they shouldn’t. Obviously, the key to Monday night was keeping Denver scoreless on four trips inside the 20-yard line, and three times on goal. It was fun to watch Monday night, but having the stands on the goal line is not a recipe for success.

4. OK, what’s a big overreaction to Monday’s win?

Judas: Geno Smith is the Seahawks’ answer at QB.

I don’t want to be a spoilsport. That was an amazing, amazing performance from Smith on Monday night, and he deserves all the love that he’s getting. Beyond that, he deserves the opportunity to continue to show that he can run this team week in and week out. Overall, though, a good game won’t change the Seahawks’ bigger plans to draft a young QB early in next year’s draft (and they should do everything they can to move into the top five, if necessary). The best asset in the NFL remains a good quarterback on a rookie deal, and finding that quarterback remains the Seahawks’ best bet for sustained success beyond 2022.

Conduct: The Seahawks have solved all their defensive problems!

OK, without a doubt, the main thing is that Seattle’s defense got big when it had to. And it’s risky to read too much into the stats of a single game. But Seattle allowed 6.8 yards per play, which ranks 29th.the in the NFL after Week 1. Even if you eliminate Wilson’s 67-yard TD to Jerry Jeudy in which Jeudy beat rookie cornerback Coby Bryant, Denver’s average was 5.8 per play, which would put Seattle at 22North Dakota for the week (and further reinforces why the Broncos should have). There were some promising signs that the defense will be better this year. But now Seattle also has to deal with the likelihood that Jamal Adams will be out for a long time, if not the entire season. There are still some demos to be done.

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