Top 13 Observations From Seahawks’ Sunday Shocker
• No-huddle offense: Seahawks used it from the get-go, and it worked beautifully. Happy to see them in it the whole game. Center Max Unger said on the post-game show that it’s tiring for the offensive linemen, but he added that it’s probably more tiring for the defense. Note to Pete Carroll: Keep using it in every game, all game long. Not only is it effective, it’s fun to watch.
• Marshawn Lynch: Great game. Ran for 98 yards overall, and what I really liked was how he rebounded from a costly fumble in the red zone to rip off a 47-yard run on his next carry to set up his own 1-yard TD to make it Seahawks 14, Giants 7. Lynch runs hard on every carry.
• Doug Baldwin: Unbelievable. Undrafted free agents are supposed to be cut in August. If they make the team, they’re supposed to play on special teams. They’re not supposed to be stars in their first year, but Baldwin is, leading the Seahawks in receiving after his eight-catch, 136-yard performance yesterday. Baldwin also caught the game-winner. FOX color analyst called Baldwin “a special player.” Wow.
• Quarterback controversy: Not in my opinion, though I wanted one before the season started. Tarvaris Jackson strained his pec yesterday and had to be replaced by Charlie Whitehurst, who played well, rallying the Seahawks to their surprising 36-25 win. But as much as I liked what Whitehurst did, I didn’t think Jackson played poorly. With Jackson on the field, the Seahawks gained a season-high 242 yards in the first half. Jackson also played well last week against Atlanta, throwing for more than 300 yards. If he’s healthy, he’s still your starter.
• Hawks’ defense: Tough to beat Brandon Browner for the play of the day, returning that interception 94 yards for a game-saving and game sealing score. But Anthony Hargrove’s body slam on D.J. Ware gave the Seahawks a tie-breaking safety in the third quarter was a huge highlight too. Chris Clemons had two sacks of Eli Manning, and Earl Thomas had an interception in the first half.
• Jon Ryan: I really like this guy. He punted 7 times for a 44.6-yard average, and twice pinned the Giants inside their own 10.
• Walter Thurmond: I probably should have mentioned him in the Hawks’ defense section, but I’ll give him his own bulleted section because he played well, replacing Marcus Trufant (sore back) at cornerback. I thought this might be a problem area going into the game, but it wasn’t thanks to Thurmond.
• Steven Hauschka: I’m still trying to figure out how to spell and pronounce his name; I frankly know nothing much about him, but he’s been solid as the Hawks’ kicker, hitting a 51-yarder yesterday that made you think that maybe Carroll was justified in trotting him out there for that 61-yard try against the Falcons.
• Leon Washington: I still question giving him a big contract after the kickoff rule changes, but the guy paid dividends yesterday, continually giving the Seahawks good field position with his kickoff and punt returns.
• Victor Cruz: That guy made two sensational catches, the tip-drill job giving the Giants a lead that I thought they would keep for good. It’s amazing to me that the Seahawks rallied after that – Seahawks’ teams from the past might have crumbled, and it would have been understandable. But they didn’t. Truly shocking stuff, which means I have to tip my cap to…
• Pete Carroll: For whatever reason, I’ve had trouble warming up to Mr. Win Forever, but I will admit that I think I’d like to play for him if I were in my 20s and on his team. He smiles and hugs his players a lot. I like his enthusiasm and the way his team plays for him. I’ve got one foot on the Carroll bandwagon, but the other one is still reluctant to hop on.
• Miscellaneous: The Seahawks committed 10 for 70 yards, seven in the first half. I heard many people complaining about that after the game, but it’s a minor point since they won… More importantly, the Seahawks limited the Giants to 1-for-12 on third-down conversions. Terrific.
• Survivor pools: I’m guessing that the only down side for Seahawk fans who were involved in survivor football pools is that they are no longer in their pools. In these pools, you pick one team to win every week. Just one. You try to pick a team that’s a big favorite, assuming it will beat its underdog opponent. The Giants, as 10-point favorites, were seemingly a lock to beat the Hawks, but it didn’t happen, ousting many from their survivor pools. I’m among the long list of casualties.
TODAY: Another abbreviated Kevin Calabro Show on 710 ESPN Seattle because of the baseball playoffs. We hope to be on the air between the ALCS and NLCS games from 4 to 5 p.m., but I’m guessing it will be more like 4:30 to 5.