Silver linings: Seahawks at Dolphins

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The facts: The Seahawks committed five false-start penalties while dropping about that many passes during a 21-19 loss to the Dolphins in Week 10.

The upside: Even the best defeats tend to feature a bright spot or two ...

  • The Seahawks got the running game going with Julius Jones, even after rookie fullback Owen Schmitt replaced the injured Leonard Weaver. They ran the ball well enough to gain a first down on a third-and-4 play when the Dolphins expected pass.

  • Center Chris Spencer made key blocks, including one on a screen to tight end John Carlson that gained 20 yards deep in Dolphins territory.

  • Ray Willis stepped in at right guard and seemed to perform ably. The Seahawks are more physical up front when Willis is part of the starting five.

  • Left tackle Walter Jones isn't as nimble at age 34 and it showed when he missed a block or two, but the Seahawks didn't have to worry about the Dolphins' Joey Porter most of the day. Jones showed he can still get the job done against a Pro Bowl-caliber player.

  • The Seahawks called a blitz or two that actually worked, no small feat for this team. Leroy Hill had 7.5 sacks for Seattle as a rookie in 2005. Defensive coordinator John Marshall talked before the season about using Hill as a pass rusher this season. He did it Sunday and Hill collected his first sack of the season.

  • Justin Forsett averaged 16.3 yards on three punt returns. Josh Wilson averaged 33 yards on two kick returns.

  • Seattle's defensive backs continued a recent trend of making plays on the ball. Jordan Babineaux's interception return for a touchdown was a key play.

Seattle returns home in Week 11 to face Arizona. That game probably represents a last stand in the division for the Seahawks, unless you've written off the season already.