Upon Further Review: Seahawks Week 4

September, 30, 2013
9/30/13
9:00
AM ET
A review of four hot issues from the Seattle Seahawks' 23-20 overtime victory over the Houston Texans:

A telling victory: It says a lot about a team's character when it does as many things wrong as Seattle did Sunday and still found a way to win. The Seahawks were down 20-3 at halftime and had given up 324 yards to the Texans, but completely turned things around in the fourth quarter to eventually win in overtime. "We showed we can prevail no matter what happens,” said defensive end Chris Clemons.

[+] EnlargeRichard Sherman
AP Photo/Patric SchneiderRichard Sherman's interception for a touchdown tied the game late in the fourth quarter.
Stats can be misleading: If you try to judge the Seahawks by what you read in the box score, you are making a big mistake. Seattle isn't 4-0 because it puts up better numbers than its opponents. The Seahawks are undefeated because they are at their best when things seem to be the worst. This team is all about making big plays in crucial situations. They thrive on it. And they are willing to take risks on plays that can shift the game in their favor and change the outcome: cornerback Richard Sherman jumping in front of a pass for a 58-yard pick-six, Golden Tate catching a punt at the goal line and returning it to the 31, quarterback Russell Wilson going for the extra yards running rather than sliding to avoid a hit, etc. Sometimes the risks come back to bite them, but most of the time they become big plays that give Seattle the edge.

The offensive line must improve: It's remarkable Seattle was able to come from behind and win Sunday on a day in which three offensive line starters were out with injuries. Wilson rarely had time to make throws downfield because the backups struggled against the talented defensive front for Houston. But the Seahawks cannot expect to keep winning when the offensive line plays as poorly as it did Sunday. Center Max Unger and right tackle Breno Giacomini might be back soon, which will help. Left tackle Russell Okung is out for a least another six weeks. Seattle will have to fight through this, which it did Sunday, and hope the line gets better. Rookie tackle Michael Bowie, who started for Giacomini on Sunday, has the physical skills to become a good player, but he needs more playing time. His first start came against one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL in J.J. Watt, so Bowie's performance is bound to improve if he starts again this weekend for Giacomini. The Seahawks are fortunate they have the most elusive quarterback in the league in Wilson, but he won't stay healthy if the line doesn't show progress.

Lynch hitting his stride: Running back Marshawn Lynch rushed for 98 yards on 17 carries Sunday, including a Beast-Mode special in the first quarter Sunday when he broke at least six tackles on a 43-yard run from the Seattle 2 to the 45. The Seahawks need Lynch to keep it up and take some of the heat off Wilson and the offensive line in pass blocking. The more an opponent's defense has to focus on Lynch, the more pressure it takes off the line in pass blocking and the better Wilson is at making big throws downfield. As bad as the O-line is at times in pass protection, it can be pretty good overall in run blocking.

Terry Blount

ESPN Seattle Seahawks reporter

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