Sunday, November 27, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Redskins 23, Seahawks 17
By Mike Sando
SEATTLE -- Thoughts on the Seattle Seahawks' 23-17 defeat to the Washington Redskins at CenturyLink Field in Week 12:
What it means: The Seahawks missed a chance at their first three-game winning streak since the 2007 season. Continuing problems with penalties and surprising troubles on defense dropped their record to 3-7. Seattle remains mathematically alive in the NFC West race, but those chances will end with the Seahawks' next defeat or the San Francisco 49ers' next victory.
What I liked: Marshawn Lynch continued to produce as a runner and receiver. This was his seventh consecutive game with a touchdown, not counting when he was a last-minute scratch from the lineup and did not play against Cleveland in Week 7. Right guard Paul McQuistan, a starter since rookie John Moffitt landed on injured reserve, spring Lynch's 20-yard scoring reception with an impressive open-field block on Redskins safety LaRon Landry. The Seahawks downed Jon Ryan's punt at the 2 before halftime, preventing the Redskins from attempting a scoring drive. Leon Washington changed field position with strong kickoff returns, including a 51-yarder. Both starting cornerbacks, Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman, picked off passes.
What I didn't like: The Seahawks' defense could not get off the field, especially early in the game. The Redskins nearly doubled up the Seahawks in first-half time of possession (19:42 to 10:18). They too often appeared helpless while Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman completed 16 of 19 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown in the first half. Washington finished with 417 yards. The Seahawks allowed a rushing touchdown for the first time since a Week 4 game against Atlanta. Seattle continued to struggle with penalties. Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson was too often inaccurate. When he did place the ball correctly, his receivers did not catch it consistently enough. Mike Williams dropped passes and could have done more to position himself for a deep ball that fell incomplete in the end zone. The Seahawks reached double figures in penalties (counting declined ones). Their chances ended when Jackson held the ball and took a sack on fourth down in the final minutes.
Bryant's blocks: Seahawks defensive end Red Bryant blocked a field-goal try for the third time this season, this one when the game was tied in the second quarter. The block was key because the Redskins were dominating time of possession and had little to show for it. Bryant blocked an extra-point try after a Redskins touchdown put Washington ahead, 20-17, with 6:18 remaining.
Injury concerns: Sidney Rice entered this game with knee soreness. He appeared shaken up early in the game and later appeared wobbly after striking his helmet on the turf following an incomplete pass. Team medical personnel helped Rice off the field. Seahawks linebacker David Hawthorne also left the game in the third quarter. Hawthorne, who limped off the field, has had knee trouble. He did return to the game. Starting defensive tackle Alan Branch was named inactive with an ankle injury. Left tackle Russell Okung stayed in the game after McQuistan flew into his legs while committing what officials flagged as a chop block.
Questionable calls: Officials flagged Redskins cornerback Josh Wilson for a 44-yard interference penalty after Williams dropped the ball. This call appeared questionable in real time and on replay, in my view. Later, officials flagged Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright for an illegal high hit on Grossman. Wright shoved Grossman with his hands in the upper chest. Wright's hand might have touched Grossman's facemask, but this hardly appeared to be an egregious foul. Finally, there was no call when Redskins safety LaRon Landry made contact with receiver Doug Baldwin on a deep third-down pass in the final five minutes. Seattle punted.
What's next: The Seahawks are home against Philadelphia on Thursday night.