Saturday, August 24, 2013
Seattle winning despite penalties
By Terry Blount
Penalties, lots of penalties, haven’t kept the Seattle Seahawks from winning in the preseason.
Seattle now has an unimaginable 34 penalties for 354 yards in the first three games, but the Seahawks won each of them. That includes a 17-10 victory Friday night at Green Bay when the Seahawks were flagged 14 times for 182 yards.
Pete Carroll's Seahawks were penalized 14 times for 182 yards on Friday against Green Bay.
It looks worse when you realize coach Pete Carroll made the penalty problems his main point of emphasis entering the Green Bay game. Instead of getting better, it got worse.
“There were a lot of distractions in the game with 180 yards of penalties,’’ Carroll said. “It’s hard to deal with, and we are focused on cleaning that up. You never want to give your opponent anything, and we gave them 180 yards. That’s makes it difficult to win.”
The Seahawks won anyway. Here are a few observations from the game:
1. The defense does it again: Seattle’s defense has allowed only 30 points in the first three preseason games, and only three touchdowns, one in each game.
Tony McDaniel looked good in his first start at defensive tackle, stuffing the middle and posting two tackles along with one pass defensed.
Sealver Siliga, the defensive tackle Seattle acquired last week when guard John Moffitt was traded to Denver, had a strong first game with the Seahawks. Siliga had two tackles, including a sack.
2. Wow Mayowa: The man on defense who continues to stand out is rookie free agent Benson Mayowa, a defensive end from Idaho. Mayowa’s quickness makes it seem like he’s everywhere on the field. He had four tackles Friday night, including one tackle behind the line. Mayowa had a quarterback hit and a fumble recovery.
Maybe his most impressive play Friday came when Green Bay had a 31-yard gain. Running back Alex Green got around the left end and was off to the races down the sideline, but Mayowa ran him down from behind.
Mayowa (6-3, 255) was a longshot to make the team when training camp started. Now he appears to be a lock. He has 10 tackles in three games and 2.5 sacks. He also has five quarterback pressures.
3. Big-play Williams: Lanky receiver Stephen Williams, another man fighting for a roster spot, now has three long touchdown receptions in the first three games, one in each game.
Williams (6-5, 210) had a 42-yard touchdown catch Friday, pulling the ball away from the defender at the goal line on a pass from Brady Quinn. Williams came close to another long touchdown Friday on a play that could have been called interference on Green Bay defender Brandon Smith.
With Percy Harvin out until at least late November, it seems unimaginable now that Seattle wouldn’t keep Williams as a deep threat with the height to out-leap defenders for the ball.
4. One tough Aggie:Christine Michael, Seattle’s second-round draft choice from Texas A&M, had his best game of the preseason, rushing for 97 yards on 11 carries. Michael (5-10, 220) has shown a knack for breaking tackles and hitting the hole quickly at the line of scrimmage.
Seattle rushed for 166 yards on 27 carries (a 6.1-yard average) against the Packers.
6. The penalty culprits: The running game looked strong despite a bad night for the Seahawks' offensive line. It allowed four sacks and was penalized five times for holding. Starting right J.R. Sweezy was penalized three times in the first half -- two for holding and once for a personal foul.
The bottom line is the Seahawks managed to get the job done despite all the miscues and yellow flags. But that isn’t likely to continue in the regular season unless the team cleans up its act.