Can Wilson keep carrying offense? Will he have to?

Russell Wilson dashes for an apparent TD vs. Arizona, although the score was nullified by a holding penalty (Seahawks.com)Last week, Russell Wilson took full responsibility for the struggles of the Seahawks’ offense and basically declared that it was time for him to take over.

“I think that I have to find a way to be clutch and always be clutch,” he said. “It’s something that I look forward to. It’s calling for that time right now, so I’m looking forward to that.”

On Sunday, he was as clutch as it gets, playing probably his best game of the season — considering the opponent, the team’s situation and the personal slump Wilson was trying to bust out of.

The question is: Can he continue to do it?

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Defense rediscovers health and No. 1 ranking

Byron Maxwell picks off a pass from Arizona QB Drew Stanton (Seahawks.com)The Seahawks recaptured their mojo last week, and Sunday against Arizona they finally looked like the Super Bowl champions they are and aspire to be again.

For the first time since perhaps the season-opening 36-16 win over Green Bay, the defense brought it like it was 2013.

With Bobby Wagner back and Kam Chancellor and Byron Maxwell healthier, the Hawks put together a performance that reminded everyone of the dominant unit that led the league last year. They held Arizona to 204 yards, 3 of 12 third downs, 3.2 yards per rush and 4.2 yards per play. Drew Stanton completed just 53.8 percent and posted a 54.8 rating.

Back from a five-game layoff caused by a toe injury, Wagner looked like he never left, playing all but one play on defense. He and Chancellor — who apparently is healthier than he has been in weeks — led the team with eight tackles. And Maxwell picked off a pass and played some great coverage — a ticky-tack PI call notwithstanding.

Cliff Avril fed off the energy of the 12th Man, getting great jumps off the snap all game, pressuring Stanton and recording two sacks. And the rest of the defense fed off those guys.

Appropriately, it all added up to Seattle reclaiming the No. 1 defensive ranking as they prepare to face San Francisco’s No. 2 defense.

Continue reading Defense rediscovers health and No. 1 ranking

Carroll is miffed about ‘fascinating’ penalty disparity

Days after the NFL admitted blowing a key pass interference call that might have helped the Seahawks beat Kansas City, the Hawks practically had to beg for flags to be thrown against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

Pete Carroll was not pleased, chewing out the refs more than once in a game in which his team was flagged seven times for 74 yards — at home — while the visitors were set back just three times for 25 yards.

“I’ve had it about up to here with this penalty situation and the way it’s gone,” Carroll told 710 ESPN on Monday morning. “They won’t call penalties on the other guys. They just won’t do it.”

It’s not griping. It is simply a fact. As pointed out here last week, the refs have not been evenhanded with the Hawks this season.

“There is quite a gap between what they’re calling numbers-wise on one team than the other,” Carroll said Monday afternoon. “I think it’s interesting — fascinating. When we won the national championship the first year (at USC), the next year our opponents were penalized the least — for the next four years. That’s all I’m going to say about that.”