Hawks win ugly, keep control of WEst

Brian Schottenheimer and the offense made it much harder than it needed to be, but the Seahawks managed to kick off their NFC Least tour with an ugly 23-17 win against the Eagles in Philadelphia. That allowed Seattle (8-3) to keep control of the NFC West, which the team had gained when the 49ers beat the Rams (7-4) on Sunday.

Against a stout Philly front seven, DK Metcalf bailed out the Seattle offense with a career-high 177 yards and Chris Carson tallied 59 yards and a TD in his return from a four-game absence. The defense started very strong against the Eagles and allowed a season low in points while sacking Carson Wentz six times.

The Eagles’ defense played well up front, but Schottenheimer had one of his worst play-calling games of the season. It started with fourth-down busts to end the first two drives – the first time that had been done by any team since 2007. The Hawks were 2 for 12 on third and fourth downs, which is why the game was so close.

The first possession ended with some real stupid work by Schottenheimer, who burned a timeout to consider the fourth-down play and then ran a dumb shovel pass sweep to David Moore, who got stuffed by Derek Barnett.  A symptom of Schotty’s poor play calling: Moore touched the ball four times on offense, netting minus-5 yards.

The next possession ended similarly, with a burned timeout and then Wilson getting stopped short, again by Barnett, as he tried to scramble up the middle on fourth-and-2.

The Hawks finally got on the board on their fourth possession, as Russell Wilson hit Metcalf for a 52-yard bomb to the 1-yard line. Moore caught a fade for the TD on the next play. (But why was Moore their top red zone target in the first quarter?)

Metcalf had 141 of his 177 receiving yards vs. star CB Darius Slay. It was the second-most yards in a one-on-one matchup this season, behind only Tyreek Hill’s 211 against Tampa Bay’s Carlton Davis on Sunday.

“I lost every 50-50 ball,” Slay said. “I let the team down. I gotta play better.”

Metcalf said Eagles DC Jim Schwartz came up to him pregame and said, “I was in Detroit with Megatron (Calvin Johnson), but you’re not there yet.”

Metcalf said, “I had a little chip on my shoulder the whole game.”

With Carson returning, the Seahawks mixed him and Carlos Hyde, but the line was dominated for most of the first half by Fletcher Cox, Malik Jackson and the Eagles’ good front.

The Hawks finally got it going at the end of the half as Carson and Hyde gained 37 yards on a 66-yard TD drive that was capped by a well-blocked 16-yard run by Carson, who bulldozed his way into the end zone at the end. That put the Hawks up 14-0.

“Once you get the run game, going the pass game opens up,” Carson told Q13. “We hope that’s the plan for the rest of the season.”

The defense held the Eagles to three-and-outs on the first five possessions; the Eagles had four yards of offense at that point. They finally got something going at the end of the half, driving 75 yards for a TD. That was aided by a missed grounding call.

The Eagles did well against Seattle when they picked up the pace, scoring 10 points on drives spanning the second and third quarters. Dallas Goedert killed Seattle throughout, with seven catches for 75 yards and a TD. He also earned a PI call against Jordyn Brooks, gaining 29 yards to the Seattle 21 with 9:36 left.

The score hit 17-9 in the third quarter – and the jokes flew on Twitter because both meetings last season, including the playoff game, ended in that score.

Jason Myers added a field goal to make it 20-9 early in the fourth quarter, and the Hawks stopped the desperate Eagles on fourth down twice – including an end-zone interception by Quandre Diggs on a poor throw by Wentz.

After the last stop, Myers finished the scoring with a 39-yard field goal, his 26th straight make. His three field goals were the difference in the game since the Eagles managed to complete a Hail Mary with 12 seconds left, as Richard Rodgers made a one-handed rebound catch. That turned it into the 18th one-score victory in their 20 wins over the last two seasons.

OTHER NOTES

Metcalf has 1,039 yards, the 24th time the Seahawks have had a 1,000-yard receiver. He is 248 yards shy of Hall of Famer Steve Largent’s franchise record. At this pace, Metcalf would finish with 1,511 yards.

Bobby Wagner is just the third player since 2000 to record nine straight 100-tackle seasons (London Fletcher, Keith Brooking). Pete Carroll: “We’re looking at a Hall of Fame football player.”

Wilson improved to 10-2 on Mondays and also has the best prime-time winning percentage in NFL history (.776 at 29-8-1).

Jamal Adams had a sack and three QB pressures. He now has 6.5 sacks and 17 pressures this season. Adams is the first defensive back to have six sacks in multiple seasons since sacks started being tracked in 1982, and he continues to be the most effective secondary blitzer in the NFL.

The Seahawks had sacks from seven guys (Carlos Dunlap and Jarran Reed split one) and have 22 sacks in their last five games. Adams said, “We invite everyone to the party, man.”

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