ReFo: Seahawks @ Dolphins, Week 12
A very tough Sunday for the Seahawks. They find out that they’re potentially going to lose both of their starting cornerbacks, and then suffer a defeat to Miami that serves to reinforce the concerns many have about them.
They aren’t good enough on the road.
Miami was the latest to show this with a hard fought win where they shutdown the Seahawks’ impressive run game, and made enough plays on offense so that, for this week at least, Dolphins fans can be positive about things.
For Seattle, the playoff dream is fading, but there are still things to be positive about.
Seattle – Three Performances of Note
Already Worth the Price
We’ve all seen guys excel in preseason before. When defenses aren’t creative and when the starters aren’t out there it can be easy to look like a star, especially without the added scrutiny of the regular season masses watching over you. So I must admit, that even when Russell Wilson (+2.4) played well enough to earn the Seahawks’ starting quarterback job, I still had my doubts. Well those doubts are a thing of the past. The rookie, which it’s easy to forget, had another good outing against Miami where he completed 21-0f-26 aimed passes (one thrown away) while going 9-of-12 on passes aimed over 10 yards in the air. If he doesn’t get any better, the Seahawks have done exceptionally well in finding him.
Anything but Safe
This wasn’t a game where the Seahawks safety duo of Kam Chancellor (-4.2) and Earl Thomas (-2.4) covered themselves in glory. Thomas pretty much put points on the board for Miami with that roughing the passer penalty, while Chancellor missed a terrible three tackles. You get a mixed bag of playmaking and mistakes with this duo, but against Miami they were definitely more of the latter.
Guarding Against Mediocrity
While Max Unger had another fine game, you can’t say the same about either Seahawks guard who had some real problems with Miami defense intent on attacking their running game. James Carpenter, whose return was proclaimed a bonus to the run game, got beat for a tackle for a loss, another for no gain, and two more for short gains. Over on the right side, Paul McQuistan made a better first of it in the run game, but in giving up a sack, hit, and three hurries, he made life a lot harder than it needed to be for Wilson.
Miami – Three Performances of Note
A Long Year
When you’re in a contract year you want to put your best foot forward. Unfortunately, that’s not proving to be the case for Jake Long (-1.3) who really isn’t looking like the player he once was… at least not consistently. That doesn’t make him a bad player, but for a guy who was arguably the best left tackle in the league in 2010, that may not translate to a deal the likes of which Joe Thomas received. Against Seattle, Long was fine in the run game, but he gave up a sack, hit, and four hurries as Chris Clemons went to work on him. The spin move Long was beaten by with 5:56 to go in first was a reminder of how far he has fallen from the nearly unbeatable player he once was.
If you listen to the Miami media there’s been a lot of talk about how they need to get more from guys with playmaking ability on a consistent basis. For too long Charles Clay and Daniel Thomas just haven’t delivered where it matters. Well not in this one.
Clay caught all six balls thrown his way as he walked off with 84 yards and a touchdown, and Thomas did a superb job in turning his nine rushes into 60 yards with 43 of those coming after contact. Clay was on the field for 37 snaps and Thomas just 29, but you don’t need to be a starter or every-down player to have a big impact on what your team is able to do.
The Feud Continues
After some twitter remarks, there’s a belief among some Miami fans that we have it in for the guy we ranked as the sixth best run-blocking left guard in the league in 2011, Richie Incognito (+3.7). Not so, and the feisty lineman had another of his better days against good opposition. He was particularly effective in pulling to his right and getting to the second level where Bobby Wagner was simply overmatched by Incognito’s strength. Outside of getting beat by Brandon Mebane for a tackle for a short gain with 13:28 to go in the first, Incognito hardly put a foot wrong. Kudos.
– Ryan Tannehill went 7-of-9 on passes aimed over 10 yards in the air.
– Sean Smith gave up 5-of-5 balls into his coverage for 72 yards and a score.
– How much has injury affected Doug Baldwin? He ran 14 routes but only picked up 13 yards on four targets. A tough sophomore year for the one-time rookie revelation.
PFF Game Ball
This wasn’t a game where one performance stood out, but Randy Starks’ work in the run game was key in slowing down Marshawn Lynch.
Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled