Well it wasn’t a very competitive game, but a win is a win is a win is a win. Rebounding from that weird loss to Tampa Bay last week, the Seahawks murked the Carolina Panthers in Seattle in a game that had an interesting start which included a rare Derek Anderson sighting, a rare Marshawn Lynch sighting, and the possible last play of Earl Thomas’ magnificent career (please stay Earl).
Anderson, the Panthers’ backup QB and former member of the lowly Cleveland Browns, took the first snap of the game in a move that bewildered everyone. There wasn’t any trickery involved — Cam Newton wasn’t lined up as a running back or wideout, he wasn’t hidden somewhere — rather, he was on the bench because apparently he broke the dress code and had to sit out the first play of the game. So uh, thanks Cam for wearing mismatched socks or whatever.
Anderson obviously failed on the first play, as backups quarterbacks are wont to do, by throwing a pathetic short pass to fullback Mike Tolbert which was bobbled and eventually picked off by Mike Morgan and which led to a Seattle field goal for a quick 3-0 lead after a minute and a half.
It was an appropriate omen for Carolina for the rest of the game, which was filled with nothing but foibles for Riverboat Ron Rivera and the Panthers. Perhaps they shouldn’t have let Josh Norman go, but that’s another story.
Following a Carolina punt, the Seahawks got the ball and went on a nine play, 92-yard drive that ended with a Thomas Rawls touchdown. Rawls finished the night with 106 yards on 15 carries with two touchdowns, often breaking tackles and slapping defenders left and right as he finished with his best game of the season.
But tragedy struck early in the second quarter as Newton, facing a 10-0 deficit and a 2nd and 17, threw a deep middle pass to Greg Olsen which was almost picked off by Earl Thomas. As he fell to the ground, writhing in pain, it was revealed that he fractured his left leg. He later tweeted out this during the game:
All we can do is wait and hope for the best for Mr. Thomas.
As Thomas was carted off, Cam Newton gained confidence and did the only good thing he did all game by throwing a 55-yard touchdown to Ted Ginn Jr. That would be the ultimate highlight for Carolina for the rest of the night, as the Birds got the ball back and immediately scored another touchdown on two straight carries for Thomas Rawls.
Seattle kicked two more field goals before the half ended, pushing their lead to 23-7.
On the very first play after the half (fans in attendance were apparently treated to a wiener dog race at halftime!) Wilson handed the ball off to Tyler Lockett who ran 75 yards in 12 seconds to easily score a touchdown, effectively killing whatever momentum Carolina might have had.
Wilson later threw a TD to Jimmy Graham, and after the lead ballooned, Trevone Boykin came in and led the Birds to a field goal late and that was that. Seattle whomped Carolina 40-7 in a game that was never close, and which ended with the uncertain news about Earl Thomas. Injuries suck.
On the plus side, Russell Wilson played very well, with 277 yards passing and 29 yards on the ground. He used his patented spin move often, and looks completely healthy, just in time.
Seattle is now 8-3-1, with a comfortable lead in the NFC West. They take on the talented Mr. Aaron Rodgers and the rest of those cheese people next Sunday at Green Bay. Oh, and congrats Washington Huskies. Please defeat Alabama.