Seahawks 'D' allows JAX squat

The Jags' offense was awful, but then again, so were the Huskies until it mattered most in what turned out to be a pretty good weekend for the local football teams.

Well, what do you know, the local football teams went 2-0! The Seahawks drubbed an opponent whose offense was utterly unimpressive, the Washington Huskies won in spite of having an offense that may have been even worse. At least it was until the final possession. Heck, throw in the Cougars who won on the road in Tempe, Ariz., and it was a pretty good weekend of football.

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The funniest fact about Sunday’s game between the Seahawks and the Jaguars? Jacksonville actually outgained Seattle. It’s true. The Jags finished the game with 308 yards, 150 of which were gained in the final quarter, while the Seahawks gained 229. The Jags finished with 20 first downs, the Seahawks had only 17. The Jaguars averaged 4.3 yards per carry, and while that’s not astounding, it was certainly better than the 2.3 yards the Seahawks managed.

And yet Seattle didn’t just win, the Seahawks dominated in large part because they had fourth-down stops of the Jags and an interception. Tyler Lockett looked great, catching 12 of the 13 passes thrown to him, and a week after showing his home run power, D.K. Metcalf demonstrated that he’s a great option in the short-game, too, with a pair of touchdown catches.  Seattle was up 17 at halftime and led by 24 points before Jacksonville scored. No sooner had the Jags scored than Seattle ran back the ensuing onside kick for a touchdown. Talk about living right.

Also, shout out to Geno Smith. He completed his first 14 pass attempts in the game. After spending Monday night under siege against the Saints, he had time and looked not just comfortable, but confident even. He should against a team like Jacksonville. As far as backup quarterbacks go in this league, Smith is a totally fine, adequate backup quarterback. He threw Seattle back into that Thursday night game against the Rams after Russell Wilson was injured, and while I’m not going to say he was good at Pittsburgh or against New Orleans, the Seahawks had a chance at the end of each game, and against Jacksonville, he was able to steer Seattle to a clean victory over an inferior opponent. This didn’t save Seattle’s season. The Seahawks are still 3-5 heading into the bye and they’ll start the second half of the schedule at Green Bay where they haven’t won a meaningful game in 22 years, but beating Jacksonville kept the bottom from falling out of this season entirely. And to be fair, the Jags were utterly incompetent at several points. For instance: the second quarter when the Jags were flagged for having 12 defenders on the field, lost 5 yards, and then had to burn a timeout before the snap on the ensuing play because THEY STILL HAD 12 GUYS ON THE FIELD. Head coach Urban Meyer took of his headset after that one, and I thought he might be ready to walk away right then and there like he’s walked away from previous head-coaching jobs. Nope. Meyer came back for the second half so it looks like he’ll stick around until (at least) next week

Now, all attention will turn to Russell Wilson’s middle finger to see if he’ll be ready to return after the bye.

Chillin’ like Dylan

This game should not have been that hard, and believe me, there’s no one more surprised about that fact than I am. I was fully ready for the Washington Huskies to be pushed around by Stanford, which has won 10 of the previous 13 games in this series.

The UW defense played great against the Cardinal. Just awesome. When Stanford ran the ball, Stanford was getting stuffed, buster. The Huskies held the Cardinal to 2.4 yards per carry. Freshman Voi Tunuufi had a couple of sacks, Carson Bruener played really well with Edefuan Ulofoshio out and it certainly looks like you can add Mishael Powell to the names of Kyler Gordon and Trent McDuffie when you talk about stand-out cornerbacks at Washington. Oh yeah, and Dominique Hampton was absolutely smoking fools from his safety spot.

And despite all that, Washington was one third-down completion away from losing. Seriously. Say Sav’ell Smalls doesn’t pressure Tanner McKee completes on that third-and-5 play with 3 minutes left, or McKee manages to complete that pass to Jay Symonds? Stanford would’ve had a first down, the Huskies would have had no timeouts. But Smalls did get the pressure, McKee didn’t complete the pass and the Huskies got the ball back at their own 33 with 2:51 left and Washington was absolutely masterful in its final drive.

That third-down pitch to Cameron Davis? It worked great. Dylan Morris’s keeper on the read option? Beautiful. And even with the Huskies in position for a game-winning field goal, they opted for aggressiveness on third-and-2 with 26 seconds left, throwing to Jalen McMillan for the game-winning score.

But here’s my question: Why didn’t Washington throw the ball sooner? Seriously. I know, the Huskies were moving the ball on the ground. They averaged more than 5 yards a rush, but they could not get it in the end zone — settling for four field goals — and that’s because they were unbelievably gun shy. On Washington’s first possession of the fourth quarter, leading 12-10, the Huskies attempted exactly zero passes in a drive that resulted in a turnover on downs when a fourth-down quarterback sneak was stuffed, buster. Hmmmm. Seems like that’s happened before this season. Jimmy Lake should take the quarterback sneak from his playbook, ball it up into a tight little wad, place it inside the hat that says, “Run the (darn) ball” and burn them both. Today. /rant

On the Huskies final two possessions, Morris was 6-for-7 passing for 73 yards. That was half of Washington’s total passing yards for the game. Four of those six completions went to McMillan for 62 yards, and as great as that production was, I don’t think anyone would complain about seeing a little more of that a little bit earlier. The Huskies offense seems based on a dare, Washington seeking to win while throwing the ball as infrequently as possible, which is absolutely maddening given the fact that McMillan and Rome Odunze are two of the most exciting players on this team and should be getting more opportunities.

Currently reading: “Know my name” by Chanel Miller. It’s not just her skill in telling her story, or the courage it has taken for her to tell it, it’s the fact that she recognizes the importance of being able to tell her story that gives this book so much power. You may not know her name, but you probably know the name of the Stanford swimmer who sexually assaulted her: Brock Turner. Miller writes about the trauma from that incident and the years of legal proceedings that followed, but her level of detail and moral clarity about what happened to her at each turn provides an opportunity for all of us to rethink how survivors are treated and how they’re talked about. It really is a beautifully written book.

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