Despite taking the worst beating of his pro career, QB Russell Wilson had a 300-yard day. But the 12-7 win over Carolina belonged to defense and special teams.
Seahawks (1-0) 12, Carolina Panthers (0-1) 7.
The Seahawks won on the road, in the Eastern time zone, in southern sticky heat against a team that was superbly prepared to stop QB Russell Wilson and RB Marshawn Lynch. The game was left to the defense and special teams, and they responded by holding Carolina’s passing game to 119 yards, keeping QB Cam Newton in check, punting and kicking well and getting a game-saving, red-zone turnover on Carolina’s final possession.
FISTS TO SKY
PALMS TO FOREHEAD
WOE TO FOE
The first 300-yard, regular-season game of his pro career seemed most unlikely, given the beating he took. But he was 25 for 33 for 320 yards and one turnover, when he was strip-sacked into a fumble in the red zone. But he led the sixth fourth-quarter comeback of his young career primarily by finding the underneath routes the defense gave him, and eluding multiple sack attempts.
On the TD pass to Kearse: “We called another shot play. It surprised we missed the first one (to Williiams). Maybe I threw it too far. I just kind of read the (Kearse) play. I went through my progressions and he was the second option. Kearse just keeps showing up and making those big plays.”
On finding just enough plays at the right time: “The biggest thing is the small things.”
On the sideline bomb to Doug Baldwin before he was clobbered: “I figured nobody was going to get to it, but I tried to get him a chance. I knew I was getting blown up. Doug has a great ability to create and make the smart decisions on third down. Biggest thing we worked on (in the off-season) is having that camaraderie. In the second half (of last season), he was lights out.”
On completing so many passes in tight windows: “The biggest thing I’ve learned is to trust what you you see. Going against our DBs in practice — they’re the best in the NFL –makes you realize how tight the windows can be.”
On returning to the the state where he spent his first three years of college ball at North Carolina State: “I’ve had so much support here, from the day I first stepped on campus. I’ll never forget NC State and all the people who’ve helped me.”
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll on Newton: “We gave him a chance to be in command early, but we hung in there real tight against him. He made some nice plays, but we wanted to stay connected to him.”
On the red zone troubles: “We had troubles with penalties and a turnover. It was really hard today. The thing I love about our guys is they hung tough. It’s so hard. I thought Carolina played excellent. It was a quality win for us.”
On Wilson: “After the first five or six passes, he was on fire. He made a ton of plays. Finding Doug on the sidelines, that was a ridiculous play. . . . Russell did a great job against the pass rush. He’s more in command of everything we’re doing. We don’t have to hold anything back. He can handle it.”
On Thomas forcing the turnover: “No one takes more pride in knocking the ball loose. They had a lot of momentum. It was a gigantic play for us.”
On the largely absent running game: “We didn’t feel good at all the way we ran the football. We thought we would be better than that. We tried everything. Carolina was very active and difficult.”
On the offensive line: “I don’t think anyone did well up front.”
A NUMBER OF THINGS
The Seahawks won ugly in Charlotte a year ago, 16-12, but they lost two close games earlier by not finding a key third down offensively, or failing to a key third-down stop defensively. This time, just enough. Winning a grinder on the road at the outset, in adverse conditions, was a great omen for Seattle for the 2013 season.