BY Art Thiel 11:35PM 10/06/2014

Thiel: Seahawks’ foul affair cleaned up by Wilson

In a game marred by penalties, drops and other mistakes, the Seahawks were rescued largely by Russell Wilson, whose large life grew larger on Monday night in the capital.

RB Marshawn Lynch grabs a floater from Russell Wilson that he turned into a 30-yard gain late in the fourth quarter Monday night in Washington, D.C. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

The Seahawks spent a lot of time Monday night in Washington, D.C., falling down flights of stairs. Nearly every time, Russell Wilson was there, picking them up, dusting them off and pointing them back up the stairs. Fifty-two-man pickup.

Then, on third-and-four from the 50 with less than three minutes remaining in an unexpectedly tense 24-17 contest against a team that had lost 11 of its past 12, Wilson picked up everyone in white and carried them home. All else watching . . . they just swooned.

Wilson tried to roll right, was cut off and commenced a full-sprint retreat for nearly 20 yards with three Redskins in pursuit. Amid the chaos of a shattered play, he saw Marshawn Lynch, alone after faking a run to start the play.

A moment before getting clobbered again, Wilson softly looped the ball 15 yards, in a manner of an office worker throwing a wad of paper to a waste basket. Lynch gathered the floater and burst through the scattered Washington defense for 30 yards. A few moments later, Steven Hauschka bled the game of drama with a 43-yard field goal.

The 27-17 triumph was mostly a nervous cough for Seattle — 13 penalties for 90 yards, three of which called back touchdowns by Percy Harvin, made for no songs. But Wilson, in the nation’s capital and a two-hour drive from his hometown, capped a week of national headlines about himself with perhaps his most versatile game yet.

“He was phenomenal,” said coach Pete Carroll. “The bootlegs are part of the game plan, but the scrambles are his decision. For everyone to be right (without fouls) on the chaos of (the Lynch pass play) was amazing.”

Planned or unplanned, Wilson’s evening was a dazzler that made it into the NFL record books. His career-high 122 yards rushing were the most for a QB in a Monday night game, and he was the third QB in the past 12 seasons to pass for 200 yards and a TD, and rush for 100 yards and a TD in any game (Michael Vick, Cam Newton).

In leading the 3-1 Seahawks to their ninth consecutive Monday night win (tied for the second-longest streak in the series’ 45 years), Wilson had no turnovers but took three sacks and presided over an O-line that committed at least eight pre-snap violations. The Seahawks were missing TE Zach Miller due to injury, but that can’t explain much.

“The line did a tremendous job fighting for me,” Wilson said. “The sacks were mostly on me. I could have hit (a receiver) quicker. The penalties are things we can fix.”

But the combination of errors following a 17-7 halftime lead kept Seattle without a first down through the first five possessions of the second half. The offense consistently messed up good field position provided by punter Jon Ryan and special teams. Wilson finished with 18 completions in 24 attempts, but at least four incompletions were drops by the usually sure-handed receivers.

The Seahawks, who won a Super Bowl despite leading the NFL in penalties, seemed to have the problem under control through three games, then fell apart Monday, including two holds and a motion penalty that denied Harvin the end zone.

Wilson joked with Harvin, who, like Wilson, is a Virginia native.

“I told him, ‘Boy, they sure don’t like you in VA no more,’” he said.

The Redskins gave no love to Wilson, either. Besides the sacks, several of his 11 rushes ended with licks harder than he usually takes.

“I took one good hit tonight,” he said after a gain in which he was struck high from the side and behind. “I was hit from behind when I wasn’t expecting it. But I’m fine.”

Of his pass to Lynch, whose five catches led Seattle, Wilson said, “I was just trying to hang in there as long as I could. Marshawn did a great job with the run fake, and then he was able to get behind the defense.”

Wilson was in the news last week when he opened his foundation and wrote for the debut of the Derek Jeter-founded Players’ Tribune website about his adolescent days as a schoolyard bully. He also kicked off a viral campaign, “Pass the Peace,” to help with domestic violence awareness.

Then he flew home to the D.C. area Friday, where his last game visit after the 2012 season included a playoff triumph over the Redskins to give Seattle its first road playoff victory in 30 years.

Monday night, he scorched his native land again.

“I had tons of friends and family here, including my mom and sister,” he said. “Being back home means a lot, then to come up huge . . . ”

After dazzling Denver with a game-winning drive, Wilson came up big in New York for publishing and in Washington on another national platform that had the ESPN TV crew foaming at his feats. Next is Texas, with the Dallas Cowboys coming to the Clink Sunday.

The man has had himself a couple of weeks.



  • 1coolguy

    Thank GOD for RW – can you imagine what a typical QB would have looked like after this game, given our O lines’ pathetic blocking? IF another QB survived our poor blocking, he would have certainly been hobbled. RW was sacked 3 times and I would guess most QB’s would have been decked what, 6 or 7 times? And this was against a now 1-4 team!
    13 penalties: 2 by Carpenter that cost the Hawks TWO Harvin TD’s! 14 points off the board due to this guys poor play. Supposedly he has had a good season so far, yet I certainly do not remember ever seeing an O-lineman cost a team 14 points in 1 game.
    The game turned into a nail biter and should have been a 21 point+ blow-out.
    I hope the long layoff contributed to the shoddy game (RW excepted). I have real concern for the next game against Dallas, who because of their restructured O-line are giving Romo plenty of time and are 3-1. I had this as a gimme before the season yet now I’d have to call it even, after what I saw tonight.
    Kudos also go to Lynch and Ryan.
    As to the 2 long completions to Jackson, Cousins threw 2 dimes that no one could have defended – they go into the “hats off, good job” category for him.

    • Edgar Martinez

      The last penalty on Carp that cost us another Percy TD was an absolute joke. He did nothing wrong. The D-lineman was attempting to get up and he just pushed him down. 100% legal. And that false start called on Harvin wasn’t one. All Harvin did was turn towards Russell to catch the ball. And I saw at least 3 helmet to helmet contacts and blows to the head that weren’t called on Washington, along with that play the receiver spun the ball after the catch that’s supposed to be an unsportsmanlike penalty that wasn’t called. Oh, and that was also right in front of the official. I believe the game was called one-sided in order to keep it as close as possible into the 4th quarter to keep TV ratings up on the east coast. ET even stated after the game that the officials wanted to keep the game close. Yes, we also played sloppy, but wow. I hope those officials feel dirty after that display. And Triplette has been known as one of the worst refs for a long time. He did nothing to help his image last night. In fact, he probably made it worse.

      • Effzee

        You forgot about the linebacker tackling Percy Harvin on that 3rd and 5 play when RW hit Lynch. I’m petty sure tackling the intended receiver before the QB can throw the pall is pass interference. The NFL and ESPN totally did not want a blowout that everyone outside of Seattle turned off by halftime.

        • art thiel

          The financial conspiracy is so silly. One play, one quarter, one game, whole seasons can’t damage the NFL money machine.

          • Edgar Martinez

            Art, I have to disagree with you. The league is well aware of how dominating we have been in prime time. I would not be the least bit shocked to find out the league told the officials to be very ticky-tac on us. But it is true that we did play undisciplined and most of the penalties were completely justified. We could have not given the officials any reason to throw flags, even if they wanted to. But the great thing about this team is they are making no excuses, and they never will.

      • art thiel

        4th quarter TV ratings are without meaning to a league so successful. Stop seeing things that aren’t there. Bad calls are bad calls, and the Seahawks got away with several non-calls.

        • 1coolguy

          Agreed Art – the penalties were quite obvious and the only one I saw that was questionable was the Carpenter call, but he was dumb to lay on the guy as the play, by that time, was WAY down-field. Carpenters technique has improved but I sure hope his teammates are able to pound some common sense into him. Maybe the 2 Stanford guys can take him out for a beer……..

          • Edgar Martinez

            So, the “head bob” on Unger and the false start on Harvin weren’t questionable in your opinion? Huh?

          • 1coolguy

            The head bob was weak, you’re right. As to the Harvin call, I didn’t see it. I don’t think they did a good job on the replays either.

    • art thiel

      Absent the Harvin-play penalties, this would have been a blowout. Not even at all.

    • cowfarmerJoe

      No way are the Cowponies, against the Osprey & 12′s, even at the Clink.

      • 1coolguy

        Their new O-line are beasts: I just hope we can contain their running game. Unfortunately, Romo is a very god QB, given time, and this O-line with the running game is, for the first time in his Dallas career, giving him time.
        Hawks by 6.

  • jafabian

    Way too many penalties tonight by the offense. However with a Super Bowl comes scrutiny. I question if you took these same players and coaches and put them in the Miami Dolphins uniforms would these same penalties be called? I’m expecting more games like this one instead of the Packers game this season. Teams get up more for the Hawks now than ever before. And because of the Legion and not just Richard Sherman QBs and WRs want to have a solid game against them.

    Lost in the shuffle was Jon Ryan who again had an oustanding game, averaging just over 43 yards on punts, had 5 inside the 20 and ran 5 yards for a 1st down. He was nearly the MVP of the game for the Seahawks.

    • art thiel

      Teams do get jacked for the Seahawks, but they have workarounds, namely Wilson and Lynch.

  • Effzee

    “A moment before getting clobbered again, Wilson softly looped the ball 15 yards, in a manner of an office worker throwing a wad of paper to a waste basket.” That throw was effing amazing. Maybe one of the best football plays I’ve seen a person make, akin to the Beast Mode run against New Orleans. We are SO lucky to have RWIII. We are watching the next Montana/Favre write his own legend right before our very eyes. And this team… WOW. Championship teams do not succumb to refs who wipe out 3 TDs and 5 first down plays. Championship teams make the refs irrelevant by executing fake punts in the 4th quarter to extend 7-1/2 minute touchdown drives… and also by having RWIII.

    • art thiel

      Agreed on Russell. Disagree on Triplette. You’re being a fan. That’s OK.

      • Ogi

        Why the “Head bob” penalty on Max Unger, then? I’ve seen a million head bobs by centers. Is there a right way and wrong way to bob one’s head?

    • 1coolguy

      Don’t compare ANYONE to Montana – there’s all the great QB’s, then there is Montana.
      As to Favre, 508 TD’s, 306 INT’s. We don’t need RW to turn into a cowboy. Anything less than a 2 to 1 TD/INT ratio is unacceptable.

  • RC

    Art, do you believe officials unfairly and excessively penalize the Seahawks, or do you think officials would call the same fouls on other teams? Based on comments I read across the web, the instant, seemingly default reaction among 12s is to immediately blame poor officiating, and even insist that officiating crews have it out for the Hawks. As a 12 living on the east coast, I must say, it makes us sound like we are crying wolf. While I admit there’s room for interpretation in some of the calls against us, I don’t think there’s a vast East Coast/NFL conspiracy against us. I think your honest and measured opinion on this would help add a dose of reality to the debate. What say you?

    • Effzee

      My friends and I call it The Theory. Last night, The Theory was in full effect. You can’t overtly control a game with penalty after penalty, unless the vastly superior team is so good that the refs HAVE to overtly control the game. They were trying to demoralize last night and basically make us give up or get too frustrated to keep composure, just like the 2005 SB, Kings-Lakers 2002, and every time the Huskies play an East Coast team in the Sweet 16 or higher.

      There are of course good refs, good calls, and good guys who are probably not crooked. However…

      This is The Theory: All you have to do to control the outcome is make the innocuous little calls that control the momentum and energy of the game. For example: You make the innocent little calls that get the star (Brandon Roy, Nate Robinson, John Brockman, etc) put on the bench for extended periods of time. BOOM, two fouls in the first three minutes of a half, and the dude is on the bench for the next 10. Then you let it play out again until the team you’re trying to hold down starts to regain momentum, then you call another foul/penalty. Same with football. Just take away that big first down play, and turn a 20 yard gain into a 1st and 20. Boom. Momentum controlled, again. I could go on and on….

      Have you ever checked this out? How can a guy just make all of this fiction up out of his head? And how could it fix so precisely with what I thought I was seeing the whole time? Read this and tell me if it doesn’t make all the sense in the world:

      • art thiel

        Even for me, Eff, that’s way too cynical. Believe it or not, most leagues/conferences aren’t that smart to do what The Theory says. The NBA in the 1990s was the exception. The refs knew without being told what was best for all in the game in a product that teetered for awhile.

    • art thiel

      Fans of every team that gets questionable or wrong calls invoke conspiracy. No. There were bad calls, but there were missed calls that gave Seattle breaks. What’s different lately is the lamentable “points of emphasis” on some rules by the league that force officials to heighten the sensitivity for what is excessive. The reduced-contact rules are nearly impossible to be consistent. Good officials are put in the bad position of guesswork.

  • Diamond Mask

    I think the referees were working for the NFL last night. I don’t think they were trying to steal the game from the Seahawks. I think their sole mission was to keep the game close. The NFL could not allow another blowout on National television. Their east coast viewers would have turned this game off before half time. That’s millions in unwatched advertising. It wasn’t hard for the NFL to look at this game and realize that it was a blowout waiting to happen and take the necessary steps to stop that from happening. It’s not exactly hard. You could probably throw a flag on every single play if you looked hard enough. Reminded me a bit of SB 2005 except a little more benign. Don’t want to see it again though. Ever.

    • art thiel

      Not ready to go conspiracy on this one. Flat out bad calls, yes. The NFL is in zero financial jeopardy. This is not the NBA, circa 1993.

      • Diamond Mask

        I don’t consider it a conspiracy. More like the cost of doing business in the NFL.

        • art thiel

          What would be the real consequence of another blowout loss on a featured game? Nothing. Just a lot of speculation by fans and media that will soon be forgotten. Please allow for the fact that refs have bad games too.

      • Ogi

        Not a conspiracy, true, but just the way the NFL would like to see close exciting games. There was a reason the Washington players were laughing in the locker room postgame. They were reliving and laughing at all the stuff they got away with as the refs were not calling penalties on them. (e.g. Richard Sherman being pulled to the ground by his hair).

  • Gerald Turner

    After Pretty boy and Jughead retire who will be the best QB in the league? O Yea!

    • art thiel

      Matt Flynn?

  • ll9956

    In the first quarter it looked like a blowout in the making, but then the Hawks started the self-destruction waltz and things got dicey. Luckily for the Hawks, Washington is an inferior team. Against an elite team, those penalties would likely result in a loss. I wonder how the coaches handle this type of situation. Give them a tongue lashing or remain relatively calm and just talk sternly? One thing is for sure: Dallas is a lot tougher than Washington. If the Hawks don’t clean up their act during this short week of practice, there will be some long faces around here after Sunday’s game.

    • art thiel

      Pete doesn’t do tongue-lashings. Eight were pre-snap, meaning easily fixable. Remember, they won the SB after being the most penalized team in the NFL.

  • skip demuth

    Art, can u call them Washington?

    • art thiel

      Sure. Washington.

      I use Redskins not because I approve of it, but because it’s the name until the NFL changes it. This belated media pile-on of holier-than-thou looks a little silly when it’s always been wrong for 80 years.

    • 1coolguy

      PULEEEEEEEEEEZE – Enough of the Seattle PC crap already.
      The native Americans I know don’t have a problem with the redskin name at all. Maybe people should go out and actually get to know some Indians (native Americans) before they write this BS.
      Another way to look at this is pretty simply: if this was SO demeaning to them, then why did it take a few white people to bring up the subject in the past few years? This wasn’t an issue among native Americans until that happened, so, it apparently wasn’t much of a deal to them.
      Redskins, Redskins, Redskins, etc.

      • RadioGuy

        Alcoholism and unemployment are both at more than 50% on reservations, where tribal “leaders” are selling their people out for money from the BIA and casinos, yet the thing that gets people mad is the nickname of a football team?
        I don’t object to the idea of changing the Redskins team name because there’s nothing complimentary about it, but I’m not naïve enough to think doing so would be anything more than cheap symbolism that won’t do a damned thing to affect the real problems tribal members are dealing with.

        • art thiel

          No one I’ve heard wanting a name change says anything at all about fixing all the ills in Native American culture. They just want to right a racist wrong.

          C’mon radio. You know better.

      • art thiel

        From everything I’ve read, a lot of Native Americans don’t like it, and brought it up years ago. Read some history.

        Some who say they do simply know it’s easier to say nothing rather than stir things up. Please go up your friends and say “howya doin’, redskin?” and keep it up. You might get a different response.

  • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

    Maybe all of the disbelievers will finally see its a”illogical” argument to call Wilson just a game manager and not worthy of inclusion in the top 5 of NFL QBs….
    Its a case of the “Don’t Wanna’s”….dont want to believe that a 3rd round draft choice could be this good… DW believe a 5’10 3/4″ QB could possibly see over an NFL line to do this well… DW believe that a guy that seems apathetic to “stats padding” is a hidden gem superstar…..And on and on one could write.

    Al Davis used to say “Just Win , Baby “…. this guy gets that. Do whatever it takes to get the job done and muffle any outside noise coming in during the process. I dont know when the DW guys will finally shut up but Wilson just continues to show that throwing for 500 yards is impressive but so is last nights game. No QB has thrown for 200+ yards and run for 122 yards in the same(Monday Night) game? None? Zilch?Nada? Take that DWs…..

  • 1coolguy

    Art – What’s your take on Turbin being a future Lynch replacement? He is at 3.6 this year and 3.4 last year. Is he just a cheap fill in until Lynch departs or Michael or someone else steps up?
    From what have seen he is not a great talent.

    • art thiel

      Not a starter, but a good backup. Lynch is just about one-of-kind with his YAC.