Suddenly, Seahawks playing like they have no limits
What happened to the sluggish team that we saw the first half of the season? It has been demolished, just like Seattle is demolishing its most recent opponents.
Seattle Times staff columnist
TORONTO — Dang. Again?
What has gotten into these Seahawks? In the last two games, they've turned into a cocktail of the 1972 Miami Dolphins, the 1985 Chicago Bears and the Bill Walsh-era San Francisco 49ers. They're so high right now that hyperbole can't even capture them. On Sunday, before 40,770 at the sterile Rogers Centre, they beat another NFL team (the Buffalo Bills haven't been banished yet, have they?) by a bajillion points and left everyone to make sense of their dominance. Again.
The Seahawks couldn't explain it adequately because that would require extreme arrogance.
Seriously, think about it: How can a team sum up a 50-17 thrashing one week after a 58-0 demolition?
It's so unfathomable and so outlandish that you'd need Kanye West, a young Muhammad Ali and about 12 Richard Shermans to narrate this story. The NFL lives off competitive balance. The system shuns dominance. It's hard enough to beat a team by double digits, let alone drop 50 points in back-to-back weeks. The Seahawks are only the third team in league history to reach five-oh in consecutive games, and they're the first to do so since 1950.
This is nearly a once-in-a-lifetime display. This is not the feat of a team destined to sneak into the playoffs and then stumble. There is something about the Seahawks — something incredible, something wondrous — that 108 points in two games is magnifying.
A reporter asked defensive end Chris Clemons, who had 2 ½ sacks Sunday, if the Seahawks are peaking.
"When you say peaking, where is the peak?" Clemons replied.
I look up and can't see it. Maybe I need new glasses.
Or maybe we all should visit an observatory and look through a telescope.
Where is the peak? It feels like the peak is wherever the Seahawks want it to be.
No, victories over Arizona and Buffalo (combined record of 10-18) won't transform a team into a contender. But the Seahawks (9-5) haven't had trouble with the contenders this season. They've struggled to find the balance, the consistency and the focus to win the games they're supposed to win.
At times, the Seahawks have been their own most formidable foe. Their toughest competition has come from within this season, and they seem to be overcoming the flaws of youth and inexperience.
Are they as good as these two blowouts? No. But they're surging. They're fun to watch, and they're unrelenting.
Said wide receiver Sidney Rice: "The defense is ballin'. The special teams is ballin'. Our offense is scoring points. What more can you ask for?"
Quarterback Russell Wilson is making a legitimate push for offensive rookie of the year. He looks a play ahead of opposing defenses right now, and the Seahawks are tailoring the offense to his skill set.
He rushed for three touchdowns and threw for another in the first half Sunday. He finished the game with 205 passing yards and 92 rushing yards. Marshawn Lynch ran for 113 yards on just 10 carries, and the Seahawks gained 270 of their 466 yards on the ground. And after some early struggles, the defense shut the door by forcing three consecutive turnovers to start the second half, including Earl Thomas' mesmerizing 57-yard touchdown off an interception return.
The Seahawks have won three straight games for the first time this season and only the second time in Pete Carroll's three years as coach. Wilson is leading an offense that has averaged 43.7 points and 472.7 yards per game during this winning streak.
Too small of a sample size? Double it. In the past six games, the Seahawks are averaging 35 points and 413 yards per game. They're also allowing just 14.2 points per game, and they have a 5-1 record during that span.
Remember when we mocked them because they reached 20 points just once in their first five games? They have scored at least 20 points in eight of their last nine, including seven in a row.
"We're definitely clicking well," Wilson said.
The Seahawks were full of such understatements Sunday afternoon. It would be ill-received if they said, for instance, that the rest of the league is their drum, and they're swinging the largest drum sticks in the history of music right now. That would go over about as well as Carroll's absent-minded allowance of a fake punt with the Seahawks ahead 47-17.
Afterward, Carroll took the blame for the fake punt, saying he should've called it off and explaining it was an automatic fake designed for a specific formation. He said his goal wasn't to run up the score. It was a silly mistake, and Carroll should receive criticism for violating a sportsmanship tenet, even if it was accidental. But consider it a misdemeanor on the scale of egregiousness.
Pardon me as I suspend debate over that decision to reiterate an astounding notion: The Seahawks, who have played nine down-to-the-wire games, are now being accused of showing no mercy. Wild. Weird. Wonderful.
"That's tough to do," Wilson said of the consecutive blowouts.
"That's crazy," defensive end Bruce Irvin said.
That's Seahawks football, for now. And that's the most random yet revealing occurrence in a season morphing into something special.
Jerry Brewer: 206-464-2277 or email@example.com.
On Twitter @JerryBrewer.
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