After connecting on the longest play in Seattle Seahawks' history, a 90-yard touchdown pass to Koren Robinson, Seneca Wallace came crashing back to Earth. Wallace was 12 of 28 for just 79 yards the rest of the way and while he didn't turn the ball over, he didn't make enough plays to keep the chains moving. Wallace is the most athletic quarterback in the NFL, and while that athleticism likely avoided a few sacks, he still took 4 sacks in the 2nd half and scrambled beyond the line of scrimmage just once for 2 yards. There appeared to be more lanes where he could've taken off, which might've changed the Eagles' defensive approach. Wallace also inexplicably spiked the ball on a 3rd and long during the two-minute offense and carelessly flipped the ball to receivers on several occasions, which is something I'm sure Mike Holmgren will make sure Wallace never does again.
Running backs: B-
Mo Morris and Julius Jones combined for 18 carries and 84 yards, and with T.J. Duckett going 2-for-2 on his short-yardage carries, one might come away with the impression that the Seahawks had a good day. Too many carries went nowhere, though, and both Seahawks running backs struggled to get anything going in the 1st half. With Leonard Weaver active but sidelined with a foot injury, rookie fullback Owen Schmitt saw his most significant playing time of his career.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: C-
Want to hear something really depressing? The 90-yard catch by Koren Robinson was the only pass play to a wide receiver that went for over 10 yards on Sunday. The only other pass play that went for more than 10 yards was the 23-yard quick strike to rookie tight end John Carlson, which as with most big plays the Seahawks have managed to create this season, was followed by three duds, including Wallace's spiked ball on 3rd down. Carlson also committed a huge dropped pass on a 3rd and long that would've gone for 15+ yards and put the Seahawks in position to add to their 7-0 lead. Overall, aside from Robinson catch-and-run, which included a great downfield pick/block by Bobby Engram, none of the Seahawks receivers stepped up to make a play that might've helped Wallace and the offense.
Offensive Line: D
The Eagles are a tough defense, but that's no excuse for the Seahawks running backs having nowhere to go for much of the day. 13 of the Morris and Jones' 18 carries went for three yards or less, with three carries losing yardage. Philly's pass rush was constantly in Wallace's face, never really allowing Wallace the time to let routes develop or throw downfield.
Defensive Line: B-
Seattle played without Patrick Kerney, but for awhile they were able to get pretty good pressure on Donovan McNabb. It didn't last, but the Seahawks defensive line got seven quarterback hits on McNabb. Darryl Tapp got the only official sack, and finished the day with 6 tackles, 2 quarterback hits and a forced fumble. Rocky Bernard, Brandon Mebane and Craig Terrill got decent push in the pass rush and ably supported the run. Second-year defensive Baraka Atkins saw his first action of the season, making three tackles and whiffing on a sack. Rookie Lawrence Jackson started and was held off the stat sheet.
Seattle was without Pro Bowl linebacker Lofa Tatupu. Leroy Hill (10 tackles) and D.D. Lewis (7 tackles) played well in run support, limiting the ever dangerous Brian Westbrook to just 61 yards on 20 carries. Julian Peterson (3 tackles) had a pretty quiet day and won't be looking forward to the film session where he'll see himself biting on a Donovan McNabb pump-fake, which bought McNabb enough time to roll out and hit Kevin Curtis for 14 yards.
In the 1st quarter, the play of the Seahawks secondary led to Donovan McNabb going 3-for-13 for 57 yards and an interception. Their coverage allowed the Seahawks to get some pressure on McNabb and forcing him into some early and errant throws. After that, McNabb was 25-30 for 292 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including one to a wide open offensive linemen. It was yet another week where the Seahawks Secondary Slot machine paid off. This week's winner: Eagles backup tight end Brent Celek, who had a career day with 6 receptions for 131 yards. Celek entered Sunday with just 8 catches for 83 yards on the 2008 season, but joined Antonio Bryant, Sinorice Moss and Domenik Hixon in the group of role players/injury fill-ins who have enjoyed career days against the 2008 Seahawks secondary.
Special Teams: D
With 11 punts, Jon Ryan was a busy guy on Sunday. With a 36.2 yard net average, he wasn't a very effective guy. Three of Ryan's punts sailed into the end zone for touchbacks, and while he did "get hot" in the 4th quarter (punts of 61, 54 and 55 yards), it wasn't enough to wash the stink of the few that would shank off his foot earlier. An Olindo Mare game check is worth roughly $88,000 and on Sunday, his day was all but over after 1 minute and 56 seconds. Mare did need to make a tackle on the opening kick, and the punt coverage unit allowed 50 yards on 5 returnable punts. Josh Wilson and Justin Forsett did a pretty decent job on kick and punt returns. Factor in the punt team's inexcusable delay of game penalty and having to take a timeout to get 11 guys on the field, you can understand why special teams coach Bruce DeHaven had that Southwest Airlines' "Want to get away?" look on his face while being chewed out by Mike Holmgren on the sideline.
Bruce DeHaven contributed mightily to this low grade, but once again John Marshall's predictable blitz schemes and the Seahawks offensive line's inability to consistently create running lanes or pick up the Eagles' blitzes do, as well. The Seahawks punted 11 times, 7 coming after three-and-outs. Mike Holmgren's play-calling left quite a bit to be desired, as not all of the offense's ineffectiveness can be pinned on missed assignments and poor execution.
Brian McIntyre lives in the Boston area. In addition to writing for Seahawks.Net, Brian maintains his own blog (www.macsfootballblog.com) and charts games for Football Outsiders. If you'd like to e-mail Brian, you may do so here.