Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (here with Birds QB Mark Sanchez) let his passing and running do his talking.
By Jack Ryan
It wasn’t enough that the Seahawks pummeled the Eagles 24-14 yesterday at the Linc, deflating an entire region’s psyche and sending the NFC East standings into a knot.
No, the Seahawks dared piss off the Goddess of Gloating, especially as it pertained to Birds’ quarterback Mark Sanchez.
“You need to tell the Philadelphia police that they need to put an ABP out,” Michael Bennett said. “Because [Mark] Sanchez is out there trying to impersonate a good quarterback.”
Bennett could afford to be so jovial after the Seahawks – who were 3-3 in late October — turned in another performance demonstrating that they have morphed back into a championship contender.
And with this, we know, means wearing their swagger on their sleeves.
“We’re a scrappy team,” Richard Sherman, the all-Pro cornerback, said. “We’re champions. They don’t just hand out Super Bowl championships. When you get that, it’s a mentality.”
With their groove back, the Seahawks (9-4) essentially took a hammer to Kelly’s up-tempo offense and provided a fresh example for how a championship-level defense often trumps a great offense.
The Eagles gained all of 139 yards – fewest of the Kelly era.
It was not pretty, unless you are like Bennett & Co., finding beauty in the bruises that a defense can inflict. It was a thorough beatdown, by all measures. Philly managed just nine first downs and was 2-for-11 on third downs. The Eagles averaged 2.6 yards per carry and a season-low 45 plays.
This is the unit created by Chip Kelly, who came from the college level with a wide-open, fast-paced offense that has caused most NFL defenses an assortment of fits.
Some of the Seahawks, though, scoffed at the notion that a unit that entered the game averaging one snap for every 22.8 seconds of possession – the fastest rate in the league – could dictate the flow against a defense that is playing its best football of the season.
“Our coaches hyped it up all week to be real fast-paced,” defensive end Cliff Avril said. “Then we prepared for it. And then it didn’t feel like it was that much of a difference.”
The Seahawks defense, as Sherman maintains, is surely built for such tests. Although that was demonstrated during the last Super Bowl, when the Seahawks squashed Denver’s record-setting offense, for much of the season it has been a time of rediscovery.
“We have not changed for the last few years about how we do it,” said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. “We can play our stuff really well, and that’s one aspect of it. It’s the guys playing it with the intensity and the energy that they’re playing with that makes it work. It’s not just the scheme.
“It’s Kam (Chancellor) and Earl (Thomas) and Michael Bennett and K.J. (Wright) and Bobby (Wagner) and Sherm. They just will not back off this kind of station that we’ve acquired here.”