Yes, it was the first game of the season and no matter the level, high school, college or professional the first game of the season is always full of unexpected surprises. The hope is that you have more pleasant than unpleasant surprises.
During Sundays, 24 to 27 loss to the Denver Broncos the Seahawks had more of the former than the latter. The Seahawks rookie Tight End Will Dissly led all receivers with 105 receiving yards on five catches and one touchdown. Drafted primarily as a blocking tight end, Dissly was no doubt a pleasant surprise for Pete Carroll and company.
“He was on fire. He was Ditka, he was like [Pro Football Hall of Famer] Mike Ditka out there. He just missed a couple other ones too, we just overthrew him a bit, ” Said Carroll of Dissly’s break out performance. ” He might have had two or three more catches. He was really in the right spot and he deployed well for the game plan and all that. And again, we have been talking about this, he is doing great for us and I am really happy to see him contribute like that.”
In reality, the Seahawks passing game was a pleasant surprise Wideouts Brandon Marshall (3-46 yards) and Tyler Lockett (3-59) caught a touchdown each to contribute to a passing game that totaled 298 yards. Russell Wilson was 19 of 33 for 298 with three touchdowns and two interceptions. That performance would fall in neither the pleasant or unpleasant surprise category. For Wilson the numbers were irrelevant, all that mattered was that the Seahawks had a chance to win the game
“I thought we had a lot of really good plays and I thought we made some crucial plays when we needed to. We didn’t give up or anything like that. We kept fighting in a tough environment. I think that in the first half, we didn’t really give ourselves a chance.” Said Wilson.” We had some big penalties and different stuff that wasn’t us. We hadn’t shown that all preseason. There was some really good stuff in there despite that. We played a really tough defense. This is one of the best defenses we will face all year.
They have, obviously, [OLB] Von [Miller], who is a great player and made some key plays. I thought guys like [WR] Tyler Lockett fought his tail off. I thought [Seahawks WR] Brandon Marshall was exciting tonight. We almost had him for a touchdown with him on the end line. That would have been really cool.
I thought as well that the [offensive] line kept fighting. They kept battling. Any time we have a chance at the end of the game, we think that we can win. It’s not going to happen every time, but we always believe it’s going to. We gave ourselves a chance. I thought the defense battled their way through and continued to try to make some plays. I thought it was a complete team effort in the sense of giving ourselves a chance to win against a really good football team.”
The other pleasant surprise was the play of the defensive. Despite being on pitch count Safety Earl Thomas had a dramatic impact on the game with an interception.
“It was great having him back. He is a terrific football player. He handled the return and the players handled the return perfectly. He worked really hard and they have embraced him coming back in.” Said Carroll of Thoma’s return. ” We knew we could not play him the whole game, but we wanted to give him a great chance to contribute and he did, immediately. He really just handled it as well as you could possibly handle it and so did our players. So, we are off and running and I look forward to next week.”
Bradley McDougald was another pleasant surprise finishing the game with two interceptions despite suffering a leg injury.
Unfortunately for Seahawks the unpleasant surprise of a knee injury to Doug Baldwin, a lackluster running attack that totaled just 64 net yards and the inability to stop the Broncos when needed lead to a frustrating weekend one loss head coach Peter Carroll
“It’s unfortunate today that we didn’t find a way to get this win. It’s been really hard for people to beat these guys here over the years and I knew that going in. I saw us with a chance, way late in the game; we were in it with a chance to win it. Even despite the things that had occurred early, that kept us from being in better command of it. It’s frustrating to not get that from them and they did a good job to finish out the game, ” Carroll said after the game.
“They finished the game moving the ball and running the clock and all of that and they did a nice job. For us, some similar things occurred in this game that you heard the themes before, third downs, we were lousy and it was because we were third-and-nine, six times or whatever it was, actually it was seven times plus and we didn’t run the ball as well as we wanted to and we wound up getting sacked a bunch of times, those are just similar issues and disappointing on the offensive side.
Defensively, we played in spurts really well and we gave some easy plays to them. They threw a flat route for a 30-yard touchdown pass and they threw a crossing route for 40-yard touchdown pass. Those are really easy plays to not let happen and those were big plays in this game. There was a lot of really good stuff played at the line of scrimmage at times and then we gave up some running plays late. It’s not a very clean game for us, but after all of that, we felt like we could’ve won that game and we really had a great chance to do that. It’s really frustrating, I can see the newness of us and then we got in trouble on some stuff on defense, some easy mistakes and things that are really easily cleaned up, but they happened and they were problems for us.
We’ve got a lot work to do, but we’ve got a lot of fight and we competed like crazy and we ended up making plays, got the turnovers that we wanted to see, and had a chance to tilt that thing in the other direction if we could’ve taken advantage of all of that. We scored pretty good in the turnover situations, did a nice job there, but it just wasn’t enough and they ended up getting a nice win to start this thing off.”.