Stop the run. Turn the ball over. Make a big play on special teams. Run the football with authority. Score touchdowns in the red zone.
That’s basically Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll’s blueprint for winning football games, and the Seahawks followed it precisely in defeating Dallas 27-7 in the team’s home opener.
“In our first chance to handle a loss, we did it really well,” Carroll said. “Those guys had an impressive opening win. They beat the world champs. They had all of their guys playing. So for us to put together that kind of game and finish in the second half so aggressively and so tough, I’m really proud of it.
“That is the way we’d like to do it. We took care of the football all day. Special teams jumped on it and got something started in beautiful fashion for us, and then we started pounding away.”
The Seahawks finished with 182 yards on the ground, and defensively held DeMarco Murray to just 44 yards on 12 carries. Murray rushed for 139 yards against Seattle last year.
“Every time he touches the ball, you have to make him feel you,” said Seattle safety Kam Chancellor, who finished with a team-high nine combined tackles. “If you do that a lot it’s going to be in his head that these boys came to play today. That’s how I think he felt. I think we wore him out.”
Seattle players said after the loss to Arizona, a game they thought they should have got, that the Seahawks put added pressure on themselves to beat Dallas today so they didn’t fall to 0-2 to start the season.
“It’s huge for us,” Seattle tight end Zach Miller said. “Before the game, I think everyone’s focus was just to be mad about last week, because you can’t go down 0-2. It’s not the way you can start a season if you want to be a playoff team. So I think everyone felt the urgency that we needed it, and I think you saw that on the first play of the game.”
Opposing views on Tate’s hit
There was a lot of talk about Golden Tate’s of decleating Dallas linebacker Sean Lee during a 14-yard scramble by quarterback Russell Wilson in the fourth quarter, which you can check out here.
Adding insult to injury, Dallas linebacker Bruce Carter received a personal foul penalty for hitting Wilson when he was out of bounds.
Seattle eventually scored on the drive on a Marshawn Lynch 3-yard run, putting the game away at 27-7 with just over eight minutes left
Seattle fullback Mike Robinson thought Tate’s block was legal
“I thought it was awesome,” Robinson said. “He did a great job – got his shoulder in there to make sure it was legal. I think Golden kind of put a stamp on the game with that. I think he kind of said, ‘Okay big-time Dallas. Now you’re up here with Seattle, and we got some muscle to us.’”
Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett believes Tate’s hit on Lee was illegal under the new defenseless player rule.
“I think that everybody thought that initially, but then they called it on us on their sideline,” Garrett said. “I was looking for an explanation on why that wasn’t called as a defenseless player as that is something the league is trying to guard against, and is a pretty good example of what that was.”
Said Lee: “I was looking at the quarterback. He was flushed out the pocket, and I was going to get him.”
Tate said he was just trying to get Lee on the ground.
“I was just trying to hit him a little bit and get him on the ground, but I didn’t realize how hard I hit him,” Tate said.
So how did it feel?
“No I see why Kam likes defense,” joked Tate. “Man, it felt great. That felt better than a touchdown to me.”
Wilson efficient in first win
Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson got his first win as an NFL quarterback in his first game at CenturyLink Field.
Wilson looked like the adrenaline was going early, as he overthrew Sidney Rice and tight end Evan Moore to start the game. But Wilson eventually settled down and led the Seahawks to scoring drives on four of his nine possessions, including two touchdowns.
“Once he got going, he made some great plays and a couple of great throws, and he used his legs just like we hoped, at opportune times,” Carroll said. “I thought he played a really cool football game for us.”
Wilson said he settled into the game plan after the first quarter.
“We just sustained long drives,” Wilson said. “We made plays. We got first downs. We kept setting up on those blocks, and we finally busted a couple for Marshawn.”
Dallas head coach Jason Garrett was impressed with Wilson’s performance.
“As the game wore on they did a great job moving him around, and he made some real signature plays in this ball game,” Garrett said.
Not much to report. Russell Okung missed the game with a bone bruise on his left knee, but Frank Omiyale played solid at left tackle in his place. Byron Maxwell left the game with a hamstring issue, but did not return. Sidney Rice was helped off the field after taking a hard hit on pass from Wilson over the middle of the field, but came back in.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “I’m kind of mad that I got caught. I felt like I had a shot to go all the way, but I was a little gassed out there.”
— Seattle cornerback Brandon Browner on his first quarter interception. Browner returned the ball 35 yards, but was caught from behind by Dallas running back DeMarco Murray.