Quick Hits: Seahawks 24, Bengals 21

Quick Hits: Seahawks 24, Bengals 21

After last week's heartbreaking loss to the Cardinals, there was no way that the Seahawks wanted to head down to San Francisco with a 1-2 record next week after being defeated by a Bengals team that put up 45 points on the Browns…and lost.

Fortunately, thanks to some very timely defensive play and a few key offensive plays, Seattle was able to come back on the Bengals and extract a 24-21 victory.

Just as much as last week's loss could have been a harbinger if the season went sour, today's win might be the kind of thing that the Seahawks can build on for the future, especially in a secondary that has been the cause of not a little anxiety among Seahawks observers.

Without further ado, here are the Quick Hits:

  1. Secondary? Try Primary. Through the first two games, it was difficult to know what to make of the Seattle secondary. After being burned by Tampa Bay's Joey Galloway and Arizona's terrible trio of Fitzgerald, Boldin and Johnson, pundits wondered if Seattle's defense could keep it in the park against Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

Due to an increased commitment to zone coverage and safety help, Seattle's defense did just that. Whole Ocho Cinco and Mr. Whosyourmama weren't shut down - Caron Palmer passed for 342 yards and each of his primary receivers had over 130 receiving yards - several long plays were prevented by intelligent coverage schemes. Against an offense this explosive, that's good enough. New safeties Deon Grant and Brian Russell both had interceptions, and Russell's over-the-shoulder play was especially spectacular.

  1. The Front Seven Comes Through. One reason that Deon Grant and Brian Russell were able to help with zone handoffs was that the Seattle front seven was so solid. Bengals running back Rudi Johnson went nowhere with only nine yards in 17 carries, though his replacement Kenny Watson did gash the defense late for a touchdown. Still, the line and linebackers kept their assignments in line and made the plays they needed to make.

Leroy Hill, who missed the Cardinals game due to a foot injury, was all over the place. Hill made play after play and tied Grant and Marcus Trufant with nine total tackles.  The Seahawks will miss Marcus Tubbs all season, but it sure seems that the run defense is far more solid when Hill is in the game.

  1. Special Teams Were … Special! From Josh Wilson's opening 72-yard kickoff return, which allowed Seattle to score the game's first touchdown in just three plays, to Ryan Plackemeier's three punts in the 20, all the way to the kickoff return fumble recovery that put the game away, Seattle's special teams was again an asset and not a liability. Conversely, when Cincinnati's Shayne Graham kicked the ball out of bounds with 2:42 left in the game, that bought the ball out to the Seattle 40-yard line, giving the Seahawks great field position for the final scoring drive that won the game.

  2. Seattle's Numero Ocho is No Slouch. He hit 9 of his first 10 targets, and the first of two picks he threw was not his fault, coming as it did on a throw to Marcus Pollard that was deflected. It was as if Matt Hasselbeck was fed up with hearing what a pretty set of throws Carson Palmer brought to the table, and he wanted to prove a point of his own.

Point taken.

While Palmer had several overthrows, Hasselbeck was on point for most of the day, finishing 24 of 37 for 248 yards and 3 touchdowns. With virtually no running game in the first half, Hasselbeck still picked a relatively ineffective Cincinnati defense apart when he had to.

  1. Still in the Deep End of the Survivor Pool! Tied with the 49ers they'll face next week at 2-1 in the NFC West, the Seahawks can make a definitive statement about their season prospects in the Bay Area. They have made an important statement here - this is a team that can use coaching adjustments and key plays to rebound to victory, while more talented but less disciplined teams like the Bengals throw themselves out of contention.

That's one to grow on.

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