Andy Dalton sparked the Bengals early, and the Cincinnati defense and special teams finished the game strong to bury the Seattle Seahawks 34-12. The Bengals held a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter thanks to a Mike Nugent field goal and a 14-yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton to Jerome Simpson. The Seahawks looked to be out of the game until the middle of the fourth quarter when Marshawn Lynch plunged into the endzone to close the score to 17-12. The Bengals responded with a field goal, a 56-yard punt return, and a 75-yard interception return for a touchdown to win the game 34-12.
The result is another disappointing loss for the Seahawks, and was a rather weird game for Seattle. Tarvaris Jackson did not start the game for the Seahawks (and didn’t even expect to play) but came into the game about half way through the second quarter to replace the ineffective Charlie Whitehurst. Jackson threw for 323 yards in two and a half quarters, and receivers Sidney Rice and Ben Obamanu finished the game with more than 100 yards receiving. The Seahawks outgained the Bengals 411 to 252 in yardage, but simply did not get the big plays needed to get many points on the board.
Neither team could get anything going on the ground, as the Bengals averaged just 3.4 yards per carry and the Seahawks could only muster 3.1 yards per carry (the NFL average is 4.3). Marshawn Lynch, who has been plagued by injuries this season, had 16 carries for just 24 yards. I had been hoping that new Seahawk offensive line coach Tom Cable would help the Seahawks turn into a decent running team. This has yet to occur, and Seattle is terribly one-dimensional on offense.
The passing game thus far has shown some signs of life with Tarvaris Jackson at the helm, and the Seahawks appear to have nice depth at receiver with Sidney Rice, Doug Baldwin, and Ben Obamanu playing significant roles in the offense. The one thing Seattle lacks is an electric, open-field player. Jackson has had some good games this year, but doesn’t have the efficiency to lead the Seahawks to touchdown after touchdown on long drives. There are very few quarterbacks that do, and most of those guys end up in the hall of fame. This said, Jackson can’t be the ONLY Seahawk to make the plays if the team wants to be successful. The Seahawks have very few players who make players miss in the open field, and it seems Seattle could use a little more explosiveness to their offense to make up for their lack of balance.
With their record sitting at two wins and five losses and games against Dallas and Baltimore coming up next, things don’t look great for Seattle right now. I hope we’ll see some improvements, but that might be wishful thinking considering the high quality of the upcoming opposition.
About the Author
Written by Erik Olsoy
Erik was born in Columbus, Ohio during the only Ohio State football victory over Michigan in the 1980s, but moved to Washington state and grew up there. His loyalty to Ohio State remains strong, but his strongest allegiances developed toward Seattle sports. Though he recently graduated from Boston College, he has not yet been converted to the ways of New England Sportsdom, and only roots for the Red Sox against the Yankees because the Yankees are the root of all evil.