The Seattle Seahawks can beat good teams playing “old school” football
Much like the San Francisco 49ers last year, the Seattle Seahawks have a chance to overachieve this year if they play like they did against the Cowboys.
They stuck to the fundamentals of sticking to the run, playing physical defense and generally playing all around fundamental football.
Last year, the Seahawks had a underrated defense and quietly assembled one of the best secondaries in the game. However, their offense did not play up to the same level.
This game showed that while Seattle may not put up 30+ points a game, they can run an efficient offense.
They pounded the ball to set up the play action and when he threw the ball Russell Wilson was solid and took advantage of the weaknesses of the Cowboys defense.
The offensive line was simply more physical than the Cowboys defensive line and wore them down as the game went on. Seattle's defense is playoff caliber already, and if their offense can play like this on a constant basis, they could be a dark horse in the NFC.
The are the same old Dallas Cowboys
As good as the Cowboys looked against the Giants, they looked that bad against Seattle, and maybe worse. Since Romo became the starting quarterback, Dallas has constantly showed signs that they have the ability to beat elite teams, but a lack of consistency through games and throughout the season have ruined season after season.
Over the last six seasons, the Cowboys have beaten the team that would go on to win the super bowl three times (2006, 2007 and 2009), and would have done it five times if not for fourth quarter collapses last year against the Giants, and in 2008 against the Steelers.
It's too early to say for sure whether this will be another talented but disappointing team, but so far, the 2012 Dallas Cowboys have the same winning percentage of the 2011 Dallas Cowboys, and the feeling of the season is eerily similar.
Poor communication and drops cripple the Cowboys passing game
Part of the reason for the Cowboy's mediocre passing attack was certainly Seattle's secondary, one of the most talented units in the game. After shredding a below-average Giants secondary, Romo and the Cowboys receivers were decidedly off their game against the Seahawks.
Both Jason Witten and Dez Bryant had some key drops and the star of the Giants game, Kevin Ogletree, was invisible aside from one big catch early on.
Throughout the game, Romo seemed out of sync with his receivers, and though the Seahawks were able to be some pressure, it didn't seem to be the main reason for the lack of success passing the ball. While running the ball better will certainly help, Romo needs to be on the same page with his receivers in future games.
Marshawn Lynch is an elite running back
In his last 12 games, Marshawn Lynch has rushed for 100 yards seven times, and twice against the Cowboys (he ran for 135 against them last year).
Lynch is an extremely physical runner who consistently managed to push forward for extra yardage after he was initially hit. Like all the great runners, he seemed to get stronger as the game went on, picking up most of his rushing yards in the second half.
Even last year with a mediocre passing attack and with teams keying on him, Lynch was successful, and now with an improved passing attack this year, he is primed for a breakout season.
Even with improved cornerbacks, Dallas' defense is flawed
It has been widely expected that first round pick Morris Claiborne would be frequently targeted in his first few NFL starts.
Against the Giants that was the case, but not against the Seahawks. The Cowboys played more zone coverage against Seattle, and the Seattle receivers were able to find the holes in coverage rather than beating Claiborne or Brandon Carr one on one on a consistent basis.
Tight end Anthony Mccoy was a frequent target of Wilson, beating linebacks and zones for five catches for 41 yards and a big touchdown. The biggest problem for the Cowboys' coverage was the lack of pass rush.
Although Anthony Spencer had two sacks, there was not a consistent pressure on Wilson and as a result he had plenty of time to pick apart the Dallas secondary.
Against the run, the Seattle offensive line simply wore down the Dallas defensive line, to the point where Dallas was giving up 4-5 yards on every run in the 4th quarter.
Maybe the defining moment of the game was when star linebacker was blindsided by Seahawk receiver Golden Tate, knocking Lee out of the game, and the defense continued to play at the same lackluster, uninspired level they played throughout the game. If the Cowboys wants to return to the form it showed against the Giants, they need to be more physical in coverage and much tougher mentally and physically.