Having been known for bizarre games over the years, the Seahawks and Washington Football Team participated in one of the stranger halves of football in recent memory, entering the break tied 9-9 on Monday Night Football.
Leading the way for Seattle, Russell Wilson threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Gerald Everett, while defensive end Rasheem Green made a rare play blocking and returning an extra point for a two-point conversion. On the other side, Taylor Heinicke also threw a touchdown to running back JD McKissic.
Here are three quick takeaways from the first half at FedEx Field.
1. After a shaky start, Wilson finally looked like his vintage self with an impressive air show.
Coming out of the gate, Wilson capped off Seattle's opening possession by airmailing a third down throw to Everett, replicating his uncharacteristic accuracy from his first two games back in action. But from that point on, the eight-time Pro Bowler resembled his usual self, lofting a perfectly-thrown 55-yard strike to Tyler Lockett on a 3rd and 1 play action pass to advance his team to the Washington 11-yard line. Three plays later, on 3rd and 5, he threaded the needle to hit Everett in heavy traffic for a six-yard touchdown, giving the Seahawks a 7-3 lead late in the first quarter. Two drives later, he connected with Lockett downfield again, dropping the ball in the bucket to beat tight coverage for a 39-yard gain. With the star quarterback firing on all cylinders, he completed eight out of 11 pass attempts for 145 yards and 13.2 yards per attempt in one of his best halves of football this season.
2. Quandre Diggs continues to state his case for being a rare midseason extension candidate.
While Seattle's decision not to extend veteran tackle Duane Brown before the start of the season appears to have been a solid move, the same can't be said in regard to Diggs, whose price tag keeps escalating by week. With Washington past midfield and threatening to re-take the lead with under five minutes to play in the half, the hard-hitting free safety smacked tight end Logan Thomas as Heinicke tried to squeeze the ball to him down the seam. With linebacker Bobby Wagner getting a piece of the pass while Diggs blasted the receiver, the ball popped up in the air and safety Jamal Adams reeled in his second interception off the deflection for a quick turnover. The play never would've happened without Diggs being an eraser in center field and general manager John Schneider would be wise to fork over the money to keep him now rather than wait until free agency in March, as he's only getting more expensive.
3. Crucial mistakes on both sides of the ball late in the half proved to be momentum killers... until they weren't.
After Adams' interception left Washington empty handed on a promising drive, Seattle had a chance to further distance itself on the scoreboard and looked poised to cash in. Wilson's deep ball to Lockett advanced the Seahawks into enemy territory and on the very next play, he took the check down to running back Alex Collins, who exploded down the sideline to pick up the first down. But he clearly didn't know safety Landon Collins was behind him and the veteran defender punched the ball out of his hands as he tried to pick up additional yardage and Washington recovered the fumble, taking at least three potential points away in the process.
On the ensuing defensive drive, a pair of self-inflicted wounds kept Seattle on the field. First, cornerback Ugo Amadi got busted for defensive pass interference against receiver Adam Humphries, giving Washington an automatic first down. Then, on the very next play, Green was flagged for a questionable roughing the passer penalty, moving the home team into the red zone. Two plays later, running back JD McKissic scored on a six-yard screen, allowing Washington to re-capture the lead... briefly. Hauling tail with his 280-plus pound frame, Green blocked Joey Slye's extra point and returned it 85 yards for a spectacular two-point conversion to tie the game.