First off, taking a quick glance at the statistics, Seattle had no business winning this game.
San Diego almost doubled Seattle in total yardage, 518 to 271. The dominated the time of possession, 36:04 to 23:56.
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Yet Seattle made all of the opportunistic plays defensively, forcing five turnovers, including the two picks by Earl Thomas.
And they won the third, and oftentimes most important phase of the game in special teams. Leon Washington became just the 10th player in league history to return two kicks for touchdowns in a game.
Washington's 101 and 99-yard touchdowns are now the two longest kick returns in team history, surpassing Maurice Morris and James Jefferson, who both yad 97-yard kickoff returns for a score.
“When you have a returner that has faith in the guys in front of him, he can hit it hard and fast and like I did in New York, I’m just coming here bringing the same type of attitude,” Washington said. “Knowing that in the return game you get a chance to instantly change momentum because of the first play of the game, right after halftime and right after the opposing team scores, so I always take heed of that and I always try to relish the opportunity to change the momentum.”
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was understandably pleased with the win, but also understand the circumstances his team won under are rare.
“I love this today,” he said. “It’s not the way you draw it up, but it is what it was. It was that game today.”
Seattle gave up a franchise-record 455 yards through the air, surpassing the previous record of 440 yards set by another San Diego Charger, Dan Fouts in 1985.
But Seattle’s defense held tough when they needed to. San Diego was inside of Seattle’s 20-yard line on six different occasions, but only had 20 points to show for it at the end of the game, including two red zone stops in the final quarter.
“To say we’re going to shut them out or whatever, shut down the receiving core, (shut) Gates out, you know is really silly,” Seahawks safety Lawyer Milloy said. “If they make their plays we got to hang in there and that’s what we did.
“We had no turnovers. We hit them. I don’t think they’ve been hit like that. So you can focus on the 500 yards, I’m focusing on the win, and that’s what we’re all about.”
Some injury notes: Linebacker Aaron Curry had a hamstring issue but should be OK. Marcus Trufant suffered an injured ankle, and receiver Mike Williams had a shoulder injury in the first half that he initially tried to play with, but sat out most of the second half. Running back Justin Forsett suffered a leg injury in the first half but continued to play.