Dwight Freeney is speeding off the right edge like he’s 21.
He’s 37. But you wouldn’t know it by the first two games he’s played for the Seahawks since they signed him off his couch after waiting the first seven weeks of this NFL regular season.
The likely future Hall-of-Fame defensive end sacked Washington’s Kirk Cousins twice on Sunday in Seattle’s 17-14 home loss. That gives him three in two games for the Seahawks. That’s as many as he had in 15 games last season for the Falcons.
“With sacks, they come in bunches,” Freeney said. “That is just how the game is.”
He would know as well as any pass rusher of his time. Freeney has 125 sacks in his 16-year career for Indianapolis, San Diego, Arizona and Seattle. That’s second to Julius Peppers’ 151 among active players.
Freeney is 17th in sacks in league history. He’s 1½ behind Derrick Thomas for 16th. He’s 7½ sacks behind Lawrence Taylor and Leslie O’Neal for 13th.
Sunday’s was his first multiple-sack game since December of 2015 when he sacked Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers three times for Arizona.
Going against a Washington line that was missing three starters to injuries, Freeney got his first sack Sunday late in the first half. He dropped Cousins for a 12-yard loss to ruin a drive.
The second, near the Washington goal line with 10:22 remaining and Seattle trailing 10-8, was initially was ruled a fumble by Cousins. It was recovered by the Seahawks’ Branden Jackson in the end zone for a Seattle touchdown. A replay review reversed that call to a sack because Cousins’ knee hit the turf before Freeney ripped the ball free from the quarterback’s arm
“They’ve done a great job around here finding moments and times to put me into the game,” Freeney said. “My role here is just to lead however I can, and help however I can, to making plays ... on the field.”
FLAG DAY “REALLY BUGS” CARROLL
The Seahawks’ 16 accepted penalties Sunday were one short of the team record set in 1984 against Green Bay.
Six were on the offensive line: three for holding (on right guard Oday Aboushi twice and right tackle Germain Ifedi once); two false starts; and an unnecessary-roughness foul on center Justin Britt for hitting after a play.
Seattle turned a first and 10 at the Redskins 14 into a third and 30. Blair Walsh then sent one of his three missed field goals way wide left.
“We hurt ourselves,” All-Pro middle linebacker Bobby Wagner said. “I don’t even know how many penalties we had.”
It wasn’t an anomaly. Seattle has 41 penalties in its past three games.
“They’ve been kind of across the board,” coach Pete Carroll said. “We’ve fought really hard at the line of scrimmage, the ones when the ball is not even snapped yet. To get rid of those, because we’ve been a victim of that, some. And we’ve had the holds in protections, and it has to do in scramble situations, some, that’s somewhat consistent. That’s a very difficult thing.
“Our guys have to be really good at that, at sensing when Russell’s out and the guys pulls away from them, and they have to release. There’s a number of them.
“I’m just really disappointed…because we’ve been addressing it and we haven’t cleaned it up. And that really bugs me.”
COUSINS GETS LAST LAUGH
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said the Redskins had been setting up to throw deep a lot Sunday, but Seattle’s pass rush negated it with six sacks.
Until the end.
Cousins made the game’s biggest play with 62 seconds left. He saw man coverage and Seahawks rookie cornerback Shaquill Griffin pressed up on wide receiver Josh Doctson at the line of scrimmage. Cousins threw a high-arcing pass 38 yards that Doctson caught in a full dive to set up Washington’s winning touchdown, a 1-yard run by Rob Kelley.
“He got us on that one,” Sherman said. “He got it off. He threw a good ball.”
Seahawks safety Bradley McDougald said: “It is not really that hard to admit — it was a great play. Those guys get paid, too.”
McDougald played for Earl Thomas. The three-time All-Pro was out with a pulled hamstring, and the Seahawks don’t know if Thomas will be able to play Thursday at Arizona.
SAME STADIUM, NEW TEAM
Physically, 32-year-old Duane Brown said he felt great in his Seahawks debut.
Emotionally, the Seahawks’ new starting left tackle’s gut took a hit with this loss to the Redskins.
“We should have won this one,” Brown said.
A week ago, Brown was in CenturyLink Field playing for the Houston Texans who lost to the Seahawks, 41-38.
The next day, the Texans traded Brown to Seattle for cornerback Jeremy Lane and two draft picks — which was later amended to just draft picks after Lane failed his physical.
Lane was inactive Sunday with a thigh injury. Griffin started for him, and Justin Coleman again played nickel back.
Brown played all 73 offensive snaps for the Seahawks on Sunday. He was called for one false-start penalty, but did not allow a sack of Russell Wilson.
“I thought it was OK,” Brown said of his first Seahawks game. “I have some stuff to clean up, but I thought I played pretty good there, especially down the stretch. You have a lot of passing attempt trying to get back in the game, and I thought I did a good job keeping Russell clean.”