With their season on the brink, Washington (4-4) descended into Seattle (5-3) and produced their best defensive outing all year, taking down the 'Hawks in a rugged 17-14 win. Here's what we learned:
- This game doubled as a guilty pleasure for those who adore stifling defense and hard-earned yardage in rough-and-tumble weather. Both teams were completely shut down on offense until the waning moments of the fourth quarter, when Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson authored yet another magical, late-game lead change with a 30-yard touchdown strike to Doug Baldwin to put Seattle up 14-10 with 1:40 left on the clock. The clash felt over, but Washington's Kirk Cousins wasn't finished, piecing together a hurly-burly final march that saw him peg Josh Doctson on a 38-yard strike to the Seattle 1. From there, Rob Kelley blasted in for the final advantage.
- The edgy victory capped an inspired performance by Washington's defense. The final numbers don't show it, but Wilson spent Sunday on the run against a white-knuckle Washington unit led by linebacker Zach Brown. The Seahawks passer was coaxed into a pair of costly picks for an offense that failed to score a point on their first 10 drives. Three missed field goals by Blair Walsh didn't help, but neither did Wilson's costly pick on a fourth-quarter two-point try, leaving Seattle down 10-8. Wilson got the ball back with 59 ticks left on the clock, but this time around there just wasn't enough time, with the quarterback unfurling a last-second bomb into the end zone that fell to the turf.
- Even with Earl Thomas and Sheldon Richardson out of commission, Seattle's defense raised holy hell of its own. Washington's first three drives ended in a punt, a lost fumble and a safety. The offense generated just 17 yards on their first five possessions before Cousins orchestrated a creative 13-play touchdown march late in the half. Washington struggled to produce yardage all day behind an offensive line missing four starters and paving the way for just 51 yards rushing at 2.2 yards per rush. Cousins, meanwhile, was sacked six times and hit all afternoon.
- How concerned should we be about the Seahawks when they drop a game like this at home? With 16 penalties on the day, Seattle now falls a game behind the surging Rams in the NFC West. Pete Carroll's teams always find a way to bounce back -- so no reason to press the panic button just yet -- but this was something of a stunning loss ... and a courageous win by Washington.
- Can new left tackle Duane Brown save Seattle's stuck-in-the-mud run game? Sunday didn't entirely answer that question, but the 'Hawks managed 148 yards after flatlining on the ground one week ago. Still, beyond a few nice moments from Thomas Rawls (9/39), Wilson (10/77) still feels like the only reliable weapon on the ground. This running game remains a major work in progress.