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RECAP: Seahawks win second straight, Kraken goaltending struggles

by IAN BIVONA
Sports Reporter | October 25, 2022 2:03 PM

SEATTLE – Geno Smith and the Seattle Seahawks continued to prove doubters wrong on Sunday, and the Seattle Kraken continue on in their early season. Read along for recaps of both the Seahawks and Kraken from the past week.

Seahawks

As wild as it is, the Seattle Seahawks – who traded away their franchise quarterback in the offseason and were expected to be among the lower-tier teams in the league – are 4-3 and atop the NFC West through the first seven weeks of the season.

Week 7 began with Smith bouncing back after a tipped pass went for an interception, finding receiver Marquise Goodwin for a 20-yard touchdown on the next drive to give Seattle a 7-0 lead over the Los Angeles Chargers. Seattle never trailed again, and 30 points later the Seahawks left SoFi Stadium with a 37-23 win over the Chargers.

Rookie Kenneth Walker III continued to impress in his new-found starting role, filling in for the injured Rashaad Penny. Walker III, a second-round pick out of Michigan State rushed for 168 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries, making it now three-straight games with a rushing touchdown this season.

Smith threw for 210 yards, two touchdowns and an interception while completing 20 of 27 passes in the win. The 10-year veteran is the ninth-most blitzed and sacked quarterback this season according to Pro Football Reference, though he’s No. 16 in terms of pressure percentage on dropbacks at 22.1 percent. Under Smith, the Seahawk offense has scored the second-most points in the NFL this season at 183.

The defense, which had struggled against the run through the first six weeks of the season, shut down the Los Angeles rushing attack on Sunday. The Chargers netted 53 ground yards against the Seahawks, shifting to a pass-heavy attack after Seattle’s second touchdown of the afternoon and a Jason Meyers field goal put them up 17-0 in the first quarter. LA quarterback Justin Herbert passed the ball 51 times, completing 33 passes for 293 yards, two touchdowns and throwing one interception.

Wide receiver DK Metcalf was carted off of the field on Sunday, though head coach Pete Carroll said on his weekly radio show Monday that the fourth-year pro won’t need surgery on his left knee. Metcalf has 31 receptions for 418 yards and two scores this season.

Goodwin filled in for Metcalf, catching four passes for 67 yards and two touchdowns in the win.

Sunday’s win marks back-to-back wins of at least 10 points for Seattle for the first time since the 2018 season where they defeated the Raiders 27-3 and the Lions 28-14 in Weeks 6 and 8.

The Seahawks face off against another surprise team next week, hosting the 6-1 New York Giants at 1:25 p.m. in Seattle.

Kraken

After a record-evening 3-2 win over the defending champion Colorado Avalanche, the Seattle Kraken dropped to 2-3-2 ahead of Tuesday night’s game against the Buffalo Sabres in a 5-4 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Seattle lost earlier last week to the St. Louis Blues, a 4-3 loss in overtime, and their second overtime loss of the season. The Blues were up 3-1 over the Kraken, with Seattle managing to tie the game at three with goals by center Ryan Donato and defenseman Adam Larsson in the second period, but an overtime goal by St. Louis’ Justin Faulk gave the Blues the win.

The Kraken flipped the script in Friday’s 3-2 win over the Avalanche, with right wing Karson Kuhlman scoring his first goal of the season after Colorado managed to tie the game at two.

The win pushed Seattle to 2-2-2 on the year before their loss to the Blackhawks. Against Chicago, center Jared McCann and left wing Andre Burakovsky quickly put the Kraken up 2-0 in the first period before the Blackhawks tied the game at two before the end of the first. Center Matty Beniers and defenseman Vince Dunn each scored in the second period, but the Blackhawks scored three combined goals in the second and third periods to take a 5-4 comeback win.

Through seven games, left wing Jaden Schwartz leads the Kraken in points (6), Burakovsky leads in goals (3) and right wing Jordan Eberle leads in assists (4). Seattle’s 3.86 goals allowed per game is tied with Columbus for the sixth-most and their 86% save percentage is the third-fewest in the NHL this season.

On the schedule this week for the Kraken are back-to-back home games against Vancouver on Thursday and Pittsburgh on Saturday before a road trip to Calgary on Tuesday.

Ian Bivona may be reached at ibivona@columbiabasinherald.com.

photo

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Seattle Kraken center Matty Beniers (10) has scored two goals this season, including one in Seattle’s 5-4 loss to Chicago on Sunday.

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