Commentary: The Seahawks finally practiced what they’ve been preaching – and won

All season long, we heard about Pete Carroll’s winning formula, highlighted by an effective running game and controlling the clock.

Today – finally – was the first time we saw that this season. And I couldn’t be more relieved.

Frankly, a lot of people were upset about the Seahawks 0-2 start, but I was more upset that the team had gotten there by abandoning the very formula that they had preached all offseason long. The Bears game on Monday Night Football was the perfect example, demonstrated by 14 straight pass plays in the 2nd and 3rd quarter when the Hawks were never down by more than 10 points.

It made no sense. Every personnel move, every coaching change, every talking point we heard and saw this team make for eight months was about improving the running game, and they abandoned it faster than Pete Carroll chews his gum!

That’s why today’s win – and especially the WAY they won – was so important.

Despite a maddeningly slow start on offense, they stayed committed to the run. They stayed true to their plan. 39 carries – and more than 30 carries for a single back for the first time in seven years...and, Voila! They were no longer one dimensional and they reaped the rewards. They won time of possession by 5 1/2 minutes, finally controlling the clock.

Plus, for as many stars as the Seahawks lost on defense, it’s done more than enough on a weekly basis to give this team a chance to win.

I’d feel better seeing the Hawks sticking to their intended formula rather than going rogue or off-script.

Let me make this comparison to prove my point: Many people say they could’ve lived with a loss in Super Bowl 49 if the Hawks had just run the ball from the one-yard-line – that the loss hurt more because they had abandoned their hard-nosed, run-it-down-your-throat mentality, symbolized by Marshawn Lynch.

In a similar way, I could have coped better with the Monday Night loss in Chicago if the Hawks hadn’t disregarded everything they had preached during the offseason.

In the end, there’s a bit of irony: Pete Carroll’s winning formula works when they actually implement and execute that plan. But that kind of formula necessitates a whole lot of patience, and Carroll is admittedly impatient at times. That might be his biggest Achilles' heel.

But in a season where the margin for error is so slim, patience and persistence are even more important. Stick to the plan, Seahawks. You saw the fruit of those very labors earlier today.