The Seahawks are back from a victorious trip to Philadelphia in which, as head coach Pete Carroll put it, "a lot of really good things happened."
Among those really good things was a great game by Russell Wilson, a record-setting performance by rookie receiver DK Metcalf, and the defense keeping the Eagles out of the end zone in a 17-9 win that has the Seahawks back in the divisional round of the playoffs for the seventh time in 10 seasons under Carroll and general manager John Schneider.
Carroll met with the media to discuss Sunday's win, provide some injury updates, and look ahead to a trip to Green Bay. Here are six takeaways from Carroll's Monday presser:
1. Marshawn Lynch is ready for more playing time.
Marshawn Lynch went 14 months between football games before playing for the Seahawks in their Week 17 loss to the 49ers, so he obviously wasn't ready for a full workload in his first couple of games back. And while the Seahawks will continue to lean on rookie Travis Homer, Lynch is ready to do more when the Seahawks play the Packers on Sunday.
"Marshawn made it through again where he felt fine," Carroll said. "I'm hoping he'll be more involved from this point forward… Marshawn will play more. He's going to play more this week. He's ready to and he's had enough time with us. He feels confident about what he's doing and the plan. We can get him in and out of there and have those two guys really go at it."
Asked about what Lynch has done so far, Carroll said, "It has been nothing but positive. It's been such a positive experience. A great choice by John (Schneider) to get this thing worked out. Give credit to Marshawn for the way he's attacked this thing. He's really going for it. He's doing everything our fans would hope he would do. He's trying to be everything in all aspects of it. He's deserving of seeing some more reps."
2. Jadeveon Clowney was a big factor.
Jadeveon Clowney recorded his only sack of Sunday's win to give the defense a big fourth-down stop late in the game, but while he only had the one sack, he had a big impact throughout the game on a day where the Seahawks recorded a team playoff-record seven sacks.
"Jadeveon Clowney was really a factor," Carroll said when asked about the pass rush. "Everybody worked and everybody contributed. Again, his activity just adds to the factor and we've seen that before. He had a really good football game, run and pass. I think that's clearly what happened. You saw everybody was active. I think if there's one thing though, I think his impact was really noticeable."
3. Bradley McDougald "played a really good game."
While the return of Quandre Diggs from injury helped the Seahawks defense play a really good game, he wasn't the only safety making a difference on Sunday. In his second career playoff appearance, strong safety Bradley McDougald recorded a team-high 11 tackles, including two for a loss, and had one of Seattle's seven sacks. McDougald also was a big part of limiting Pro-Bowl tight end Zach Ertz to two catches.
"He played a really good game," Carroll said. "… He was really active in a number of ways. Off the edge tackling was really good, he made good solid tackles in open field. Everything he did was really on point—couple tackles for loss, sack and all that. Covered Ertz a good part of the game. The one big catch that Zach gets, that was a zone that he wasn't part of covering him up. It was a really good matchup for us, and he came through well."
4. Cody Barton continues to improve.
Rookie linebacker Cody Barton made his third start at strongside linebacker, and as could be expected from a young player, he continues to get better with experience. Barton recorded five tackles, a sack and two passes defensed and as Carroll noted, "he just seemed much more comfortable and more active. It was great to see that. It only makes sense that he's got to get out there and get some reps, get some work and get comfortable. We know he's a really talented kid and he's got a lot to offer us. He played a good football game."
5. Jamarco Jones and George Fant played well in place of injured starters.
The Seahawks were without left tackle Duane Brown and left guard Mike Iupati, but Carroll liked what he saw from George Fant and Jamarco Jones, the two players who replaced them in the lineup.
"I thought Jamarco did a nice job though, particularly in pass protection," Carroll said. "He held up really well and he came through for us. That's a couple times. He had a big game earlier in the year. A couple big games at guard on the other side. He shows really good versatility and really good smarts. He played hard a tough and did a nice job particularly in the throwing game."
Fant was making his second straight start for Brown at left tackle, and Carroll said, "He had a real nice game. He seems to be very comfortable now. There're only a couple times as it happens when he got in bad position. Other than that, he really played a good solid football game again and held up his part of it."
5. "There's no tougher place to play than going to Green Bay."
Lambeau Field isn't just the most historic venue in the NFL, it's also one of the most challenging ones for opponents for reasons ranging from loud, passionate fans to difficult weather conditions late in the season, which is why Carroll said Monday, "There's not tougher place to play than going to Green Bay."
Asked why Green Bay is such a challenge, Carroll said, "I don't think you can connect a fan base with your team any tighter than you can do it there. They do a great job of knowing how to be a factor. Then there's conditions too that go along with it. Early in the year it's not a big deal, but late in the year the conditions can be a factor that you can't copy. You just have to adjust when you're there. Any of those things can become distractions if you let them. The fans can do it, whether it's snowing or whatever it feels like, all of those things are issues that you've got to deal with. I think any issues make it easier for the home team. It's like playing here. We have our problems that we present them with here. I think it's a classic place. It's all closed in too. The crowd noise is special there too."
Game action photos from the Seattle Seahawks' Wild Card matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.