The Seattle Seahawks. Impact defensive line play. Need. It. After one look at a hobbled Ziggy Ansah and the pancaked remains of Rasheem Green, the team has realized its hopes for success rest on the back of the one man capable of saving Seattle’s defense: Poona Ford. The second-year hypebeast out of Texas refuses to disappoint; based on his performance in Minnesota on Sunday, Ford is countering the Seahawks’ hunger for defensive linemen by devouring every ball carrier courageous enough to near the line of scrimmage.
While much of the game consisted of Poona fordklifting whiny offensive linemen to their inevitable demise, his signature meld of power and craftiness was on display throughout Minnesota’s second drive and is deserving of a closer look. Let’s break down each play individually as Poona systematically devastates 80 percent of Minnesota’s starting offensive line.
6:18 1st | MIN 1st and 10, at MIN 10
Before Sunday evening, I had never seen an adoption occur live. I can no longer claim this to be true, as left guard Pat Eiflein must henceforth legally refer to Poona as his father. It’s what happens when you’re this thoroughly sonned:
As the Vikings’ offensive line down blocks, left guard Pat Eiflein engages Ford before terror takes over and he flees toward the second level. Poona diagnoses the cowardice and barrels into tailback Alexander Mattison. He suplexes the poor sap, forcing a fumble and nearly ripping his leg to shreds in the process. The referees rule the play dead due to forward progression, a completely understandable decision; the league cannot afford this magnitude of dominance to go unchecked.
5:34 1st | MIN 2nd and 11, at MIN 9
The following snap is less impactful but arguably more impressive:
Ford fires off the ball and knocks Garrett Bradbury — Minnesota’s first round pick — two yards backward as he works to his right and towards Mattison’s intended path. He narrowly misses out on bringing the back down but I would argue this was intentional. While he exhibits complete control of his blocker, Poona, the perfect teammate, is kind enough to understand that he is a lock to make the 53-man roster while linebacker Austin Calitro is not. Surely Ford won’t feel the need to be so selfless with Bobby Wagner stationed to his posterior, a nightmarish proposition for opposing offenses.
4:59 1st | MIN 3rd and 5, at MIN 15
On 3rd down, Kirk Cousins finds Adam Thielen on an incredible conversion deep down the right sideline. Ford was not on the field for this play. Coincidence? I think not.
4:32 1st | MIN 1st and 10, at MIN 49
Cousins goes right back to Thielen, and Tre Flowers responds by giving up a 45-yard pass interference penalty. Minnesota knows they must take advantage of Poona’s continued absence from the field. The correlation between chunk yardage and Ford’s residence on the sideline has reached an adequate sample size to declare it a definitive trend.
4:25 1st | MIN 1st and goal, at SEA 6
Ford follows up the thumping bestowed upon Bradbury three snaps prior with a baptism of sorts:
Poona decides that dropping opponents via the universally accepted method (tackles) is too simple, and deems picking his opponent up by the pads before violently flinging them into the ballcarrier satisfactory. The play is rendered null and void by penalty, but Poona’s brute strength and affinity for bowling are apparent.
4:09 1st | MIN 1st and goal, at SEA 21
You’d think that one man can only take so much punishment.
Bradbury again tests the waters against our favorite thiccboi and never sniffs a hint of leverage. Poona engages, dips underneath, and manhandles his blocker, all the while moving effortlessly to his left. Cody Barton receives credit for the tackle, but Ford ensures the rush is limited to a gain of only three yards.
3:27 1st | MIN 2nd and goal, at SEA 18
While Ford doesn’t produce pressure on this rep — Cousins gets the ball out quickly and Eiflein gladly allows an outside rush path — even then it’s nice to see Ford knife into the backfield as quickly as he does. It remains to be seen whether he can provide a spark from the 1-technique in passing situations; Sunday didn’t tell us much in this regard. If nothing else, witnessing a colossal human create such sudden inertia is a wonder.
2:44 1st | MIN 3rd and goal, at SEA 12
We touched on his generous spirit earlier on, but Poona’s absence on this snap proves his heart to be as sizable as his calves. After repeated attempts to slow the indelible monolith, the confidence of Bradbury was clearly at an all-time low. Ford recognizes the youthful center’s need for an ego boost, allowing a breather of a matchup against Quinton Jefferson in his stead.
Bradbury has a much easier time on this rep. This isn’t to deem Jefferson’s play as inadequate; no, this just speaks to the authority of Ford.
Preseason is very much bullshit and takeaways must be paired with wariness. With that said, Poona, our king, first of his name, has shown that his dominance as a run defender appears to have been no fluke. Long may he reign, the successor to ‘Bane.