Against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, Russell Wilson’s deep touchdown to Tyler Lockett was the play of the game; the kickstart both booing fans and team morale needed to get back in touch with their evergreen 1-0 spirit.
It needs to be noted that this was the very first play of the fourth quarter, which we all know is the only quarter in which football contests can be won. The other three quarters are shockingly frivolous and futile.
Luckily for us and the Seahawks, Lockett became the WR1 intravenous injection we all needed following a dehydrating first half. By my eye, there were two major key components that set him up to channel his inner Doug Baldwin (please bow your head in silent honor and remembrance of our sweet pedestrian prince).
1. Play action: A sly fake handoff to Rashaad Penny forces Bengals defenders to the opposite side of the field while Wilson rolls right from the pocket on a naked bootleg. Moving out in empty space allows time for Russell to convincingly look toward Malik Turner when he truly only has had eyes for Tyler, since Jump Street.
2. Crafty route-running: Lockett runs a corner post route; about 15 yards in, he makes a subtle lean toward Bengals cornerback William Jackson III, who buys what Tyler is selling and pays with six
credits points. A clever route-runner with quick feet, Lockett has big shoes to fill this season as Baldwin’s elite play becomes a thing of memory. He’s already showing he’s the right receiver for the challenge.
As vanilla and frustrating as protection and play-calling were in the first half, Brian Schottenheimer showed his ability to create life in the dark offensive abyss while under a unique coverage design by the Bengals. I would love to see more of this from Schotty, bamboozling defenses with seemingly familiar plays on tape, only to drop Mentos in their soda and shake that shit up with subtle shifts in route combinations and specially-designed plays giving Wilson the opportunity to roll out of his ever-collapsing pocket.