After four weeks, the Seattle Seahawks sit with a 3-1 record, good enough to tie for second place in the NFC West. The team has looked sloppy much of the time, with pass protection harkening back to the dimly lit days of Tom Cable. Fortunately, young talent is stepping up left and right while Russell Wilson is off to the best start of his career.
In review of this quartet of contests, I have pulled two plays from each — one offensive and one defensive — that I believe to be emblematic of games 1-4 or predictive for the rest of 2019. I will curtly justify why each has been selected, for the good and bad reasons alike.
Two important things show up here. One of them, we already knew: Russell Wilson is very good and can successfully operate within an offense even when he must get the ball out quickly. The other, we didn’t, necessarily: DK Metcalf will be a quality contributor from the jump. Seattle will clearly go as Wilson goes, but Metcalf’s progression and consistency — which will be his biggest obstacle — are vital to a team that hopes to contend for January. If Q1 is any indicator, things are looking good.
Jadeveon Clowney is Jadeveon Clowney and for that, we should be thankful. Seattle knew they were receiving a bona fide wrecking ball when they traded for the former first overall pick, but it’s been his play recognition against the quick passing game that has been most impressive thus far in 2019. Clowney has shown an aptitude and quick reactivity to screens (Field Gulls’ Alistair Corp alluded to this on Twitter), which ended up manifesting itself in a pick six against the Cardinals in Week 4. Slap this together with a monster swim move and we’re cookin with grease.
More like Jadeveon Wow-ney, folks.
Even though this snap was called back on a flag, we can glean a couple of things. Again, we knew that Russell Wilson’s scramble drills are a thing to behold. We weren’t, however, aware of the fact that Will Dissly is already the second greatest tight end in Seahawks history. Uncle Thrill, who is back from a torn patellar tendon, is off to an even better start to the season than he posted in 2018. Through four games, Dissly leads Seattle with 4 touchdowns on only 19 receptions (which is still second most to Lockett’s 26). The sure-handed presence and exceptional garbage time touchdown-getter has done wonders for the Seahawks’ offense and must continue to do so.
Seattle’s secondary cannot force turnovers. It’s a concern that could very well turn into a fatal flaw eventually. The DB room’s lone interception came by the gracious hand of Donte Moncreif, who literally shits himself on the field and gift-wraps a pick for Bradley McDougald. Shaquill Griffin (3 INT’s since 2017) looks like a new man, Tre Flowers (zero career INT’s) has settled down after a tough Week 1, and the rest of the secondary has looked pretty decent. Despite this, they’ll need to create takeaways in order to steal possessions and beat top tier teams down the road, aka this Thursday, aka the Rams, aka starting now.
Russell Wilson is dominant through the air — this is known. But his legs add another dimension to Seattle’s offense. Russ has been reluctant to pull the ball on keepers thus far in 2019 and only scrambled when absolutely necessary in Weeks 1 and 2. This run, which came well before the 4th quarter, provides a reminiscent glimpse into what once was and what can be again: When Russ is in his zone, scrambling turns things up to 11 (no, not 12, I have integrity). Wilson has lost a step since his prime scrambling days — this much is clear. But forcing defenses that are already having historic trouble containing Wilson to consistently defend another wrinkle in Seattle’s offense would be, dare I say, good.
This snap is less of an indictment of Shaquill Griffin, who has played phenomenally this season, and more of a reminder that we take Bobby Wagner for granted. Tackling Alvin Kamara in the open field is no easy feat, which Griffin discovers the hard way. Wagner then easily brings him down, preventing a touchdown. While he hasn’t made a significant number of splash plays through four weeks, Wagner is still very much himself and we should not lose sight of that.
Chris Carson is a Sherman Tank and this DB is the hopeless, doomed rubble lying in its path. Three (four) fumbles by Carson in three games were quite bad, yes. Throwing him the ball is often less efficient than throwing to wide receivers, also yes. But utilizing a back that broke Sports Info Solutions’ single game record of missed/broken tackles forced is very fine with me and it should be with you too*. Carson’s return to form in Arizona bodes well for him regaining his status as RB1 and a Seattle team that insists on running more than everyone else.
* In moderation of course.
Kyler Murray is fast and quick and fast. Rasheem Green is none of those things — at least nowhere near Murray’s level. So witnessing him, a young player that the Seahawks are relying on to provide a steady-if-intermittent presence at defensive end, stick with and bring down one of the NFL’s shiftiest athletes in the open field is absolutely reassuring. Say what you will about the referees and their call of Green’s Week 1-clinching strip sack — he made a play. Seattle will need their young playmakers to keep performing well if they want to continue their quality start to the season against opponents of higher esteem.