After eight weeks, the Seattle Seahawks sit with a 6-2 record, good enough 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 5-8 or predictive for the rest of 2019. I will curtly justify why each has been selected, for the good and bad reasons alike.
(I would like to point out that I changed all of two words from the intro to the first installment of this four-part series. Analyze that however you like.
No words exist — in English or any other language for that matter — that adequately praise Russell Wilson and Tyler Lockett for the impossibility of this play. Eric Weddle retire bitch.
The Rams failing this two-point conversion attempt in the fourth quarter is likely the most overlooked moment of this game. Had LA gone up by 7 instead of 5, Seattle’s eventual game-winning touchdown is merely a game-tying touchdown. Who knows how the final few possessions go in this scenario? Perhaps Greg Zuerlein still loses the game for his team by accidentally slipping when planting his foot and allowing Seattle to run the ball back for the go-ahead score. That seems likely, for Zuerlein is a fucking doofus.
In totality, though, this play represents both the thin line that Seattle’s season has ridden thus far and the crucial plays made in crucial moments by crucial contributors. Seattle may not be 6-2 good, but they have earned 6-2.
Russell Wilson uncorking a perfect touchdown throw while being slammed by a free rusher? Say it isn’t so! Rising above so-so at best pass protection and delivering the vast majority of the time is the name of Wilson’s game in 2019. Also, it’s crazy what happens when Seattle actually tries to score in a two-minute drill.
The play that allowed said two-minute drill to happen! Shaquill Griffin has been Seattle’s best defender not obsessed with renaissance reptilians, and this play is the quintessential demonstration as to why that is. While Quill has no interceptions to his name in 2019, he has played the ball better than any of us could’ve imagined. And then after the turnover, Tedric Thompson has the wherewithal to cost his team 15 yards by running the ball out of the end zone, helping Russell Wilson pad his stats on the ensuing drive. Just complete mastery of the game of football by this secondary.
In a game of disappointments and lacking execution, Russell Wilson decided to do some Russell Wilson shit. Too little, too late. It feels like the Seahawks have been riding that line dangerously times this season, and it bit them badly in this one. Many wounds were self-inflicted — allowing two defensive touchdowns will do that — but this right here is another example of the uncapped possibilities when Wilson drops back to pass. When he’s not throwing pick-sixes, that is.
Jadeveon Clowney only has two sacks thus far this season, but he has been a brute in the trenches from every which way. Boasting the second-best Pass Rush Win Rate in the league and blowing up runs whenever he deems it necessary, Clowney is making shit happen. The exciting thing is that Seattle’s defense has been middling to bad thus far in 2019 and, in the hope that things do tick upward as the season progresses, Clowney should benefit from this improvement. At the very minimum, meshing more and more with the recently returned Jarran Reed and the hopefully healthy Ziggy Ansah will end up a net positive.
DK Metcalf is very good and very fast and very fun and very lovable and oh wow this is a nice little double move. Metcalf had TWO touchdowns in this game, and I capitalize ‘TWO’ because he had TWO of them and that is TWO more than ZERO, which is very GOOD. While he couldn’t corral this throw from Wilson, the separation that Seattle’s rookie sensation consistently generates on slants, go routes, and crossers is incredibly exciting. A true shame that he will never overcome his three-cone drill, though.
Marquis Blair is a very generous man. He understands how much Seattle’s fan base misses Earl Thomas, especially in the week following Thomas’ first return to Seattle after leaving in free agency. To pay tribute to the greatest safety in franchise history, Blair decided to come close to — but not infringe upon, of course — Earl’s penchant for forcing fumbles right on the goal line. While this was no touchback, I think we can let Blair slide as he continues to improve.
For serious though, Blair is an incredibly fun player and this play was incredibly timely and I yelled incredibly loud and so did you I’m sure of it. Seattle’s defense needs difference-makers badly, and, while it’s early, the second-round pick looks to be one.