At this point, it’s a wonder how the normal game the Seattle Seahawks played this month was against the Atlanta Falcons. That was a relatively worry-free performance, whereas the home games against the New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys needlessly went down to the wire and both required defensive stands to get the W.

A win is a win is a win even with all of the injuries. It’s a 3-0 start for the Seahawks for the first time since 2013. Let’s get to Winners and Losers.


Winners

Russell Wilson

This was an “off day” for Wilson in the sense that a couple of his easier throws were not accurate and two of the sacks he took were entirely his own doing. He still went 27/40 for 315 yards and 5 touchdowns. Would’ve had six if not for DK Metcalf’s blunder. Legend doesn’t even begin to describe Wilson at this point.

DK Metcalf

The only reason he’s on here is for the game-winning touchdown, which rescued him from the Losers column because he was otherwise ineffective for much of the afternoon and cost the team a touchdown. You can’t stay mad at DK forever though, as he’s a winner for the crunch time redemption on what was a ballsy call when Seattle only needed a field goal. I’ll expect Metcalf doesn’t pull that stupid move ever again and that he’ll keep developing into the superstar receiver he’s destined to be.

Tyler Lockett

Nine catches for 100 yards and a trio of touchdowns where nary a Cowboy was near him. Dallas had no answers for him and while I loved the Wilson-Doug Baldwin connection for all of those years, dare I say Wilson-Lockett has surpassed that level of wizardry and chemistry? They are seemingly always on the same wavelength regardless of situation.

Greg Olsen

Seattle doesn’t win the game if not for Olsen finding a soft spot in Dallas’ zone defense on 4th and 3 on the winning touchdown drive. Olsen had five catches for 61 yards on six targets, making up for the dismal showing the previous week.

Jacob Hollister

Good to see him still get snaps even behind Olsen and Dissly. He was wide open for a touchdown and open for a critical two-point conversion.

Alton Robinson

I’m not going to go into great depth about why he was inactive those previous two weeks but I’m glad he was ready to go in this game. He was very active in run support and had multiple pressures of Prescott, including that huge sack on the final drive. What a debut!

Ryan Neal

Promoted for a day, pressed into action, and his impact was tackling Tony Pollard at the 1 to force the eventual safety and then get the game-sealing interception.

Jarran Reed

Reed had the pressure that led to Prescott’s first interception and the sack that resulted in the fumble and recovery by Benson Mayowa to start the 2nd half. Seattle badly needed that from Reed because interior pressure has been a problem.

Ugo Amadi

He stepped up to the plate in Marquise Blair’s absence and has earned more snaps. The two passes defensed I believe both came on 3rd down and he was flying to the ball to stop routes at the line of scrimmage from becoming bigger plays. There was also the two-point conversion denial to prevent the Cowboys from knotting it up at 30-30. He is an underrated tackler and appears to be a very smart player, which is hugely encouraging for the nickel corner/safety.

Run defense

It’s legitimately good. Ezekiel Elliott has historically been a problem against the Seahawks run defense but today they held him to just 34 yards on 14 carries, and Kellen Moore helped the cause by force feeding him the ball in the passing game to no effect. Bryan Mone, Poona Ford, and Jarran Reed are all major parts of why this run defense has improved.

Losers

Tre Flowers and Shaquill Griffin

Griffin should get credit for his interception and Tre Flowers for the blocked PAT. They were both terrible and if Seattle had more secondary depth they were both poor enough to justify a benching. I thought the Legion of Boom 2.0 thing was overblown when the Jamal Adams trade was made, but this three-week stretch solidifies that the secondary is also a major part of the reason the defense is poor. These are not inexperienced players anymore — Flowers is in his third year, Griffin is in his fourth year, Quandre Diggs is in his sixth year, and Jamal Adams is a 2x All-Pro in his fourth year. Your most inexperienced player who’s healthy is Ugo Amadi, and he’s already been listed as a winner.

Flowers is just too foot slow. He does not have good ball skills and his lack of speed also means he is easy to beat on comeback routes, slants, and deep balls. Griffin’s performances have regressed right back to his 2018 form. I am worried.

Brandon Shell

Germain Ifedi seems to be thriving in Chicago as a right guard. I was fine with not letting him re-sign. Brandon Shell is consistently Seattle’s worst offensive lineman and he was getting crushed in the 1st quarter by Dallas’ pass rush and then committed a drive-killing holding penalty later in the game.

Damontre’ Moore

Two penalties to zero tackles. You don’t want that statline.

The running game

Seattle’s running backs combined for 95 yards on 20 carries, with Russell Wilson getting 22 yards himself to make up the 117 yard total. 37 of those 95 running back yards were on the first three carries. Carlos Hyde definitely left yards on the field by stumbling on cutbacks, and Chris Carson frankly did not look good between the tackles even before his hugely unfortunate injury. Seattle had only four rushing first downs and one of them was a Wilson scramble. I’m a bit worried about this rushing attack, especially as I’m not really sure this is primarily an offensive line problem.

Trysten Hill

This is someone from the Dallas Cowboys, which is something I tend not to do for W&L. But if I based my observation on entirely this game, he is a dirty player. This was damn near a leglock attempt on Chris Carson that injured his knee.

Then he blasted Russell Wilson with a helmet to helmet shot on the two-point conversion late in the game. He needs a hefty fine for that nonsense because the Carson injury was particularly dangerous and egregious.

Other notes

  • K.J. Wright can still play downhill but his age is starting to show even covering tight ends. Now in fairness to him, the fact that Cedrick Wilson Jr was matched up on him was not his fault though and totally unacceptable scheming that such a mismatch occurred. Wright still had two TFLs and he’s very much still a screen whisperer.
  • Shaquem Griffin looked excellent in the two-minute drill to end the game. He nearly got a strip sack of Prescott a few plays before the Neal interception. He’ll revert back to the practice squad per NFL rules but he needs to just be on the active roster going forward.
  • Freddie Swain had a catch on his only target and twice drew penalties on the Cowboys secondary.
  • Benson Mayowa had a nice game and almost had a sack of his own. Operative is almost because Prescott is hard to bring down and Seattle is not allowed to have consecutive sacks.
  • Even with the injuries on the offensive line, I thought the pass protection held up better than the four sacks suggested.
  • Dallas’ special teams was a mess but the Seahawks’ ST continues to be vastly improved from years past. The return game was unimpressive but Michael Dickson was solid with his punts and the return coverage continues to be stout.
  • I have no confidence that this defense can even stop the Miami Dolphins and Ryan Fitzpatrick. They may have no choice but to keep playing shootout football indefinitely.
  • Brian Schottenheimer continues to dial up gorgeous goal-line passing plays that consistently scheme receivers free. These are lay-ups for any NFL quarterback but for Russell Wilson it’s just unfair.
  • First place in the NFC West. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

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