Yes, indeed, it has been a trying week. Behind an abysmal performance from Russell Wilson, a shocking dud from the receiving corps, and an inability to keep Aaron Rodgers out of the end zone, the Seattle Seahawks were blown out for the first time in five seasons.
While it was a painful affair to watch from a fan’s standpoint, there were a couple of bright spots that should be recognized to keep the collective hope alive for Seattle supporters. The first of which happened to be Thomas Rawls, who has erupted back into the ever-shifting tier of elite running backs in the league. Unfortunately, this piece isn’t dedicated to Mr. Rawls.
Tanner McEvoy. What a guy. After showing out in the preseason, nobody knew what to expect from the undrafted tweener from Wisconsin. Is he a receiver? Is he a tight end? Is he a Greek God? We may never know. But we did see impressive catches such as this one in his first performance in a Seahawks uniform:
His ability to elevate and win at the catch point was there for us to observe from day one. But we still slept on him.
I have recently “gone on record” when speaking with those around me that McEvoy might be the greatest player in NFL history already at this point in his rookie year. It is entirely plausible.
In all seriousness, he has been a pleasant surprise throughout the entire season and it all culminated in Seattle’s fiasco of a visit to Lambeau Field. While it might have gone under the radar a bit, there was no question in my mind that McEvoy was the most consistent and trustworthy receiver on Seattle’s sideline against the Packers.
McEvoy’s first reception came on a third down in the second quarter, while the Seahawks were driving at around midfield:
Lined up on the right, McEvoy runs a slant while Doug Baldwin sets a quasi-natural pick for him. The T-Train (I really hope this sticks) hauls in the ball and secures the first down. While it may seem like an easy play, it was a play that receivers on the Seahawks time and time again failed to execute. Tyler Lockett dropped a simple slant that resulted in a fourth down later in the game. The collective inability of Doug Baldwin and Jermaine to bring in receptions led to multiple interceptions.
Did the T-Train cause any turnovers? I don’t think so, friends. Instead, his savvy, sass-lacking, tall-as-sassafras-looking-ass hauled in all three of his targets, including this beaut of a touchdown:
McEvoy lines up on the left boundary and runs a go-route up the sideline towards the end zone. The corner plays under him and the safety rotates over to try and break up the incoming pass. McEvoy turns and high-points the ball before getting both feet in bounds for Seattle’s lone excursion to paydirt of the day. While he required a little help from the safety’s ankle to keep his second foot in bounds, the point remains that he made an excellent play on the ball in frigid weather to jumpstart an immediately-failing comeback attempt.
McEvoy’s third reception of the day came in garbage time, but the cornerback’s respect for the go-route led to an easy curl and first down:
It’s the little things that mold undrafted free agents into valuable contributors on a roster and McEvoy has shown that he belongs on this team.
The Seahawks will rebound on offense. Playing at Lambeau in December is never easy, especially when your quarterback is having one of the worst games of his career. I truly hope that McEvoy continues to get opportunities in this offense, as he has really shown a knack for making plays.
While my stalwart efforts to back his MVP candidacy may have already fallen flat in the time it took for you to read this article, the Tanner McEvoy isn’t going anywhere. I have no doubt that he’ll make a run at the award in 2017. At the very least, he is already the MVT (Most Valuable Tanner), and that is something that I am absolutely sure of.