Imagine for a moment a dark haze enveloping you. Smothering you, leaving you no room or will to move. It consumes you and leaves no hope for escape.
That is how it feels playing against the Los Angeles Rams.
Suddenly, your eyes blink open and light streams in. The haze has been lifted. You have been Awakened.
That is how it feels playing against the San Francisco 49ers. With Christine Lynn Michael. Oh yeah.
C-Mike went off on Sunday and the Woke-Train doesn’t show any signs of slowing down as it’s chugga-chugging towards a heavy workload over the next month or more, with Thomas Rawls out with a surprisingly bad fibula contusion.
Despite this bad news, the Seattle Seahawks still pulled out a dominant win over the 49ers in CenturyLink on Sunday, by a score of 37-3 + garbagetime.
After scoring one touchdown through two games, Seattle ripped off a three-play touchdown drive to open the contest. The game began touchdown, three-and-out, touchdown, three-and-out. The defense was suffocating, as the 49ers began the game 0/10 on 3rd down.
The elusive first turnover was had by Bobby Wagner on a tip drill. Open the floodgates, friends. Here they come.
This eclectic style of writing you are experiencing right now is a product of a) the Seahawks dominating an opponent that they should dominate and b) me not knowing how to deal with my lack of stress from a real live football game.
Russell Wilson’s injury was an obvious concern, as it forced us all to imagine a season without arguably the most valuable player in the NFL. Without Russell, Seattle is not a contender. With him, they have the ceiling of being an unstoppable juggernaut hell bent on force-feeding Jimmy Graham and Doug Baldwin deep receptions and touchdowns.
It seems that Russ will be alright after sustaining a mild MCL sprain. This is not a time for fear. This is a time to appreciate how effing dominant the Seahawks were on Sunday. The most impressive performances were pretty obvious, but let’s get into it anyways.
Give that man a new contract, am I right? In all seriousness, Kamtrack laid down the boom on Sunday, breaking Garrett Celek in the process. The deathbacker graded out extremely well on Pro Football Focus, allowing 5 receptions for only 13 yards.
It’s truly incredible what a full offseason of healthy work will do for a player. Kam looks rejuvenated and it really showed on Sunday, especially in this impressive play:
Celek, beginning the play in-line, runs a slant from the right hash. Chancellor sits and immediately flips his hips fluidly when Celek cuts inwards. Kam breaks on the pass before getting a hand in the way just as the football arrives, forcing the incompletion.
It was a very encouraging game from Bam Bam, who looks to be having a Pro Bowl season thus far. Let’s see if he can keep it up.
It is truly miraculous that Jimmy Graham is playing football right now. The fact that he is on a field running, jumping, and cutting is ridiculous.
What makes it all the more ridiculous is his high level of play against the 49ers. We saw vintage Jimmy on Sunday:
Wilson induces a jump from a defensive lineman before the snap and recognizes immediately that he has a free play. Graham runs a vertical route while Wilson lobs up a deep ball with a blitzer in his face. Safety Eric Reid looks to have an easy interception (that wouldn’t have counted) but Jimmy has other plans. Graham celebrates the four-year anniversary of the Fail Mary by ripping the interception away from Reid and instead gaining a huge chunk of yardage. Much better than a measly five-yard penalty.
Graham began to form a really special connection with Wilson right around the time he tore his patellar tendon last year. If Jimmy is indeed healthy, he and Russ are going to continue to tear up defenses this year.
People calling this trade a bust may have been premature.
It’s been a broken record over the past few weeks. I have been saying this over and over and over. Doug Baldwin is an ELITE wide receiver in the NFL. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t own prototypical size. His route running savvy and ability to make defenders look like complete imbeciles is unbelievable. He made Trevone Boykin look good, for the love of Doug.
Baldwin has been Wilson’s safety valve for two of three games so far this season. The third game was against the Rams, so it doesn’t really count, does it?
Doug showcases an ability to get open deep often. If Wilson keeps hitting him downfield like he did on this play, it’s going to be a long season for defensive backs:
Baldwin initially releases outwards before posting back inwards downfield. The 49ers only rush three so Wilson has a beautiful pocket to let Doug’s route develop. Tramaine Brock is beaten handily by Baldwin and Eric Reid can’t get over the top to help out in time. Wilson throws a perfect pass just over the extent of coverage so Baldwin can haul in the huge gain.
Doug has showcased a unique feel for understanding where he is on the field and converting third downs:
With Boykin in the game, Baldwin runs a quick out route on 3rd and 6. Doug’s body language is so precise that Eric Reid has no idea where Baldwin’s route will break. As soon as Doug breaks outward, Reid flies to the ball, but it’s too late. Baldwin receives the ball right at the first down marker, for Boykin’s first career third down conversion.
What makes Baldwin so special is not that he can win downfield and get chunk yardage. It’s not that he has an insane awareness while on the field. It’s that he’s so effing good at everything he does that he can take over games like he did on Sunday. His route-running prowess is unmatched from the slot.
It’s been known by many (other than Cris Carter) for years that Baldwin was quietly a very solid receiver. Well it’s time for everybody to accept the fact that Doug is loudly an elite receiver in the NFL and he doesn’t show any sign of slowing down.
–This was the game we had been waiting for. A little less stressful than the last two, eh? That’s not to say that it’s extremely impressive that it all occurred against the 49ers’ JV defense, but it definitely built up the offense’s confidence.
–The defense, while they have only faced Ryan Tannehill, Case Keenum, and Blaine Gabbert, has looked unbelievable thus far in 2016. The season’s first turnover was achieved on Sunday while a couple takeaways were inches away from being had. Seattle is allowing the lowest yardage per game in the league and that includes all of the garbage time chunks that the 49ers were able to pick up on Sunday. Very impressive.
–Richard Sherman was not happy at all about said garbage time yardage. That hunger to constantly compete, even when the game was won long before, says a lot to me about this team’s mentality.
–Nobody has outplayed Bobby Wagner at the linebacker position so far this year. He is having an All Pro caliber campaign and looks to continue anchoring this defense from the middle out.
–Jarran Reed continues to look awesome. That is all.
–The Seahawks had no sacks and no tackles for loss on Sunday. A very interesting stat, but I wonder if Pete Carroll and Kris Richard dialed back their rush packages because they wanted Gabbert to beat them through the air. I’m sure we’ll see more exotic looks next Sunday when facing an offense with Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, and Eric Decker.
–Tyler Lockett is apparently still good at returning punts. If he was fully healthy, he would’ve, without a doubt in my mind, taken that one to the house.
–Russell Wilson is a cyborg. I don’t know how else to explain it. He’s infuriatingly good at his job and nothing in the world will stop him from doing it. Love him or hate him, you have to respect the hell out of him.
–Another week ends in 1-0. It was a great team win, dominating in all three phases. Next week will be interesting, dealing with a New York Jets team that features three game wreckers on the defensive line and a slew of weapons on offense. The Seahawks just need to play within themselves and execute. 1-0 every week. Go Hawks.