On a Sunday filled with unexpected outcomes, the Seattle Seahawks made sure they wouldn’t suffer an upset loss of their own against the San Francisco 49ers, prevailing 43-16 in front of more than 69,000 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. This is the first time the Seahawks have been multiple games above .500 all season, and the playoffs are almost all but certain if they beat the Minnesota Vikings next Monday night.
Let’s get to the Winners and Losers.
It is a damn shame that in his entire NFL career, Bobby Wagner has received one vote for Defensive Player of the Year, and that was in 2017. He was runner-up to Luke Kuechly for Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2012, but that’s it. Wagner had 12 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and subsequent recovery, and the pièce de résistance, a 98-yard pick-six to cap off the scoring. It’s the first pick-six of his career and his third consecutive game with an interception against the 49ers. He is a marvel to watch, and he ought to be in Canton.
11/17 for 185 yards and 4 touchdowns. He had 4 completed passes in the opening half and 3 were for scores. That’s efficiency! Perhaps above all else, his pocket presence looks better than ever, and that may be in part because he has more clean pockets to work with than ever before. Russ has 29 TDs to just 5 INTs, and will almost certainly break his career-high for TD passes in a single season.
Lockett is obviously super efficient, with his only catch going for a 52-yard touchdown with Malcolm Smith covering him. He’s 6th among WRs in touchdowns this season, and he also had an 84-yard kick return, a rare good kick return for Seattle’s special teams. The contract extension was worth it.
For someone who can go weeks without getting a catch or even being targeted, when Brown does appear, he usually scores. In fact, he had two touchdowns and a 43-yard catch-and-run. His final touchdown was in front of Richard Sherman, perhaps a fitting way for Seattle to cap off its offensive scoring. Would you have pegged Jaron Brown for tied for 2nd on the team in TD receptions at the start of the year? I wouldn’t have.
Two catches for 21 yards, a touchdown, and the idea to do “The Tip” celebration. Hopefully we see Doug more involved in the offense down the stretch.
Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny
A combined 173 yards on 23 touches, plus Penny got his first career home touchdown. Penny was excellent on those toss plays, and is showing more elusiveness and speed compared to earlier in the year. Hopefully Carson’s finger is okay and we can continue with Carson and Penny as the 1-2 punch, with Mike Davis and JD McKissic are the 3rd down options.
Added to his sack total in garbage time, and he was very effective against both the run and pass, pushing pockets, and clogging lanes.
“Mo Alexander” is obviously not me, as I wouldn’t have made multiple impressive tackles on kick return duties. Thanks for not sullying this terrific last name, Mo!
San Francisco was limited to just 66 yards rushing on 23 attempts, admittedly with Matt Breida and Jeff Wilson Jr both hobbling at times. Breida should’ve never gotten back into the game given how his ankle was troubling him, but that’s Kyle Shanahan’s problem, not Seattle’s. Poona Ford made his presence felt, and the “crack toss” that Shanahan loves so much and has often befuddled the Seahawks was largely shut down.
After a rough couple of starts in KJ Wright’s absence, Sunday was by far Calitro’s best showing. He was very active against the run and pursuing the ball aggressively. Mychal Kendricks is coming back next week, which means Kendricks will be preferred to Calitro, but good for Austin to step up with his best performance to date.
Much of their worst play came after the Seahawks were at literal 99% win probability when up 27-3, but you know Pete Carroll doesn’t like what he saw in the 2nd half from the secondary. Both Tre Flowers and Shaquill Griffin gave up touchdowns to Dante Pettis, and the 75-yarder to Pettis might have been a misalignment on the part of Bradley McDougald, who was way out of position to prevent that from being such a big gain and a score. Without a pass rush, they are collectively liabilities against offenses that are certainly much better than San Francisco.
Screen pass defense
KJ Wright is the entire screen pass defense. Discuss.
He missed two extra points, the second of which might have been a bad hold by Michael Dickson, but still those are his first PAT whiffs of the season. On the other hand, if he made all of his PATs, we wouldn’t have gotten a Scorigami, so maybe he shouldn’t be a loser... he should be considered a hero.
Offensive line discipline
Not a great day for the offensive line. Five holding penalties (one admittedly bogus call on DJ Fluker) and a false start is pretty damn sloppy, and they took away a couple of good Chris Carson rushes as a result. Thankfully, the Seahawks offense did an excellent job of getting out of 1st-and-long and 2nd-and-long jams much of the day.
- Is it me or did CLink feel a bit subdued? Almost as if the expectation was a blowout and that’s pretty much what happened.
- The referees were terrible. Clete Blakeman’s crew called two dozen penalties, several of which were ticky-tack (including a couple of those end-zone DPIs against the 49ers), and both teams were gifted ridiculously favorable spots on plays stopped a yard short of the marker, yet ruled first downs anyway.
- I was a fan of Dante Pettis at Washington, and think he has star potential in a Kyle Shanahan offense. Hopefully he isn’t, and then the 49ers trade him to the Seahawks, where he will become a star.
- No DJ Fluker might be a game-changer, especially with the Vikings coming to town next week. I really hope they start Jordan Simmons and not Joey Hunt, as Simmons was surprisingly good against the Los Angeles Rams a few weeks back.
- Not that it mattered, but I really wish the Seahawks would stop blowing timeouts to make 4th and short decisions. Wasting a timeout to punt on 4th and 1 near midfield is even worse than wasting a timeout to go for it.
- Brian Schottenheimer called a very good game, and is on his way to leading Seattle’s offense to a top-10 ranking in DVOA but I will not rest until he calls a play that requires Russell Wilson to throw to George Fant. Do it at the goal-line or we RIOT.