On the road in Week 4, the Seahawks put together a routine victory against the Arizona Cardinals. Seattle and the coaching staff could not have asked for a better performance after their first loss of the season, with Chris Carson, and the pass rush getting back on track, and Russell Wilson delivering yet another near-flawless outing.
The resurrected pass rush is where we’ll start this week’s All-22 Musings.
[ARZ 1-10 ARZ 38] (14:01) (No Huddle, Shotgun) K. Murray sacked at ARZ 33 for -5 yards (M. Kendricks)
This was an outstanding blitz by Mychal Kendricks, timing it to perfection before getting underneath David Johnson and jacking him back. It’s hard not to notice the respect Jadeveon Clowney draws, though. The right side of the line is focused on Clowney, even as Kendricks has Johnson off the ground like he’s a movie bully pinning the smaller kid into a locker, demanding his lunch money.
Clowney changes the math up front consistently, and even when he’s not collecting sacks or tackles in the backfield, he’s providing opportunities for the defenders around him.
[ARZ 3-4 SEA 26] (9:52) (No Huddle, Shotgun) K. Murray pass incomplete short right to K. Johnson (Sq. Griffin)
Shaquill Griffin’s increased comfort and mobility from last year to now has led him to make a couple extra plays every week. He’s breaking on routes at every level of the field with confidence, and it’s encouraging to see. Here, we have a great reaction and play on the ball to end the Cardinals’ opening drive. Though it hasn’t yet translated into turnovers, Griffin is absolutely playing like a number-one cornerback in 2019.
[SEA 2-4 ARZ 45] (7:23) G. Fant reported in as eligible. C. Carson left tackle pushed ob at ARZ 37 for 8 yards (B. Murphy)
The casualness with which Chris Carson hurdles defenders has been highlighted a couple times in this space, but against Arizona, it was an outstanding spin move in the backfield that was impressive. Keeping with the coolness that permeates his game, Carson casually skips a tackle to gain a couple extra yards at the end. (Also, great push from Duane Brown at the point of attack.)
[ARZ 1-10 ARZ 25] (4:59) (Shotgun) K. Murray pass short right to D. Johnson to ARZ 30 for 5 yards (B. Wagner; Sq. Griffin)
During the early years of Pete Carroll’s tenure in Seattle, it became a bit of a trope to say Seahawks cornerbacks are tough in the tackle. However, it’s stayed true throughout his 10 years, and Griffin does well here, working to maintain control of Christian Kirk, then shed Kirk’s block at the exact right time to get in on the tackle.
[ARZ 2-5 ARZ 30] (4:23) (No Huddle, Shotgun) K. Murray pass short right intended for D. Johnson INTERCEPTED by J. Clowney at ARZ 27. J. Clowney for 27 yards, TOUCHDOWN
As previously mentioned, Clowney changes the math up front on every play; but it was just a matter of time until he changed the game with a single play. The way he holds off J.R. Sweezy with what Quinton Jefferson described as his “tarantula arms,” and corral the ball with one hand—Clowney is an incredibly special player.
[ARZ 1-15 ARZ 20] (3:54) D. Johnson up the middle to ARZ 24 for 4 yards (M. Kendricks)
Kendricks is most impactful around the line of scrimmage, as evidenced by his two sacks on Sunday. Here, it’s cool to watch just the tiny movements he makes, reacting to the pre-snap motion and re-positioning himself after the snap, to get in a position to disengage and make the stop with relative ease.
[SEA 1-10 ARZ 37] (11:44) (No Huddle) R. Wilson pass deep left to T. Lockett to ARZ 9 for 28 yards (D. Swearinger)
What is there to say, really? Russell Wilson has as much arm talent as any quarterback in the NFL and once a month (maybe more!) he drops a dime so flawless it brings out an audible reaction from even the most lethargic viewer. Just incredible.
[SEA 2-Goal ARZ 9] (10:53) (Shotgun) R. Wilson pass short left to W. Dissly for 9 yards, TOUCHDOWN. Penalty on ARZ-J. Bullard, Illegal Use of Hands, declined
Will Dissly scoring a touchdown against Arizona was the most predictable thing to happen on Sunday. That being said, it continues to be so encouraging the way he’s moving. Neither Dissly’s development, nor his mobility, was harmed by the injury suffered in Arizona last season. He’s all the way back, and he’s legit.
[ARZ 1-10 SEA 47] (10:06) (No Huddle, Shotgun) D. Johnson up the middle to SEA 47 for no gain (Q. Jefferson)
Jefferson, who through four games has drawn accolades for his pass rushing—currently averaging four pressures per game—puts together a hell of a swim move and stop against the run here. With just two defensive tackles, Jefferson saw a fair bit of playing time inside in Week 4, and flashed a couple times like this.
[ARZ 1-10 SEA 32] (8:57) K. Murray sacked at SEA 40 for -8 yards (R. Green)
When Rasheem Green was coming out of USC, his short-area quickness was a huge positive, especially for a team like the Seahawks who were looking for a base EDGE capable of reducing inside. However, I sure didn’t think he would be able to do this. Sticking with Kyler Murray and staying in position to eventually bring down one of the best runners at the position is seriously impressive. Green continues to develop in his second season.
[ARZ 1-10 ARZ 6] (5:15) (Shotgun) D. Johnson up the middle to ARZ 10 for 4 yards (A. Woods)
Just the weekly helping of Al Woods engulfing a running back. Woods moves so well for a tackle his size, and his ability—and willingness—to move laterally will prove valuable against a Rams offense that loves to run to the outside.
[SEA 2-6 ARZ 37] (2:45) (Shotgun) C. Carson up the middle to ARZ 30 for 7 yards (J. Hicks; T. Suggs)
The offensive line, obviously, has been far from perfect. But at least once a game, Mike Iupati makes a block while pulling that makes you say wow. It’s easy to see why Seattle thought he was a perfect fit for their system, and it’s a great block coming across here.
[SEA 2-Goal ARZ 6] (:29) (Shotgun) R. Wilson pass incomplete short left to DK. Metcalf (K. Peterson)
This was just inches away from being perfectly executed. Tyler Lockett’s motion shows the defense to be in man-to-man, and it’s a great matchup for Metcalf. The rookie was so close to hauling it in, and should’ve done better. Upon watching the TV copy, there was a thought that Wilson could’ve pushed it further towards the corner, but this angle shows it was a well thrown ball. Tough on the rookie, but Metcalf will bring in his fair share of those passes in the future.
[SEA 2-5 SEA 27] (14:25) C. Carson up the middle to SEA 36 for 9 yards (C. Peters)
Chris Carson was unbelievable on Sunday, forcing 21 missed tackles, but this is the most devastating run of the day. A gnarly jump cut, which left Corey Peters on the ground—Arizona called a timeout on the next play to allow him to get treatment and get back in—and then finishes forward.
[ARZ 2-10 ARZ 19] (11:33) (No Huddle, Shotgun) K. Murray sacked at ARZ 9 for -10 yards (M. Kendricks)
This was Kendricks’ sack to lose, with nobody stopping him from barreling down on Murray, but it’s a tremendous rep from Clowney too. He turns the corner on the right tackle, Justin Murray, well, swats away his hands and was bound to bring Murray down had Kendricks been delayed even a little. Clowney needed to show out against a dreadful Arizona offensive line, and he did.
[SEA 1-10 SEA 25] (10:09) (Shotgun) G. Fant reported in as eligible. R. Wilson pass short left to D. Moore pushed ob at SEA 34 for 9 yards (B. Murphy)
Untimely disappearance from the offense aside, David Moore’s development in 2018 was encouraging, if for no other reason then that he proved to have Wilson’s trust with jump balls. Though it’s not exactly the same situation, this play is similarly encouraging, as Moore works his way back into the offense in his second game back from injury. Moore recognizes the play breaking down, and works back toward the sideline and Wilson to give him an option. Moore has proven to have Wilson’s trust in every situation, and it’s only a matter of time until he’s a staple of the team’s three wide receiver sets.
[ARZ 1-10 ARZ 40] (4:29) (No Huddle, Shotgun) C. Edmonds up the middle to ARZ 41 for 1 yard (A. Woods)
Just in case a reminder was required, Woods is a grown ass man in control of the interior for the Seahawks’ defense. Here, he splits the double team like elevator doors and makes the stop on first down.
[SEA 2-Goal ARZ 9] (2:19) (Shotgun) C. Prosise right tackle for 9 yards, TOUCHDOWN
It’s easy to forget, because of his rare skill set in the passing game, but C.J. Prosise is a running back capable of succeeding inside and outside the tackles. He showed off some great traits here, opening his hips to adjust when D.J. Fluker was pushed into his path, contact balance to skip a tackle and burst into the end zone. The much-maligned tailback will continue to see touches even when Rashaad Penny returns, make no mistake.
The Seahawks will return to CenturyLink Field to take on the Los Angeles Rams in prime-time, on Thursday Night Football. Sean McVay and Wade Phillips are two of the most innovative minds on either side of the football, so Week 5 is sure to bring a fascinating contest.