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All-22 Musings: Eye-catching plays from the Seahawks victory over the Rams

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Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Over the course of four days, the Seattle Seahawks doubled Steve Young’s production in Super Bowl XXIX, getting not just one, but two monkeys off their back. On a short week, after holding off the demons of Glendale, the Seahawks returned home and snapped a three game losing streak to the Rams in an incredible 30-29 victory. It was a breathtaking heavyweight affair that brought about great plays, both obvious and hidden upon first viewing. We’ll go through them all, right here:

[LA 2-1 SEA 24] (13:12) T. Gurley right tackle to SEA 29 for -5 yards (P. Ford)

Ahead of Week 5, I wrote on the way Poona Ford, Al Woods and Jadeveon Clowney would help Seattle to defend the Rams’ outside running game, after two seasons of being helplessly gashed by it. Though Todd Gurley did find some joy against the Seahawks, it was exactly this type of play I had in mind. Ford is so quick moving laterally, and the way he’s unaffected by the last-ditch shove by Joseph Noteboom is a perfect representation of the balance that comes with his stature. Ford is truly fantastic, and there’s more to come from him in this space.

[SEA 1-10 SEA 36] (11:00) (Shotgun) C. Carson left guard to SEA 34 for -2 yards (M. Brockers; S. Joseph)

It’s perhaps already forgotten, because it came on a two yard loss in the first quarter of a four quarter thriller, but it couldn’t go unnoticed here. Chris Carson’s jump cuts have been featured in this space a number of times, but this one is an early season favorite, as he leaves Aaron Donald grabbing at air.

[LA 1-10 LA 31] (9:27) T. Gurley right tackle to LA 34 for 3 yards (Q. Jefferson; J. Clowney)

And here’s the other reason for believing Seattle would have an easier time defending Los Angeles’ outside zone. Clowney is in complete control of his blocker at the point of attack, and comes off it in time to help make the tackle at the line of scrimmage.

[LA 2-2 SEA 22] (6:57) T. Gurley left tackle to SEA 18 for 4 yards (M. Kendricks; P. Ford)

More Ford defending the Rams’ outside running game, this time as he takes center Brian Allen for a ride with him. Ford’s ability to disrupt a running back’s path is really special, and it completely halted Gurley’s run here, with Ford looking like the most dominant player on the field.

[SEA 1-10 LA 13] (:59) G. Fant reported in as eligible. R. Wilson pass short left to T. Lockett for 13 yards, TOUCHDOWN

There are a number of things about this play that are largely incomprehensible: The platform from which Wilson throws, his arm angle when he releases the ball, the inch-perfect placement, and everything that went into Tyler Lockett’s catch. Mix it all together and you have a completely surreal play, and the type that’s become all too common during Wilson’s career. Put it on the MVP reel!

[SEA 1-10 SEA 8] (:19) R. Penny left end ran ob at SEA 16 for 8 yards (J. Johnson)

Carson’s tremendous game, and career high in snaps, left scraps for Rashaad Penny to pick from. However, he did still manage to have one excellent carry, which is seen above. Penny is a big play threat whenever he’s able to plant his foot and cut up-field, but the patience he shows not to hit the initial hole, and instead bounce it outside, was a thing of beauty. Hard to take Carson off the field when he’s playing as he has in weeks four and five, but Penny needs a handful of touches in space every game.

[SEA 1-10 SEA 27] (10:54) R. Wilson pass deep right to T. Lockett to SEA 44 for 17 yards (C. Matthews)

This looked to have the makings of a fun design, before the pass protection sabotaged the offense, but it still gave us something quite marvelous: The way Lockett moves in sync with Wilson’s scramble, first to the left and then to the right, to continue to give his quarterback an option. Great display from Wilson’s number one receiver.

[LA 1-10 SEA 20] (5:37) T. Gurley right tackle to SEA 16 for 4 yards (J. Clowney; B. Wagner). FUMBLES (J. Clowney), RECOVERED by SEA-J. Clowney at SEA 17. J. Clowney to SEA 17 for no gain (T. Higbee)

Perhaps questionably, Clowney was credited for both the force and recovery on Gurley’s fumble here. Really, it doesn’t matter all that much, with possession ending up the Seahawks’. However, Bobby Wagner is the one who deserves to be spotlighted here. Wagner does fantastically well to hold off Rob Havenstein—one of the best run blocking tackles in the league—with total ease, before being the first one to arrive at the ball. Who forced, and recovered, Gurley’s fumble is anyone’s best guess. But Bobby Wagner being the best linebacker on the planet is a fact.

[SEA 1-10 SEA 29] (4:20) C. Carson left end to SEA 36 for 7 yards (S. Joseph)

That Donald nearly beat Carson and Wilson to the mesh point on this run is absolutely incredible, but it’s how Carson negates his presence which is worth pointing out. It’s just an incredible evasion of the sprawling Donald; there is having loose hips, then there’s the way Carson dodges Donald.

[SEA 2-3 SEA 36] (3:41) R. Wilson pass deep left to W. Dissly to LA 39 for 25 yards (T. Reeder)

The flight of the ball and Will Dissly’s adjustment are both special to watch. As is the design on the play—Dissly does great to keep the defender on his back, but he really is schemed open. That gets at a bigger point that’s worth making: Dissly isn’t just the tight end on a team that runs 11 personnel often, he is a staple of the offense.

Dissly’s ascension in year two has been something to behold, and there’s no reason to believe it’ll stop anytime soon.

[LA 1-10 SEA 45] (14:09) T. Gurley right tackle to SEA 43 for 2 yards (A. Woods; K. Wright)

The first of the weekly reminder that Woods is, in fact, a grown ass man in charge of everything in the interior of the line. Swallows up space, blockers, running backs, and later on in this game, quarterbacks. (The half-second pause Woods has before tackling Gurley is quite comical—like time slowed down for him in that moment, while he decided if he wanted to obliterate Gurley or not.)

[LA 3-9 LA 2] (8:56) (Shotgun) J. Goff pass incomplete short middle to C. Kupp [J. Clowney]

A play of “so close” for Seattle’s defense: Clowney is close to an absurd, physically dominant safety, and then Ezekiel Ansah gets close to an interception. Pete Carroll said after the game Clowney was “close to having a huge night.” This play, along with a handful of snaps in the fourth quarter with the Rams trailing, come to mind.

[SEA 1-10 LA 23] (6:54) R. Wilson pass short right to T. Lockett pushed ob at LA 14 for 9 yards (J. Johnson)

In a night that saw Lockett haul in perhaps the catch of the year up to this point, this may have been my favorite play from the slot man. A completely savvy play, selling the play action, feigning a block—without making contact with Clay Matthews, thus avoiding offensive pass interference—before breaking towards the sideline for the easy gain.

[LA XP SEA 2] TWO-POINT CONVERSION ATTEMPT. J. Goff rushes up the middle. ATTEMPT SUCCEEDS. The Replay Official reviewed the runner broke the plane ruling, and the play was REVERSED. TWO-POINT CONVERSION ATTEMPT. J. Goff rushes up the middle. ATTEMPT FAILS

A correction from earlier: In addition to swallowing up space, running backs, blockers and quarterbacks, Al Woods also tosses aside guards like they’re small children. One of the plays of the game here, as the hulking defensive tackle stops Jared Goff short on a two-point attempt, with an amazing individual effort.

[SEA 2-3 SEA 32] (2:19) (Shotgun) C. Carson right end pushed ob at SEA 45 for 13 yards (D. Fowler). PENALTY on LA-D. Fowler, Illegal Use of Hands, 5 yards, enforced at SEA 45

We’ve already seen Carson create yardage all on his own a few times here, but this run was the best of the night. Five or six evaded tackles, depending on how you want to count it, and one phenomenal run. The evasiveness and quickness on display here should not come in the punishing frame Carson possesses.

[SEA 3-7 LA 47] (:28) (Shotgun) R. Wilson pass deep right to R.Penny to LA 17 for 30 yards (J. Johnson; A. Talib). Penalty on LA-A. Talib, Defensive Pass Interference, declined

Wilson’s first touchdown against the Rams was so absurd, and off platform, yet Wilson decided to raise the bar and literally take away the platform for this throw to Penny. A jump pass is always a marvelous thing, and this toss is no exception.

[LA 1-10 LA 25] (13:37) T. Gurley right tackle to LA 27 for 2 yards (P. Ford)

What can one even say, at this point, about Ford? The angle robs us of getting a good look at the way he rips away Allen’s hands, but that doesn’t take away from the incredible rep: Moving laterally, disengaging with tenacity, and bringing Gurley down for a minimal gain. Ford is rapidly making the case to be one of the game’s premier run stuffers.

[SEA 1-10 SEA 37] (8:47) (Shotgun) C. Carson up the middle to SEA 45 for 8 yards (C. Littleton; J. Johnson)

Forced into action after D.J. Fluker left early with an injury, Jamarco Jones was outstanding in his first action at guard... ever. In a unit that has been dreadful protecting the passer, Jones had a pass block win rate of 95 percent against the Rams. However, his best block of the night was against the run here, as he steers Tanzel Smart clear of the play. Jones’ length could prove to be a tremendous asset inside, but his ethos as an ass-kicker will help, too.

[LA 2-1 LA 16] (1:18) (No Huddle, Shotgun) J. Goff pass incomplete short right to G. Everett (Sq. Griffin)

While it would be unfair to expect Shaquill Griffin to pick this pass off, boy would it have been incredible if he had. It was a fantastic read and reaction from the budding lock down corner, and that Griffin even came close to hauling it in is a great sign of his returned athleticism.

Following a long break, the Seahawks will return to action in Week 6 against the 2-3 Browns, who looked almost entirely lifeless against the 49ers on Monday Night Football. Regardless of their current place, Cleveland is a tough place to play, and their roster is stocked with talent, so Week 6 should bring about another entertaining game.