Monday night the Seattle Seahawks closed the gap on the NFC West division-leading San Francisco 49ers with a thrilling 27-24 overtime victory at Levi’s Stadium. While the offense struggled to get moving, the defense was a turnover and pressure generating machine, harassing and haranguing Jimmy Garoppolo into mistakes that helped the Hawks come away victorious on the night.
However, Garoppolo wasn’t the only player to have a rough go of it, as multiple members of the Seahawks also had their fair share of issues during the game. In particular, the team’s first round picks did not do a whole lot to instill confidence going forward. The Hawks have just three of their own first round picks on the 53 man roster, with those three players being Germain Ifedi (2016), Rashaad Penny (2018) and L.J. Collier (2019).
Collier may have had the best night of the three, as he was a healthy scratch so couldn’t be blamed for any of the many mistakes which were made over the course of what was an ugly, hard fought game. However, with Collier not in uniform, the pass rush came alive, which may not be a great sign regarding Collier’s skills and abilities. In any case, he was one of five healthy scratches for the team, which for this late in the season with the bye week still to come, is a fantastic health situation for the team.
Seahawks inactives vs. the 49ers pic.twitter.com/LhFEcJ6TU3— Seahawks PR (@seahawksPR) November 11, 2019
While Collier was the first round pick of the Seahawks in 2019, in 2018 that distinction went to running back Rashaad Penny. Penny has struggled at times running between the tackles, but against the 49ers his biggest issue was the first fumble of his NFL career. There are zero entries in the play by play for Penny after the third quarter fumble, so the backup running back situation could be interesting moving forward. C.J. Prosise fumbled against the Cleveland Browns in Week 6 and has been a healthy scratch in three of the four games since then, so this will bear watching through the bye week.
Moving on from the Seahawks 2018 first round pick to their 2016 first round pick, we arrive at Germain Ifedi. Ifedi has improved and appeared more relaxed and confident on the field over the past season, but on Monday we got to see first hand why offensive linemen are taught to immediately fall to the ground if they ever find the ball in their hands.
La FOLIE ! K’Waun Williams sack Russell Wilson et force un fumble du QB puis Germain Ifedi récupère, mais Fred Warner force un fumble du lineman et DeForest Buckner récupère pour un TOUCHDOWN !!! #GoNiners pic.twitter.com/UafDejK4Wq— NFL France - firstdownfr.fr (@SecondDownFR) November 12, 2019
Prior to this play the Seahawks had a win probability in the low 90s, while after the play it was in the low 60s. It was a brutal turn of events, but luckily the outcome turned out okay for the Hawks.
In any case, it’s a great example of how the Seahawks have assembled a competitive roster that could be in contention for a first round bye in the playoffs without the benefit of finding impact players on the first day of the draft.
And come April when John Schneider trades down in the draft, I hope fans remember the Monday Night Football game against the 49ers that the team won with contributions from first round picks that could almost be comedic.