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John Schneider’s trades and signings, not his draft picks, have put the Seahawks in the NFC hunt

Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider has never won the Executive of the Year award. This is frankly ridiculous, but it’s also fine because that thing is cursed. You can keep that voodoo far away from Seattle as far as I’m concerned.

Schneider has generally been considered good-not-great, as pundits think of him how many thought of Russell Wilson until apparently this season.

We know Schneider has had some of the best drafts ever seen by an NFL GM. But more recently, his home runs have come through acquired talent, as the Seahawks have made several stellar trades in recent years.

Truly, it was the team that John built that beat the 8-0 San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night.

But specifically, it was the athletes he poached from other teams that won the day this time. For what it’s worth, all five fumbles against the Niners came from Seattle homegrown talent.

Schneider’s Superstars

Human Wrecking Ball - Jadeveon Clowney

Clowney’s been covered in full throughout the week, and rightly so. He was the best athlete in Santa Clara Monday night. It’s possible he might be the best athlete in Santa Clara any time he visits. I’ve never once thought he’s been trying less hard than he should, but against the Niners he tried real hard. It was amazing to see the 12s ignite after the game in response to what an actual elite edge rusher can do for a team. Frank Clark was very good, Michael Bennett was very good, but Clowney was playing next to Jimmy Garoppolo like he was a member of the 49ers. With how bad the Ziggy Ansah signing has proven, Schneider likely would have been willing to part with far more to get this guy who clearly should have been playing somewhere like Seattle all along.
Traded from: The Houston Texans

MVP I Guess - Russell Wilson

Wilson had nowhere near his best game, but but still managed to generate a handful of typical Russell Wilson wizardry. Even on an off day Wilson was one of the best players on the field, but this is to be expected at this point and he did something nobody else had yet: beat the Niners.
Drafted by: The Seahawks

Plug-and-play Tight End Star - Jacob Hollister

This is starting to look like the transition from Will Dissly to Jacob Hollister just needed a couple weeks to get up to speed. Russ really likes his TEs right now, and Hollister’s split-second separation on the only receiving TD of the game for Seattle was frankly ridiculous.
Traded from: The New England Patriots

The Future of Marquise Blair - Quandre Diggs

In his first time suiting up since coming to Seattle, Diggs was out there laying some pretty big hits against the suddenly scared looking 49ers. The Seahawks only have seven interceptions this season, and Q already has one of them, which he returned for a brisk 45 yards. His presence was clearly something Seattle had been lacking, as he was a picture of a complete safety running in tandem with Bradley McDougald.

It hasn’t been stated yet how long the Seahawks would like to keep Diggs, but he played like I think many hope Marquise Blair will be able to play. The Legion of Not Hitting So Hard is sorely in need of guys who can deliver blows like Diggs and hopefully Blair.
Traded from: The Detroit Lions

Speaking of which - Bradley McDougald

This is going to be a really good tandem. Our favorite Scotsman safety had the second most tackles on Monday night, and every one of them was a solo effort. He also tacked on a pass defense and probably messed up Dante Pettis for a while.
Drafted by: Undrafted. Signed by the Kansas City Chiefs. Acquired in free agency from Tampa Bay.

Poona Ford’s so good! Oh wait, that’s....Al Woods?

They both played well, but Woods outshined his interior counterpart this week. Statistically his game was at least as good as Jarran Reed’s. Woods finished with six tackles, two for a loss, one sack, and one QB hit. He’s the only guy on the team (besides an in-motion Bobby Wagner) who has repeatable ability to stop all opposing momentum instantaneously. One-on-one Woods is the most immovable defender on this team. Remember that time he bent Jared Goff backwards to prevent the two-point conversion?
Acquired from: Indianapolis, free agency

From the team that’s good at football, but bad at trading to the Seahawks - Josh Gordon

Bill Belichick will probably be remembered as the best head coach in NFL history, but folks in the PNW will remember him as a very generous donor to the cause of Pete Carroll. Justin Coleman, Jacob Hollister, and Josh Gordon have all proven themselves to be far more valuable than what the Seahawks gave up. Especially considering Gordon comes to Seattle basically for free, and according to the broadcast Monday night was “as confused as anybody” that he was released by the Pats.

Gordon didn’t do a ton against San Francisco, but how nice it must be for Russ to have a guy so established you know he’s trustworthy late in the game on two crucial third downs. Gordon’s only two receptions were both pivotal for the Hawks. To get some pretty good gains under pressure on a few days of practice, it’s already a win for Seattle.
Acquired from: New England Patriots, through that weird IR-then-cut-to-give-worse-teams-first-dibs rule that only the Patriots knew about before last week.

What’s consistent is that the Seahawks have GM who’s adept at compiling above average rosters. In seemingly whichever way he goes about putting the squad together.