Like your unwelcome mother-in-law who needlessly rearranges the decor, the Seahawks were rude guests in Bruce Arians’ home on Sunday, hanging another L on the wall in an overtime thriller. Russell Wilson was the best player on the field (and really, on the planet), while Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf showed just how lethal Seattle could be with a 1-2 punch at receiver.
We’ll get into the Seahawks high-flying offense, and more, below.
[TB 1-10 TB 42] (14:23) R. Jones left tackle to TB 45 for 3 yards (P. Ford)
Poona Ford has blossomed into one of the league’s best interior run defenders in 2019, in a bigger role. His ability to get off blocks at the point of attack is tremendous, and his balance enables him to make the tackle even if he doesn’t disengage cleanly—like he does here.
[TB 1-10 SEA 24] (12:31) (Shotgun) J. Winston pass incomplete deep right to S. Miller
This snap from Shaquill Griffin is reminiscent of Richard Sherman: The way he uses the five yards to direct the wide receiver toward the sideline, then just pins him there with his length, and gives him no room to work—even if the ball is on target. A great rep from Griffin, bullying a sorry receiver.
[SEA 1-10 SEA 25] (11:30) (Shotgun) R. Wilson pass short left to DK. Metcalf to SEA 36 for 11 yards (V. Hargreaves)
Giving the opposing cornerback a fake-step up-field on short and intermediate routes in order to gain separation has worked well for DK Metcalf so far, and this reception is no different. The vertical sell works perfectly, but Metcalf deserves credit for keeping the defender on his back after turning, too.
[SEA 1-10 SEA 36] (10:50) R. Wilson pass short right to T. Lockett pushed ob at SEA 48 for 12 yards (A. Adams)
Brian Schottenheimer has had an impressive 2019, but Week 9 may have been his best performance yet; receivers, tight ends and backs were running open on seemingly every play. This is a great example, with motion showing the defense’s coverage, Malik Turner picking Tyler Lockett’s defender without contact, and Lockett able to create in space.
[SEA 2-8 50] (9:40) (Shotgun) R. Wilson pass deep left to T. Lockett to TB 32 for 18 yards (J. Whitehead)
The end zone view is generally unfavorable for passes, but there’s a reason for this one being used: Russell Wilson’s glorious, flawless, pocket maneuvering. Then to top it off, a ball thrown with just the right velocity and accuracy. I wish I could say I was at a loss for words, but I have three for you: Most. Valuable. Player.
[SEA 1-10 TB 19] (8:29) (Shotgun) R. Wilson pass deep right to T. Lockett for 19 yards, TOUCHDOWN
Another perfectly executed pick play leads to a touchdown, but the focus here should be on the suddenness Lockett has coming out of his break. No defender in the NFL can stick with that kind of sudden burst and acceleration. (It seems, this season, Lockett has gotten even better at using every inch of the end zone, and we saw it on both of his scores in Week 9.)
[TB 1-10 TB 44] (3:41) R. Jones left end to TB 47 for 3 yards (P. Ford, K. Wright)
At least once a week, Ford makes a tackle against the run that he has no business making, simply because he relentlessly pursues ball carriers. Pete Carroll has spoken previously about how highly he rates that trait in defensive linemen, but Ford may just be the best example of it yet.
[SEA 2-3 TB 44] (12:43) (Shotgun) G. Fant reported in as eligible. C. Carson left tackle to TB 34 for 10 yards (A. Adams)
While it was discouraging to see Chris Carson’s ball security issues pop back up again after a several week long hiatus, he did have another great game running the football, with this being his second best carry on the day. The spin move in the hole to avoid a tackle is a thing of beauty, and the strength to shake off Devin White afterwards is tremendous.
[SEA 1-10 SEA 40] (1:43) (Shotgun) R. Wilson pass short right to T. Lockett to 50 for 10 yards (J. Dean)
Lockett’s release off the line on this reception is excellent, but the acceleration when the crosser arrives, giving the defender a little hop-step, is what really makes it impossible to defend. There’s going to come a point where we run out of things to say about Lockett; that point has not yet arrived—he’s magnificent.
[SEA 1-Goal TB 1] (:34) R. Wilson pass short right to J. Hollister for 1 yard, TOUCHDOWN
Yet another outstandingly drawn up play from Schottenheimer: Motion shows the defense’s hand, Turner picks the defender responsible for Jacob Hollister—who does a great job faking the block—before whipping towards the corner with great burst. Well drawn up, even better executed.
[SEA 1-10 SEA 15] (10:49) G. Fant reported in as eligible. C. Carson right tackle to TB 26 for 59 yards (D. White). FUMBLES (D. White), ball out of bounds at TB 24
All that comes to mind when Carson shakes off a pair of tacklers in the hole is another famous CenturyLink Field run, by another Seattle tailback. This is a phenomenal effort from Carson, and one that would’ve ended in a touchdown if it weren’t for White chasing him down like a man on a mission.
[TB 1-10 SEA 41] (5:39) J. Wells reported in as eligible. R. Jones right tackle to SEA 38 for 3 yards (Sq. Griffin)
It has been a few weeks since Griffin’s tackling against the run has been highlighted here, but he really is as good—and willing—as any cornerback in the league at it. He’s disciplined here, maintaining the edge and not allowing Ronald Jones to bounce it outside, before finishing the tackle with Jones wrapped up.
[SEA 2-22 SEA 30] (:48) (Shotgun) R. Wilson pass deep right to T. Lockett ran ob at TB 40 for 30 yards (A. Adams)
In general, Lockett falls under the category of “completely impossible to cover,” but he was on another level against Tampa Bay. While Andrew Adams avoids David Moore’s pick, it doesn’t matter. Lockett wheels away and makes the grab on a route similar to Doug Baldwin’s on a crucial third down against the Packers, in overtime, of the NFC Championship Game.
[TB 1-10 SEA 45] (11:36) J. Winston pass incomplete deep middle to M. Evans
Jameis Winston pushes the ball too deep anyway, but just look at the read by Marquise Blair, and, more importantly, the range to come across and make the play on the ball if need be. Compare the play above to the long completion Tedric Thompson allowed against the Ravens; it could not be more night and day. Blair’s range on the back end will be welcomed down the stretch.
[SEA 1-10 SEA 47] (4:34) G. Fant reported in as eligible. R. Wilson pass deep right to DK. Metcalf for 53 yards, TOUCHDOWN
For a few weeks now, we’ve seen Metcalf use double moves downfield to create separation. Here, it’s a slight head nod before he breaks toward the sideline that frees him up. While he may never be a complete route runner, it’s time to put stock in the idea of him developing into a savvy route runner.
[TB 2-2 SEA 32] (2:49) R.Jones up the middle to SEA 35 for -3 yards (J. Clowney, B. McDougald)
Here’s a nice excuse to enjoy some violent hands from Jadeveon Clowney, who continues to play as an elite run defender. Clowney’s sack number isn’t where we had hoped coming into the season, but he is pressuring at a consistent rate, and defending the run excellently. If Clowney’s re-signed this offseason, and further pass rushing talent is added around him, it’ll be fair to expect an uptick in traditional production in 2020.
[TB 3-5 SEA 35] (2:05) (Shotgun) J. Winston pass incomplete short right to B. Perriman (Sq. Griffin)
It was a tough day for both Griffin and Tre Flowers, due to the assignments they drew, and the lack of adjustment from the Seahawks, leaving the middle of the field open. However, here, we see terrific one-on-one coverage from Griffin, topped off with a great hands-clasped-behind-head celebration from a number one cornerback playing with the swagger of a number one cornerback.
[SEA 3-6 TB 35] (6:55) (Shotgun) R. Wilson pass deep left to DK. Metcalf to TB 6 for 29 yards (J. Dean)
One of the main concerns surrounding Metcalf as a prospect were drops, which had plagued him in college. In his rookie season, Metcalf has just three drops, and here he shows a tremendous level of focus, hauling in the back shoulder throw with his facemask getting pulled as the ball arrives. Metcalf continues to produce and swat away pre-draft concerns.
[SEA 2-Goal TB 10] (6:27) (Shotgun) R. Wilson pass short right to J. Hollister for 10 yards, TOUCHDOWN
What else could we end on? Last year, Wilson talked to Baker Mayfield about the importance of being able to throw at different angles, and how a background in baseball helps with that:
Reminded me of Russ and Baker talking about different arm angles in that QB2QB series pic.twitter.com/cjiL2QBOvj— Alistair Corp (@byAlistairCorp) November 5, 2019
Well, the arm angle, velocity and placement are all flawless from Wilson here, as the MVP through nine weeks calls game.
Seattle’s overtime victory in Week 9 sets up one of the games of the season in Week 10, as the Seahawks will head down to California to take on the undefeated 49ers. One of the best offenses in the league against one of the best defenses, in prime-time; next week’s matchup will be thrilling.