The Seahawks began Week 15 against the Panthers down starters on the defensive line, at linebacker and in the secondary, and they lost several more players over the course of the game. Regardless, just as a well coached team would do, Seattle survived their own war of attrition to come out of Carolina with a 30-24 victory. The win sees the Seahawks close out their road schedule at 7-1, and a spectacular 5-0 in 10 AM kickoffs.
Seattle rode a great game from Chris Carson, a revival of Tyler Lockett and some splash plays by the defense to victory, and that is what will be highlighted here:
[SEA 3-1 SEA 34] (13:49) G. Fant reported in as eligible. C. Carson left guard to CAR 43 for 23 yards (R. Cockrell)
The Panthers’ sorry run defense should not take away from this outstanding run by Chris Carson. The jump cut back inside to evade Luke Kuechly on the edge is sudden; skinny through the hole at the line of scrimmage and the subsequent burst to get to the second level is excellent; and the finish is quintessential Carson.
[SEA 2-4 CAR 16] (10:34) G. Fant reported in as eligible. C. Carson right end for 16 yards, TOUCHDOWN
There was a lot to like on Carson’s first touchdown run of the day, but the way he flips his hips to leave no. 47, Ross Cockrell, grasping at air is tremendous. Carson has the total package as a runner and each trait he has shows up every week.
[SEA 1-10 SEA 30] (7:37) R. Wilson pass deep left to T. Lockett to CAR 26 for 44 yards (D. Jackson)
Tyler Lockett is officially back from the flu and shin injury that had plagued him, because he is back to making contested catches that are utterly nonsensical. Lockett does well to get into space between Donte Jackson and Tre Boston’s zones, but to complete the catch with Jackson right in his line of sight is just spectacular.
The end zone view does the flight of Russell Wilson’s pass perfect justice, too. The way Wilson’s deep passes flatten out is a thing of beauty:
[SEA 2-3 CAR 19] (6:12) C. Prosise left guard to CAR 14 for 5 yards (S. Thompson; L. Kuechly)
C.J. Prosise seemed to land in the doghouse a little bit after his fumble that wasn’t, as Travis Homer saw some time with the offense in the second half, but this is a solid carry from Prosise. There is a quick jump cut back inside—having spotted the cut back lane—and then finished once he got up-field. It is Prosise’s versatile ability as a receiver that makes him such a tantalizing talent, but even going back to his year as a running back at Notre Dame, he has been a solid runner between the tackles.
[SEA 1-10 CAR 14] (5:35) (Shotgun) G. Fant reported in as eligible. R. Wilson pass incomplete short right to G. Fant [B. Irvin]
George Fant’s touchdown grab that wasn’t had to be included here, because just get a look at the big tackle as he rumbled downfield, to the sideline and then as he made the grab. That is a touchdown in my books every day of the week, if for no other reason than the style points that accompany it.
[SEA 2-15 CAR 19] (5:27) (Shotgun) R. Wilson pass deep left to DK. Metcalf for 19 yards, TOUCHDOWN
Right off the top, we get another example of the complete faith Wilson has in DK Metcalf, which after just 14 games is incredibly exciting. Even more exciting? The way Metcalf wins this route. We have seen a number of positive developments in Metcalf’s game over the course of his rookie season, but if he starts to translate his ridiculous physical traits into winning above the rim consistently, his ceiling goes from the stratosphere to the exosphere.
[CAR 1-10 CAR 25] (5:22) C. McCaffrey right end to CAR 24 for -1 yards (P. Ford)
We are running out of new ways to describe Poona Ford’s ability to defend the run, because he has been making a splash play or two on a weekly basis. This is as classic as it comes, though: Gets a step on the opposing lineman by shooting through a gap, wards off a shove from a reaching guard, and makes a superb stop on the running back. Ford is a gem, and provides ridiculous entertainment.
[SEA 2-18 SEA 17] (12:38) (Shotgun) R. Wilson pass deep right to J. Gordon to CAR 25 for 58 yards (E. Reid)
Josh Gordon’s incredible catch here, from the finger tip grab, to secure it into his body and maintain control, drew the initial attention; but upon watching the wide view, I am completely taken by the moonshot from Wilson. Wilson’s pass to Lockett against the Chiefs was the best throw in the 2018 Deep Ball Project, and after this gorgeous pass, he may just repeat.
[SEA 2-15 CAR 19] (10:15) (Shotgun) R. Wilson pass deep right to T. Lockett for 19 yards, TOUCHDOWN
Some will want to assign blame to Carolina’s defense here rather than credit to the Seahawks’ offense, but I believe it is the latter which deserves recognition. It is a good use of pre-snap motion to tell coverage, and then the route combination between Lockett, Jacob Hollister and Chris Carson sees Lockett uncovered at the pylon.
[CAR 3-10 CAR 25] (9:31) (Shotgun) K. Allen sacked at CAR 17 for -8 yards (R. Green)
Rasheem Green continued his sudden development into a physical presence on Sunday, as he notched his fourth sack of the season with a mean bull rush that saw Dennis Daley put back on his heels. Green is not winning with any kind of regularity in the ways we expected him to as a prospect, and that is great.
[CAR 3-10 CAR 39] (2:29) (Shotgun) K. Allen pass short left to C. McCaffrey to CAR 45 for 6 yards (U. Amadi; Q. Diggs)
Quandre Diggs, prior to his exit with a high ankle sprain, was incredibly important to Seattle against the Panthers. Time and time again, he was so quick to come down from his free safety spot, not a single wasted movement as he always pursued a good angle. While this stop comes against the pass, Diggs was superb against the run, too, filling every time Christian McCaffrey got to the second and third level.
One more for good measure:
[CAR 2-1 SEA 37] (:52) (No Huddle, Shotgun) K. Allen pass short left to D. Moore to SEA 32 for 5 yards (Q. Diggs)
[CAR 3-10 SEA 32] (:30) (Shotgun) K. Allen pass short middle intended for C. Hogan INTERCEPTED by B. Wagner at SEA 20. B. Wagner to SEA 26 for 6 yards (D. Moore)
Bobby Wagner’s first interception of the season came on an unbelievable play, as he dropped back into his hook/curl zone and reads Kyle Allen the whole way. Wagner’s break on the ball is immediate and quick, which enabled him to rob Chris Hogan of a completion underneath.
[CAR 1-10 SEA 41] (5:11) (Shotgun) C. McCaffrey up the middle to SEA 39 for 2 yards (P. Ford; B. Wagner)
Ford’s second appearance in this space for Week 15 is one of his best plays all season. Ford takes on the double team inside, splits it at the point of attack to make the stop on McCaffrey and blow up the run after two yards.
[CAR 2-8 SEA 39] (4:32) K. Allen pass short middle intended for C. McCaffrey INTERCEPTED by K. Wright (P. Ford) at SEA 39. K. Wright to 50 for 11 yards (T. Moton)
K.J. Wright was gifted the interception, but like Wagner’s interception, he did everything right prior to it. His position with McCaffrey coming to the top of his route is excellent, as is his closing speed as Allen prepared to release the ball. A well earned turnover for a veteran enjoying a fantastic comeback campaign.
[CAR 1-10 CAR 36] (15:00) C. McCaffrey right guard to CAR 41 for 5 yards (B. McDougald)
In the first half, it was all Diggs coming up to fill against the run and stop McCaffrey after decent gains; in the second half, Bradley McDougald was deployed in the box often, and he made a positive impact. He was around the ball consistently, and this read and tackle was his finest play against the run.
[SEA 1-10 SEA 18] (13:40) G. Fant reported in as eligible. C. Carson up the middle to SEA 33 for 15 yards (E. Reid)
Yet another big Seattle run sprung by Mike Iupati, who has been doing just that consistently in 2019. The hulking guard comes across the line of scrimmage and helps to take out both Wes Horton and Kuechly, as Carson glides for 10 yards.
[CAR 1-10 CAR 49] (6:20) (No Huddle, Shotgun) K. Allen pass incomplete deep left to D. Moore
As a depleted defense tried to cling to life in the fourth quarter, Tre Flowers and the secondary got picked apart a little bit. However, this rep from Flowers is worth highlighting, because it is wonderful Seahawk-y cornerback play. Flowers bails off the line with his eyes back at Allen, uses his positioning to pin D.J. Moore—a rising star at wide receiver—to the sideline, and give him no room even if the ball is on target. Great stuff from Flowers.
[SEA 3-11 SEA 24] (2:24) (Shotgun) R. Wilson pass short right to T. Lockett to SEA 38 for 14 yards (L. Kuechly)
Wilson does beautifully here to buy time when the play breaks down, and as always, Lockett is there for him, breaking first to the left then back to the right to give Wilson an option. The Wilson-Lockett connection is incredibly important to Seattle, and it helped to seal the victory here.
The 11-3 Seahawks will now return home to close out their regular season schedule, starting with the second meeting between them and the Cardinals in 2019—the first of which produced a fine defensive performance.