In the four most recent games, the Seattle Seahawks defense has generated 13 turnovers. Quandre Diggs has four of them himself. This includes three interceptions, which ties cornerback Richard Sherman if you care about that sort of thing.
Before Diggs’ arrival, Seattle had averaged 1.78 turnovers per game. They’re up to 2.23 per game now, again after only a four-game stretch for Diggs. The defensive turnaround has been remarkable...until last night when it wasn’t.
Diggs was pretty much the only good player on the defense Sunday night against the Los Angeles Rams. It destroys me to no end that Sean McVay continues to beat the Seahawks, because Jared Goff is bad. Really bad. His first attempted deep throw was a sad miss. He had a screen pass that cleared every player on the sideline.
And then he did this:
Goff on that play (probably): “How can I find the only guy on my team who’s double covered, and then throw it ten yards past him? That should work.”
Unfortunately, Diggs did not know that he should not have caught the ball, because the subsequent Seahawk offense from the five yard line was pitiful. They would have had as good a time just trying to hold the Rams to a punt.
At the moment, Quandre Diggs has officially (by me) supplanted Jadeveon Clowney as the best value in a 2019 John Schneider trade. Is Diggs a better player than Clowney? No. But Barkevious Mingo, Jacob Martin, and third round pick - while a ridiculous steal - is still a good amount of capital to give up. Especially since Martin continues to improve and play well.
But a fifth-round pick is NFL pocket change. Yes, fifth-rounders have turned into great players in the past (read: Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman, Tre Flowers), but that draft pick won’t materialize into anything for at least a year, and the Seahawks desperately needed anybody with a pair of cleats not named Tedric Thompson.
Quandre comes to Seattle from the Detroit Lions, where he spent four seasons and became a defensive captain. Before that, he was a four-year starter at Texas as a safety and corner. He was a monster getting to the ball back then as well, averaging around three interceptions per year and a forced fumble.
Diggs said he was “blindsided” by the trade that brought him to Seattle, but that hasn’t stopped him from filling one of the biggest needs on the roster. It’s not just good safety play that Pete Carroll was looking for.
Diggs brings a level of intimidation that I don’t believe anybody on the defense offers besides Jadeveon Clowney. Bobby Wagner had it, it’s kind of gone. Jarran Reed is probably intimidating, but completely disappeared last night and has had the whole suspension thing to deal with.
I think many fans are prepared to chalk this game up to a bunch of perfect storm weirdness. Like how often the Seahawks were not lined up before the play, or Shaquill Griffin’s interesting comment that the Hawks may not have been amped for the game.
We can hope that’s the case, because the direction the defense had been trending until Week 14 was encouraging. Primarily, the increase of turnovers and introduction of big hits, both courtesy of one Quandre Diggs.
He’s the one doing stuff like this:
Quandre Diggs with a monster hit on Irv Smith pic.twitter.com/g6eI2kP0iH— Main Team (@MainTeamSports) December 3, 2019
The confidence Diggs has brought at safety has also freed Bradley McDougald up to play more aggressively. He’s been consistently tying his season high in tackles, as well as registering a pass defensed, an interception, a qb hit, or a fumble recovery in each game since Diggs got here.
Until Sunday night.
Whatever this week’s disheveling says about the Hawks’ potential is unclear. But one wonders whether it was Quandre Diggs’ hamstring issue or his willingness to speak out that made Bob Quinn pull the trigger on the trade. At first, Diggs thought it was his willingness to speak out, and that it may have been a control issue for Detroit. Diggs did not play in Week 8 or Week 9 because of his hamstring, and I was beginning to get nervous that the Lions had pulled a fast one on Schneider.
Whatever the case may be, he looks healthy, plays like a fiend, and has sparked no reports of problems on or off the field. The only bright spot from a dismal primetime game should continue to be one of the best defensive players on the roster, but for Seattle to go anywhere let’s hope at least some of the other ten can have slightly better games moving forward.