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Seahawks 21 Bengals 20: Winners and Losers from Seattle’s 2019 season opener

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Cincinnati Bengals v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks made life hard for themselves against the Cincinnati Bengals, but they escaped with a 21-20 win to get off to a 1-0 start in the 2019 NFL season. Statistically, Seattle was quite fortunate to get this victory, but key turnovers and timely plays on both offense and defense was enough to see them through.

Let’s get to the winners and losers from this game.

Winners

Quinton Jefferson

I’ve been hard on Jefferson for missed tackles and bad penalties that he’s had in his career, but he played well last season and was brilliant against Cincinnati. Two sacks, six tackles, and two passes batted don’t even begin to tell the story of how well he played. That was outstanding stuff from Q-Jeff and for my money, he was the MVP of the entire game.

Jadeveon Clowney

Officially one sack, one pass defensed, and two total tackles... we saw that much like Jefferson, he played better than the stats displayed. He probably would have had more pressures and sacks if not for the insane amount of uncalled (and called) holding that transpired.

Al Woods

The big guy officially was credited with a fumble recovery and not an interception... whatever, it’s a takeaway. He was also great in run defense, as was the rest of the team, as the Bengals never really got going with either Joe Mixon or Giovanu Bernard.

Linebackers

Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, and Mychal Kendricks are undoubtedly the best starting LB group in the NFL. Wagner had two TFLs and remained a run-stopping force, while Kendricks’ only real boo boo was falling for the flea flicker on the first John Ross TD. Wright was effect both in coverage and against the run, and I’m so glad Seattle re-signed him.

D.K. Metcalf

Outside of a touchdown, that was a good a debut as you could imagine for Metcalf. Four catches for 89 yards, three of them for first downs, and one pass interference drawn in the end zone. His slant route-running looked sharp, his body positioning was on point, and his deep ball snag for 42 yards right before halftime was what we’d hoped to see materialize ASAP. On a day when Tyler Lockett was heavily double teamed, Metcalf showed up in a big way.

Chris Carson

A two touchdown day for #32, whose fumble thankfully didn’t cost Seattle any points. He didn’t have a lot of room to maneuver on the ground, but the touchdown catch-and-run was vintage Chris with his multiple broken tackles, and he had a critical 21-yard gallop for a third down conversion as Seattle drained the clock.

Russell Wilson

Somehow, Wilson was 14/20 for 196 yards and 2 TDs with no turnovers. It won’t go down as a tremendous day at the office for Wilson; he did get himself another fourth-quarter game-winning touchdown pass to add to his tally.

Tyler Lockett

Really he shouldn’t be on here with just two targets and a drop, but that one catch was the go-ahead touchdown, and he continues to show himself to be one of the NFL’s best deep threats. Hopefully the rise of Metcalf makes Lockett double teams less of a thing moving forward.

Shaquill Griffin

On a day when the secondary wasn’t on song, Griffin had what I thought was one of his best performances as a Seahawk. He had two passes defensed and Dalton much preferred going after zones, underneath routes, or Tre Flowers (more on that later) over Griffin. On a play that didn’t count, Griffin high-pointed and batted a long ball away from Tyler Boyd, which I absolutely loved.

Ben Burr-Kirven

The rookie figured to be a special teams regular once he made the team, and his impact was instant in the form of a forced fumble (with a Seahawks recovery). Seattle’s punt coverage as a whole was solid, and Burr-Kirven was a bright spot.

Rasheem Green

Whether or not you think that was actually an Andy Dalton fumble, it was great to see Green make a play out there at a pivotal time. He has struggled with injuries and ineffective play, so great job by Rasheem to pick up a game-winning strip-sack.

Losers

Tedric Thompson

I don’t expect Tedric Thompson to be Earl Thomas, but I also don’t want to see Rahim Moore 2.0 out there. A horrible misjudge of a pass that should’ve been intercepted instead turned into a John Ross III touchdown right before halftime. He is a consistent liability when teams target him, and whatever ball skills he had in Colorado have yet to appear in the NFL. I’d rather see Marquise Blair take his lumps out there than witness Tedric flailing at air.

Tre Flowers

The second-year corner led the team in tackles and I am pretty sure that’s not supposed to be a good thing. He was targeted early and often and certainly could’ve helped stop both Ross touchdowns. Flowers missed a tackle on the first Ross TD and then stopped running with Ross on the assumption that Thompson would make a play. He didn’t, and either one of them tackling Ross in bounds would’ve run the clock out thanks to the Bengals having no timeouts. His best play was actually the fumble recovery to clinch the game, as that was a heads up play. I also think Flowers got screwed on that pass interference call but as a whole, he struggled.

Offensive line

Yikes. That was not good. Very little meaningful success on the ground (21 carries for 64 yards by the running backs) and Russell Wilson was under far too much pressure. Four sacks and could’ve easily been more. Germain Ifedi in particular had a poor game with both blocking issues and penalties, which is not an ideal start to a contract year.

Brian Schottenheimer

Seattle’s offense had the third-worst rate of three-and-outs in 2018, which was somehow even worse than the 2017 team. Of course, they start out 2019 with six three-and-outs on what I consider to be 12 drives, as they had two possessions that were just kneeldowns. When this team gets behind schedule it’s almost as if they are willing to forfeit that entire possession.

Cody Barton

While BBK had a brilliant ST play, Barton’s running into the kicker gifted the Bengals a field goal. Rookie mistake.

Officiating

What in the hell was that? Brad Rogers’ crew decided that the Bengals offensive line could false start as many times as possible without a penalty, and that Jadeveon Clowney getting tackled by said OL was legal many times over. The pass interference on Flowers was ticky-tack at best, and the “fumble” by Dalton that ended up giving the Seahawks win looked like a bad call, with the review team somehow concurring. Whatever, I’ll take it! Doesn’t mean this was a well officiated game, though.

Final Notes

  • Rashaad Penny was unlucky to have a 20-yard run wiped out because of an unnecessary Germain Ifedi hold. Outside of that, he had just 18 yards on 6 carries and continues to show little power or elusiveness.
  • I am surprised Zac Taylor punted on 4th down with under four minutes left to go. He trusted his defense to get the ball back with a reasonable amount of time and it backfired. His passing offense certainly looked creative and fun, which could turn John Ross’ career around.
  • That Lockett drop was announced as “intended for John Ursua,” who didn’t even play. Great commentary by CBS.
  • Wilson took a delay of game because he tried calling consecutive timeouts, and man alive I could do without them failing to lineup properly AFTER a timeout.
  • This defense needs to be much better next week, because I doubt the Pittsburgh Steelers will look as inept on offense at home as they did against the New England Patriots on Sunday night.
  • Enemy Reaction is coming your way on Monday!