Late in the 2019 season, Travis Homer endeared himself to the Seahawks fan base and coaches by proving to be a tough, smart, and reliable third down back after he was pressed into action following injuries to Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, and C.J. Prosise.
Though Homer has retained the same passing down role in 2020, the support of fans has not lasted. The second-year back has often been the focal point of criticism during the early part of the season—the result of a few doomed handoffs on third and very long—despite again providing a reliable third down option as a blocker and a pass catcher. Calls for DeeJay Dallas, the rookie fourth-round pick, to take over as the passing down back have only gotten louder and more frequent.
However, Homer’s toughness and reliability were on display in the biggest moment during Seattle’s win over the Vikings on Sunday night, with a fourth down conversion to DK Metcalf made possible because of him.
Minnesota, with a heavy pressure look before the snap, dropped Harrison Smith after he showed blitz on the offense’s left, with Jeff Gladney coming from the offense’s right instead. Homer, who had started to Russell Wilson’s left and stepped up in that direction, recognized the free blitz of Gladney and got across, flinging himself in the way to buy Wilson enough time to find Metcalf—and keep the Seahawks’ drive alive.
Look at Travis Homer recognizing the free blitzer, getting across and throwing himself in the way. Conversion doesn't happen without that. People ask why he keeps getting snaps? This is why. Time and time again he does the right thing when called upon— Alistair Corp (@byalistaircorp) October 12, 2020
Seattle would continue their march down the field and cap it off with a game-winning touchdown, again on fourth down, and again to Metcalf. Throughout the drive it was Homer, not Carson nor Dallas, alongside Wilson.
The tough, heads up play that Homer made in the most crucial moment against the Vikings is exactly the type of reliability he has proven to have over the course of his young career. So while he may continue to confound some with a handful of wasted carries, he will also keep on making the right play time and time again. As a result, like Homer did in Week 5, it will contribute to winning.