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Winners and Losers from the Seahawks’ insane 27-26 comeback over the Vikings

Minnesota Vikings v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Even by Seattle Seahawks standards, that was an improbable win.

To get picked off near midfield with 5:38 to go was not a death blow, but they were in the unenviable position of never touching the ball on offense again. Maybe win probability doesn’t take into account how some teams like the Seahawks just find ways to prevail even in the bleakest of situations. It took one 4th down stop and two 4th down conversions for Seattle to stun the Minnesota Vikings and get their first 5-0 start in franchise history.

Winners and Losers is late because I did the post-game podcast, but it is nevertheless wrapped up and ready for your Monday evening.


DK Metcalf

I pretty much outlined my reasons last night but I’ll rehash them. Metcalf has been typecast as the big bodied speedster who can run go routes and destroy man coverage when paired up with someone as gifted as Russell Wilson. DK scored a pair of touchdowns that frankly he’s never scored before in his young Seahawks career — a diving slant and then another diving grab on a crosser for the winner. This is quick progression of a future superstar and he came up clutch in the 4th quarter once more.

Russell Wilson

Okay, he did not play very well. If Seattle hadn’t won he would be a loser because that interception is one of the worst decisions I’ve ever seen him make. If he’s going to have a 20/32 performance including 5/17 to end the game, you would expect him to have more than 190 net yards passing. But he is truly built for moments like that game-winning drive. In the rain with 94 yards to go and only one timeout, Seattle never used that timeout and Wilson converted when there was no room for error. It’s his 34th game-winning drive of his illustrious career and it’s one of his best ones ever. If Russ is still going to find a way to cook in sloppy conditions, maybe he is going full speed ahead towards an MVP and much greater things.

K.J. Wright

What a performance! Two passes defensed, the first home game interception of his career, and a fumble recovery that might have been a touchdown if it wasn’t blown dead. I don’t know if he’ll play another year in Seattle and it’s obviously not up to him, but he is one of my favorite Seahawks ever and he’s been stellar once again.

Damontre’ Moore

Not only did Moore have the first strip-sack of Kirk Cousins but he also had the game-saving tackle on Adam Thielen on that 3rd and 4 end-around right before the failed 4th and inches. There was also a bone-crunching hit on Ameer Abdullah on the kickoff return. While David Moore was unable to get on the offensive stat sheet, the other D. Moore kicked ass on defense and even on special teams.

Benson Mayowa

It is abundantly clear that Mayowa is Seattle’s best pass rusher and he closed the show with a strip-sack of Kirk Cousins. He’s been the Seahawks’ top free agent signing and I’m glad Seattle has him again but this time in the prime of his career.

The entire special teams unit

I am blown away by how good the Seahawks special teams has become. They aren’t anything special in terms of the return game but that has diminishing value as the league has fiddled with the rules, but they have been amazing elsewhere. Jason Myers has yet to miss a PAT or a field goal (not like he’s attempted many field goals this year), Michael Dickson has been a beast, and the coverage unit has allowed only 59 return yards on 9 returnable punts.

Will Dissly

I am so glad that Dissly got back into the end zone. Tuesday marks a full year since he ruptured his Achilles against the Cleveland Browns. That he’s back and running wheel routes in Week 5 after his second serious injury is highly encouraging.

Chris Carson

Only for the touchdown run that saw Harrison Smith get thoroughly owned while trying to tackle Carson. It’s one of Carson’s best touchdown runs of his Seahawks career and he made one of the top safeties in the league look like a little child who got into too much trouble on a merry-go-round.

Travis Homer

I will ignore the rather absurd debate over Homer’s value on the team as a runner (spoiler: it’s not good) and instead praise him for his critical pass-blocking on the game-winning drive. Alistair covered this already and it’s worth repeating because there’s a reason why Homer is on the team. When Rashaad Penny returns, Homer is here to stay because he’s the primary kick returner and the team trusts him the most in the two-minute offense.


Run defense

The damn finally burst for this run defense facing your classic Gary Kubiak offense. They committed to the run early and never let up. Seattle gave up 201 yards on the ground but thankfully it wasn’t 202 or else the Seahawks would be 4-1. Poona Ford was particularly disappointing as he was pretty much invisible for the first time all season and then the contain on the outside was just brutal for much of the night. Seattle’s defense often looked overpowered against Minnesota’s offensive line.

Cody Barton

I thought about making him a “Winner” because he did get the pivotal stop on Alexander Mattison with the game on the line, but he had a really deceptive 14-tackle performance. Most all of his solo tackles were down the field and after the yardage to gain was either mostly achieved or actually achieved. He has a horrible time shedding blocks and it makes the run defense worse. I’ll credit him for a great 4th down play but he struggled for the second week in a row and was part of the reason why the Seahawks couldn’t get off the field.

Tre Flowers

Man, he just doesn’t get better. Dunbar left for a bit and Flowers immediately committed an obvious 15-yard helmet shot penalty that was probably more egregious than the one that got Quandre Diggs ejected against the New England Patriots. Keep Dunbar as healthy as possible and Flowers in the reserviest of reserve roles. I want him to be good but he isn’t.

Brian Schottenheimer’s playcalling

I don’t think the Let Russ Cook mantra was meant to lean on the passing game as heavily as they did on a rainy day. There were 41 called passes to 11 rushes. Minnesota had a ton of two deep safety looks and it froze this whole passing game and took the shot plays away. Wilson was sacked four times and hit an additional nine times, and all five of his runs were scrambles. The final couple of drives skew this a little bit more but yeah, that was extremely pass-heavy on a day when their passing game was very ineffective for most of the evening. Your other problem is the play sequencing, which saw three runs wasted on trying to get Chris Carson going to start the 2nd half. Another run was a wasted give-up draw with Travis Homer on 3rd and 22 that nuked a field goal opportunity and turned into a punt. I support Let Russ Cook and I support passing more, but the running game implementation has been spotty at best and surely could’ve helped on a day when Russ only cleared seven adjusted yards gained per pass attempt on the last drive.

Pete Carroll’s punting decisions

They could’ve arguably gone for it on 4th and 1 at their own 34, 4th and 7 at Minnesota’s 40, and even 4th and 4 at their own 42. Seattle punted every single time. Only one of these ended in a touchdown for the Vikings but ultimately this defense has given up too many long, clock-killing scoring drives to be comfortable with playing the field position game. Michael Dickson’s excellent punting is being wasted by the defense’s inability to get off the field.

Other Notes

  • Shaquill Griffin’s pass defensed on Adam Thielen was a great play by him. He didn’t have a particularly strong performance and he understandably drew a tough assignment, but that’s the third week in a row where he’s had a pivotal interception and/or quality play on the ball.
  • Damien Lewis struggled a bit in pass protection and I think the Seahawks offensive line was not at its strongest. Some of those sacks were coverage sacks but Wilson got hit a ton in this game.
  • Not that it mattered, but Jason Myers needs to squib that last kickoff all the way to the returnman. Trust your coverage unit to prevent a big return and make them run time off the clock instead of booting it out of bounds and letting none of the 15 seconds tick away.
  • Tyler Lockett has been kinda quiet for two straight games which is not really concerning at the moment, but just something worth noting.
  • Ryan Neal once again had a couple of tackles for losses and he actually looked effective coming on the blitz. He has earned a permanent spot in the Seahawks’ secondary rotation even when Jamal Adams returns.
  • This bye week can’t come soon enough. A time to get healthy, a time to relax, and a time for us to take a break from the Seahawks’ never-ending love of the dramatic ending. Then it gets serious with three NFC West games and the unbeaten Buffalo Bills to come.
  • Enemy Reaction is going to be so much fun.