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All-22 Musings: Russell Wilson delivers in the clutch

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in franchise history, the Seahawks are off to a 5-0 start and they couldn’t have done it in more typical fashion. Seattle held off a strong start and a stubborn Vikings team that refused to cower amid a flurry of Seahawk-friendly swings to get the chance they always want—an end of game possession to win. With it, they did what they have always done when led by Russell Wilson: methodically march down the field and deliver. Wilson and the offense’s heroics and more, below.

[MIN 1-10 MIN 46] (14:14) D.Cook left guard to MIN 44 for -2 yards (J.Reed)

Though Minnesota found success on the ground against Seattle, the interior of the Seahawks’ defensive line played well with Jarran Reed, Poona Ford, and Bryan Mone impressing. Reed made a few splash plays early on, including this excellent tackle for loss, skipping over the attempted cut block of fullback C.J. Ham and bringing Dalvin Cook down.

[MIN 1-10 MIN 14] (2:33) K.Cousins pass short left to A.Mattison to MIN 21 for 7 yards (C.Barton)

One of the areas Cody Barton has struggled in limited action has been his pursuit angles, often allowing himself to be washed out of a play because of it. That’s not the case here, as Barton slows up his run just enough to split the two lead blockers on a screen to Alexander Mattison, bringing him down after a seven yard gain.

[MIN 2-1 50] (14:28) D.Cook left guard to 50 for no gain (B.Mone)

Through five games, Mone has done more than enough to remain in the rotation after Damon Harrison gets into game shape. He has progressed considerably from being strictly a space eater, getting push up front and disengaging with some regularity—as he does here, forcing the Vikings’ center back before getting off the block and stuffing Cook for no gain.

[MIN 3-1 MIN 21] (4:13) (Shotgun) D.Cook left guard to MIN 21 for no gain (B.Mayowa; J.Reed)

Another superb play by Reed on 3rd and 1, getting off the ball supremely well to get a step on Dru Samia and meet Cook in the hole. Even in a down 2019 season, Reed’s run defense never really dropped off—he must get going against the pass more often, though.

[MIN 3-7 SEA 28] (:20) (Shotgun) K.Cousins pass incomplete deep right to A.Thielen (Sq.Griffin)

Shaquill Griffin’s PBU highlight tape would be as impressive as any. He breaks up a deep shot to Adam Thielen here in really impressive fashion, staying in phase, looking back to the ball, and displaying outstanding body control not to make contact while breaking up the pass.

[MIN 2-15 MIN 10] (12:32) (Shotgun) K.Cousins pass incomplete short left to A.Thielen (Q.Dunbar)

Pete Carroll praised Quinton Dunbar after Seattle’s win over Minnesota and rightfully so, with the corner having a strong game. Dunbar does well on this attempt to Thielen, recognizing the route combination and breaking on the ball with perfect timing. To keep Dunbar healthy down the stretch run would be absolutely massive for the Seahawks’ defense.

[SEA 1-10 SEA 42] (11:37) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short right to C.Carson to MIN 45 for 13 yards (E.Kendricks) [Y.Ngakoue].

In what is becoming a weekly occurrence, rookie guard Damien Lewis holds up 1-on-1 before finishing his block, driving Jaleel Johnson into the ground. Lewis has been an absolute blast to watch and he is nowhere near the finished product.

[SEA 2-4 MIN 19] (10:00) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass deep left to W.Dissly for 19 yards, TOUCHDOWN

It was just so nice to see Will Dissly score a touchdown on Sunday. It has been a sneaky bummer to see Dissly the clear-cut second tight end this year, after making such a fantastic return from injury a year ago, but this score is encouraging. The converted defensive lineman has such a great feel for receiving and can be a central part of the passing game—hopefully, his snaps rise as the season progresses.

[MIN 3-17 MIN 18] (9:06) (Shotgun) K.Cousins sacked at MIN 9 for -9 yards (Da.Moore). FUMBLES (Da.Moore), touched at MIN 22, RECOVERED by SEA-K.Wright at MIN 15

Damontre Moore was one of the unsung heroes of Week 5 for Seattle, popping up on defense and special teams with big plays. His ability to rush from the inside has been welcome with Rasheem Green on injured reserve and it was from there that he forced a fumble on 3rd and long, pinballing off blockers and getting to Kirk Cousins’ arm just in time.

[SEA 2-8 MIN 13] (8:23) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short middle to D.Metcalf for 13 yards, TOUCHDOWN

What a laser from Wilson. With the cornerback right on DK Metcalf’s hip and the safety coming across, Wilson had to fire it into Metcalf and he did just that to get the Seahawks rolling.

[MIN 1-10 MIN 25] (8:19) K.Cousins pass short right intended for J.Jefferson INTERCEPTED by K.Wright at MIN 36. K.Wright to MIN 29 for 7 yards (J.Jefferson)

Could you ask for a better angle of K.J. Wright’s glorious, full-extension interception? What a play. Not only the pick itself, but the way Wright glances over his shoulder twice to make sure his zone drop is the correct depth and position in order to make the play.

All week long, after Seattle’s win over the Dolphins, the messaging around Wright’s game was, “he was excellent, but we have to get him on the JUGS machine.” How does Wright respond? Reaching up for a one-handed pick.

[SEA 1-10 MIN 29] (8:09) C.Carson right guard for 29 yards, TOUCHDOWN

Harrison Smith. Oh Harrison Smith. You are going to be on highlight reels for a while. What an effort from Chris Carson, shedding a handful of feeble arm tackles before shedding Smith.

[MIN 2-1 SEA 32] (6:21) A.Mattison left guard to SEA 30 for 2 yards (C.Barton; J.Bullard)

Even from the middle of the line, Poona Ford can absolutely ruin outside runs by forcing the center back into the path of the running back. He has done it consistently against the outside zone game of the Rams for two years and he did it here, making Cook bounce a little extra outside, where he would be met by a pair of defenders for a minimal gain.

[SEA 2-9 SEA 40] (1:55) R.Wilson pass short left to T.Lockett pushed ob at MIN 43 for 17 yards (A.Harris)

Every now and then, Brian Schottenheimer dials up absolutely fantastic screen passes. He did that here, with motion from Tyler Lockett and then play action shifting the defense to the right, clearing the right sideline for Lockett to scurry up. A design like that is such an easy way to get the ball to dynamic players in space and it worked beautifully here.

[MIN 3-4 SEA 9] (2:35) (Shotgun) A.Thielen right end to SEA 6 for 3 yards (B.Mayowa; Da.Moore)

The stop before the stop. A fantastic effort first from Quandre Diggs and Ryan Neal to slow Thielen down, then from Moore and Benson Mayowa, in flat out sprints, to combine to keep the receiver short of the sticks.

[MIN 4-1 SEA 6] (2:00) A.Mattison right guard to SEA 6 for no gain (B.Wagner; B.Mayowa)

A similarly fantastic effort on fourth down, giving Wilson and the offense a chance. Mayowa, first, comes off the ball decisively, slowing down the fullback Ham just enough. Then Cody Barton—who had several moments of real aggression at the point of attack—stopping Ham and, as a result, Mattison, in their tracks. Finally, Bobby Wagner comes across just to be certain Wilson gets the ball back. And did he ever.

[SEA 1-10 SEA 6] (1:57) (Shotgun) R.Wilson scrambles up the middle to SEA 23 for 17 yards (E.Wilson)

On the “Russell Wilson Poise-O-Meter” this is only about a six, but still well worth recognizing—because it takes some poise to evade pressure like that in your own endzone before breaking up field for a crucial gain to kick start the drive. Never in doubt.

[SEA 2-10 SEA 23] (1:33) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass incomplete deep middle to D.Moore [J.Holmes]

We interrupt the regularly scheduled game-winning drive to bring you Greg Olsen in Bowling with Vikings. The veteran tight end, casually causing a massive pile up at the line of scrimmage before going on his merry way is tremendous entertainment.

[SEA 4-10 SEA 23] (1:21) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass deep left to D.Metcalf pushed ob at MIN 38 for 39 yards (C.Dantzler)

We’ll go with both angles here, first to show Metcalf doing an excellent job of finding the ball and adjusting his run to be in position to go up and get it—though he was helped by Cameron Dantzler really misjudging it.

And then the endzone angle for Travis Homer’s heroic block. He just does so well to see the free blitzer and get across, flinging himself in the way. Homer is going to continue to get snaps in these situations and it will continue to be the correct decision.

[SEA 2-10 MIN 38] (1:09) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short right to T.Lockett ran ob at MIN 21 for 17 yards (A.Harris)

You couldn’t ask for a better angle to display the absurd difficulty of defending Wilson and Lockett’s connection, as well as Lockett’s absolutely outstanding understanding of the scramble drill. The two move back to the right in unison with the play not there, allowing Wilson to roll out to his right and find Lockett for a crucial 17-yard gain.

[SEA 4-Goal MIN 6] (:20) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short right to D.Metcalf for 6 yards, TOUCHDOWN

Perfect play call in this spot from Schottenheimer and the Seahawks, forcing Minnesota’s man defense to make the choice on the crosser. The confusion allows Metcalf free, save for the safety over the top, who arrives too late.

[MIN 1-10 MIN 35] (:10) (Shotgun) K.Cousins sacked at MIN 27 for -8 yards (B.Mayowa). FUMBLES (B.Mayowa), touched at MIN 45, recovered by MIN-K.Rudolph at MIN 38

It was pretty much over after Metcalf’s touchdown, but Mayowa was sure to call game anyway, simply overpowering Brian O’Neill into Cousins’ lap and getting the strip sack. Ball game.