This team also has some of the most interesting stories around the league as well. Russell Wilson is either the talk of the town for MVP, or completely ignored. Yes, it is as confusing as it sounds. Jamal Adams came out looking like the defensive player of the year, then got hurt. The defense is the worst in NFL history in a couple of categories, while first and second-year players on the D-line are new heroes. Some dude jumped on Chris Carson’s leg and tried to leave the stadium with it, and Venmo’d the league $6k for his troubles.
It’s been quite the opener. Here’s a few thoughts on where we’ve been and where the Seahawks *might* be headed.
Pleasant surprise thus far
Play-calling. To be honest I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. The Seattle Seahawks have three rushing touchdowns to 17 passing touchdowns. The red zone is Wilson’s, the middle of the field is Wilson’s, the numerous audibles are Wilson’s. It’s incredible and however many years you think it’s overdue, it’s pure, enjoyable football right now.
Early-down pass rate.— Computer Cowboy (@benbbaldwin) October 6, 2020
Seahawks back to No. 1 after last night. Andy Reid retire pic.twitter.com/HoUMjkbcpm
Unpleasant surprise thus far
Shaquill Griffin. What in the world. Until the Miami game, It’s been unfathomable that it has been nine months since Griffin was named to his first Pro Bowl. He played well enough to earn his spot as an alternate, and I thought he’d proved that years one and three were the real Griffin. Now, he’s playing like he’s got some bizarre curse that allows him talent every other game. He was stellar against the Dolphins, but Tre Flowers-comparable against the Dallas Cowboys.
I’ll sum it up with this one stat: Griffin gave up 411 air yards in all of 2019. He gave up 209 air yards in three games this year. It’s the most confusing step (backwards?) a player has taken in a while for this team. While we can hope this week was his re-emergence, forgive me for having some doubts.
Shaquill Griffin has had a GAME pic.twitter.com/O8mhChdxas— John Skellington Fraley (@johndavidfraley) October 4, 2020
Pete Carroll after Shaquill Griffin got the ball thrown over his head says it all. Hands on hips. Not happy. Wish we could see his face... pic.twitter.com/KQkLltMIsJ— Matty F. Brown (@mattyfbrown) October 1, 2020
Player who’s progress I’m most excited to watch this year
L.J. Collier. He had the one giant play against Cam Newton to end the game, but I’m more excited about the myriad of small wins that Collier’s had already this year. He’s undeniably better this year. He’s winning matchups he didn’t before, and looks to be a huge part of this rotation moving forward.
He should have finished it off with a sack but this is an excellent rep from L.J. Collier against Shaq Mason pic.twitter.com/wnbh6d3drj— Alistair Corp (@byalistaircorp) September 22, 2020
Not only is this pass rush fine, but they will justify themselves, statistically, as an above-average unit. They currently only have six sacks, among the worst in the league. However, their 23 QB knockdowns are the most in the NFL and their 37 pressures heading into Week 4 were second. This is a good team at getting to the quarterback. It’s also a good team at not getting there all the way, or fast enough. That will eventually have more of an impact on the game than it has thus far, assuming Pete Carroll immediately disallows Ken Norton from ever using two rushers ever again. I think by the end of the year the pass rush will get some sacks, and make this secondary look like the above-average unit it’s supposed to be.
Offensive MVP not named Russell Wilson
DK Metcalf, who finishes 2nd in the NFL in yards.
Defensive MVP not named Bobby Wagner
Jamal Adams, who will play like a man possessed after missing three games (yes, including this coming week) and dominate the cold-weather games.
At this point on the road against the Buffalo Bills and possibly one of the San Francisco 49ers or Los Angeles Rams games stand as the biggest remaining challenges. 14-2 is well within reach as defensive pieces continue to return to this team for the harder matchups.