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All-22 Musings: Carlos Dunlap calls game vs. Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

On a short week, the Seahawks bounced back with a convincing win over the Cardinals in primetime, as Russell Wilson connected with his two star wideouts on a number of big plays, while Carlos Hyde reinjected some life into the running game. Fittingly, it was the defense that wrapped up events, topping off an encouraging night from a much-maligned unit.

The best of both sides of the ball, below.

[SEA 1-10 ARZ 25] (8:53) R.Wilson pass deep right to D.Metcalf for 25 yards, TOUCHDOWN [M.Golden]

Starting off with DK Metcalf’s first career touchdown against Arizona, one that helped to display his excellent connection with Russell Wilson out of structure. As the play breaks down, Metcalf first breaks vertically with Wilson still between the tackles, before breaking toward the sideline as Wilson escapes to the right. Both quarterback and wide receiver played it perfectly.

[ARZ 2-7 ARZ 28] (8:22) (Shotgun) K.Murray pass incomplete short right

Since Poona Ford’s rookie season, when he would regularly sniff out screen passes and tail off his rushes to get into the flat, he has continuously displayed high-level football intelligence. It was his intelligence and awareness that led to a pressure here, as Ford recognizes the play fake and rushes toward Kyler Murray, forcing the incompletion.

[ARZ 3-12 ARZ 34] (4:28) (Shotgun) K.Murray pass short left to L.Fitzgerald to ARZ 35 for 1 yard (C.Dunlap; U.Amadi)

The defense plays the Cardinals’ screen perfectly on a 3rd and 12, with Ugo Amadi crashing down and tripping up Larry Fitzgerald, before Carlos Dunlap takes him to the ground. Amadi has an unbelievable sense for where the play is headed and, even better, he might just be the best tackler on the team.

[SEA 3-4 SEA 28] (2:35) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass deep right to D.Metcalf pushed ob at ARZ 31 for 41 yards (P.Peterson). PENALTY on SEA-D.Lewis, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at SEA 28 - No Play

Let’s just put the flag and the atrocious officiating display aside for a moment. Here’s Metcalf matched up against Patrick Peterson, who has consistently gotten the better of him in their previous matchups. And Metcalf absolutely leaves him for dead off the line of scrimmage. No contest and simply amazing to see.

[SEA 3-3 ARZ 28] (9:18) (No Huddle, Shotgun) C.Hyde right guard to ARZ 11 for 17 yards (I.Simmons)

A combination of beautiful design from Seattle’s brain trust on offense and great execution from Carlos Hyde, Will Dissly, and others lead to a 17 yard gain on 3rd and short. Dissly does well to get a hand on the edge defender and sell the outside run, before down-blocking as Hyde hits the line of scrimmage. Hyde does brilliantly to hit the correct hole and glide toward the second level.

It should’ve been more obvious in the moment but it was certainly obvious in hindsight: it was a brutal blow to the Seahawks to lose both Chris Carson and Hyde at the same time.

[SEA 1-10 ARZ 11] (8:32) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short right to T.Lockett for 11 yards, TOUCHDOWN

Not to be outdone by Wilson and Metcalf, Lockett found space to connect with Wilson for a touchdown of his own, one that was fittingly impossible to defend. Lockett first sits down at around five yards, but covered underneath and over the top, he breaks toward the back corner where Wilson lofted a pass for Lockett to haul in.

(Lockett has made so many ridiculous toe-tap grabs in recent years that Wilson could have pushed the ball several yards more outside and I would still have been confident in it being a touchdown.)

[ARZ 2-8 SEA 48] (4:05) (Shotgun) K.Murray pass incomplete deep left to D.Arnold (Q.Diggs)

We all saw Quandre Diggs’ booming hit on Dan Arnold in real time, but I’m not sure we knew he had a 15 yard running start before rattling Arnold’s bones and shaking the ball loose. A memorable play from a great performance for Diggs.

[ARZ 1-10 ARZ 38] (1:54) (Shotgun) K.Murray pass short left to C.Edmonds ran ob at ARZ 44 for 6 yards (B.Wagner) [C.Dunlap]

Though the pressure arrives just a split-second late, Carlos Dunlap has an absolutely savage rush matched up against Maxx Williams. Dunlap first pushes Williams back with a nasty long arm, before shedding him to the ground and shoving Murray to the ground just after the ball is released.

For as good as Dunlap’s rush is, it’s created by the blitz look. With K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner sugaring the A-gaps, Arizona can’t slide protection to the right—leaving Dunlap 1-on-1 with a tight end, while J.R. Sweezy just helps on Jarran Reed as Wright drops into coverage.

[ARZ 3-1 ARZ 47] (1:31) (No Huddle, Shotgun) K.Murray left end to ARZ 45 for -2 yards (K.Wright)

I don’t believe there is a more difficult task for a defender in the NFL right now than being 1-on-1 in space with Kyler Murray. Undaunted, K.J. Wright does brilliantly to stay square to Murray on 3rd and 1, forcing the tackle for loss and seeing the Cards’ offense off the field. Wright continues to pile up these memorable moments at the back end of his Seattle career.

[SEA 2-2 SEA 32] (:32) (Shotgun) D.Dallas right tackle to SEA 45 for 13 yards (H.Reddick; J.Thompson)

While I’m comfortable delaying any real evaluation of DeeJay Dallas until 2021, this play and series were encouraging. Contact balance was Dallas’s best trait as a prospect and we didn’t see much of it at all during his extended audition in recent weeks. It was certainly on display here, with Dallas breaking four or five tackle attempts to gain 13 on 2nd and 2.

Also encouraging was simply that Dallas was given the two-minute drill, with Travis Homer out of the lineup. He has looked overwhelmed in pass protection as a rookie, but he was excellent at it in college and it was nice to see him get the chance in Week 11.

[SEA 1-10 SEA 28] (10:02) R.Wilson pass short left to D.Metcalf to 50 for 22 yards (P.Peterson)

Metcalf tried to brighten Peterson’s evening after a tough first half, buying him a new pair of roller skates and strapping them on his feet before this snap. Sadly, it doesn’t work out for Peterson, as he slips and slides while Metcalf bites off another 20+ yard gain.

[SEA 1-10 ARZ 17] (5:37) (Shotgun) C.Hyde right guard pushed ob at ARZ 2 for 15 yards (B.Baker; P.Peterson)

A little conspiracy corner time: this Hyde run came directly after a Lockett catch that led to a scary tackle and then a scuffle, with Dre Kirkpatrick and Metcalf in the middle. Now, I am not saying Metcalf blocked Peterson into Hyde’s path on purpose for retribution—but I’m not not saying it either. Regardless, Peterson gets run over by a truck and shortly after, the Seahawks put another score on the board.

[ARZ 3-1 ARZ 19] (4:18) (Shotgun) K.Drake left guard to ARZ 21 for 2 yards (J.Brooks)

Though Kenyan Drake was able to convert the 3rd and short here, Jordyn Brooks showed something he has been consistently solid at in limited reps: staying off blocks at the second level. D.J. Humphries moves up to block Brooks, and Seattle’s rookie side steps him to meet Drake in the hole for a minimal gain. Tough not to be encouraged by everything Brooks has shown so far.

[ARZ 2-22 ARZ 2] (9:18) (Shotgun) K.Murray pass short middle to D.Hopkins to ARZ 10 for 8 yards (K.Wright). PENALTY on ARZ-J.Sweezy, Offensive Holding, 2 yards, enforced in End Zone, SAFETY - No Play

A heads up play by L.J. Collier, jumping inside with Arizona on their own goal line, leads to a safety as Sweezy did what Sweezy does. Collier’s greatest impact as a pass rusher will come inside and though it didn’t come with a power rush here, it was great to see the sophomore get another big moment.

[ARZ 2-10 SEA 27] (:50) (Shotgun) K.Murray pass incomplete deep middle to L.Fitzgerald (Q.Diggs)

As Larry Fitzgerald gets a step on Wagner and heads toward the goal post, Murray sees a game-tying touchdown—only for Diggs to get across the top with perfect timing, breaking up the pass. The Seahawks’ free safety did exactly what he had to on two of the final three plays of the game—and what he has done since arriving in Seattle.

[ARZ 3-10 SEA 27] (:45) (Shotgun) K.Murray pass incomplete deep right to A.Isabella (D.Reed) [J.Reed]

Murray again goes deep on the penultimate play, hanging the ball up long enough for D.J. Reed to catch up and Diggs to get across.

Reed and Diggs made the play on the ball, but Jarran Reed made the play itself. With Dunlap knifing between right tackle Kelvin Beachum and Sweezy, Reed loops outside and forces a lofted throw from Murray.

[ARZ 4-10 SEA 27] (:38) (Shotgun) K.Murray sacked at SEA 33 for -6 yards (C.Dunlap)

Dunlap does what he was brought to the Seahawks to do and calls game, forcing himself past Beachum and throwing Murray to the ground, clinching a win.