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All-22 Musings: Bobby Wagner takes over vs 49ers

San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

As Bobby Wagner unleashed a level of fury previously unknown to the human race on Sunday, a football game occurred—one that was won by the Seahawks. The 37-27 score line was either flattering to the 49ers or unflattering to Jimmy Garoppolo, with Nick Mullens helping San Francisco to charge back into the game before Russell Wilson called it. We’ll get into Wagner’s sparkling performance, among others, below.

[SF 1-10 SF 35] (13:15) T.Coleman right end to SF 39 for 4 yards (J.Reed; Q.Diggs)

Perhaps the single biggest flaw in Quandre Diggs’ game is his pursuit angles as a tackler, coming down from over the top against the pass. As a run defender? He’s an absolute heat-seeking missile and does not miss when he’s able to get a run up like that. A crunching start to a solid game from Seattle’s defense.

[SF 3-5 SEA 37] (11:12) (Shotgun) Direct snap to J.McKinnon. J.McKinnon up the middle to SEA 40 for -3 yards (Da.Moore, S.Sullivan)

Forget about the obvious miscommunication from the 49ers and the bust in protection for a moment, and instead marvel at a wide receiver turned tight end turned defensive end showing up with a tackle for loss just minutes into his NFL debut. The majority of Sullivan’s snaps were fairly anonymous and the lack of polish is obvious. Who knows whether he will become a rotational player on the defensive line or not—this was a really cool moment.

[SF 3-5 SEA 20] (4:13) (Shotgun) J.Garoppolo pass short right intended for G.Kittle INTERCEPTED by D.Reed at SEA 13. D.Reed to SEA 14 for 1 yard (J.McKinnon)

Though D.J. Reed wasn’t perfect against his old team, he made a few splash plays in his Seahawks debut—including this gift courtesy of Jimmy Garoppolo. Reed is a little more adept than Ugo Amadi at pressing and mirroring receivers from the slot, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise if he begins to take snaps away once Amadi is healthy. Regardless of the direction they go, Seattle has a few options.

[SEA 2-6 SF 46] (:08) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short left to D.Metcalf for 46 yards, TOUCHDOWN

DK Metcalf’s first score of the game is getting both angles this week because my goodness. Credit to Jacob Hollister for sustaining his block as long as he did and to Will Dissly from finding work, freezing Jimmie Ward just long enough. But mostly, credit Metcalf for being one-of-one.

What more is there to say?

[SEA 1-10 SF 47] (4:59) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass deep left to D.Metcalf pushed ob at SF 12 for 35 yards (E.Moseley)

There are very few prettier sights in sports than the endzone angle of a Russell Wilson shot down the sideline, giving you a perfect angle to admire the flight of the ball. Just a marvelous thing to watch over and over. (Look at how late Metcalf goes for the catch, giving Emmanuel Moseley no chance to make a play on him or the ball without looking back for it.)

[SEA 2-Goal SF 2] (3:08) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short middle to D.Metcalf for 2 yards, TOUCHDOWN

The window Wilson fit that ball into and Metcalf’s grown-man strength to hold off the defender—and catch a touchdown through pass interference—combine to give us yet another fantastic touchdown.

[SF 2-7 SF 33] (1:55) (Shotgun) J.Garoppolo pass short left to T.Taylor to SF 27 for -6 yards (P.Ford)

For those of you scoring at home, that’s now two weeks in a row Poona Ford has chased down a wide receiver screen to make the tackle. The half-second pause Ford has before running toward Trent Taylor makes it all that much better. Last season, Ford continuously showed his football intelligence in tailing off his rush and chasing down screens to tailbacks. Now, he’s added wide receiver screens to his list.

[SF 3-13 SF 27] (1:23) (Shotgun) J.Garoppolo sacked at SF 17 for -10 yards (B.Wagner)

Goodness. Gracious. Wagner is picked up by Hroniss Grasu but quickly, easily dispatches the center before emphatically laying Garoppolo out. Wagner came ready to play on Sunday and seemingly unloaded his anger on whichever 49er was closest.

[SF 3-4 SF 31] (13:44) (Shotgun) J.Garoppolo sacked at SF 22 for -9 yards (B.Wagner)

This time Garoppolo was saved from taking the direct anger, with Wagner instead bowling over a pair of unsuspecting San Francisco blockers before then tripping up the 9ers’ quarterback. Keep on bringing Wagner through the A-gap because on Sunday, it worked wonderfully.

[SEA 1-10 SF 37] (12:49) (Shotgun) D.Dallas left end pushed ob at SF 28 for 9 yards (D.Jones)

I think it’s clear, in an ideal world, DeeJay Dallas would have been rarely used as a rookie. Pete Carroll hinted at his rawness after the game. In that regard, he did fairly well against the 49ers, taking what was there and not making any disastrous errors. However, his lack of creation ability was noticeable against an NFL defense. This run, however, was quite encouraging, with Dallas showing good vision to bounce all the way outside, with the wiggle needed to actually pull it off.

[SEA 3-Goal SF 2] (8:07) R.Wilson pass short right to D.Dallas for 2 yards, TOUCHDOWN

The Seahawks love play-action rollouts at the goal line and rightfully so. It often leads to an easy completion for Wilson, either due to the misdirection or the conflict defenders are put in. It was the latter here, with the linebacker frozen in place as Dallas headed toward the pylon unguarded.

[SEA 1-10 SF 21] (7:58) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short left to D.Metcalf pushed ob at SF 12 for 9 yards (J.Ward)

There’s a reason why screen passes to Metcalf were used in four-minute situations a year ago and why Seattle has used them even before this year: easy money. How are you supposed to bring Metcalf down in that situation as a cornerback? He’s just too big, too physical, too strong, with killer speed to top it all off. A glorious runaway train.

[SEA 3-1 SF 12] (6:51) D.Dallas left end to SF 6 for 6 yards (J.Willis, E.Moseley)

Duane Brown is 35 years old and he moves impossibly well. Just an unbelievable play from him here, right down to shedding the defensive end to the right not the left in order to keep Dallas’s path clear. Healthy again after a banged up 2019, Brown is doing more than holding off Father Time—he is straight up kicking its ass like it’s a defensive end.

[SEA 3-Goal SF 6] (5:56) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short middle to D.Moore for 6 yards, TOUCHDOWN

Wilson has grown so much as a pocket passer when pressured since Brian Schottenheimer arrived and this play is yet another example. Wilson does incredibly well to evade pressure and slip by, climbing up before finding David Moore for a simply absurd score.

[SEA 3-2 SEA 34] (8:03) R.Wilson pass short right to W.Dissly pushed ob at SF 49 for 17 yards (E.Moseley)

The Seahawks go to a similar design to the game-winner against the Bucs last year on 3rd down here and it works brilliantly. Dissly fakes down blocking, instead doubling back into the flat where he is wide open to mosey down the sideline for a modest 17-yard gain.

[SEA 2-4 SF 41] (4:10) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short right to D.Metcalf pushed ob at SF 32 for 9 yards (E.Moseley)

Something about this play from Metcalf—whether it’s the two-handed shove when he releases or the casual way he extends to bring it in—is just mean. At some point Metcalf has to get rid of the pacifier mouth guard, because he is, unquestionably, a grown-ass man.

[SF 1-10 SF 44] (2:51) (No Huddle, Shotgun) N.Mullens pass incomplete short middle to T.Taylor (D.Reed) [L.Collier]

L.J. Collier’s season as a pass rusher has cooled off since a bright few weeks to begin the season, but he powers through Laken Tomlinson nicely here to get the pressure and hit on Nick Mullens. Extra production from Collier and Jarran Reed against the pass, along with the arrivals of Carlos Dunlap and Rasheem Green, would do wonders for the defense.