Last year the Seattle Seahawks only had one win by double digits all season. This year they’ve already matched that total with a 38-25 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in a game that was not as close as the score suggested. Seattle had a two-score lead for all but a handful of minutes in the 2nd half, which is a sentence I’m really glad to type up.
Here’s the first Winners and Losers of the 2020 NFL season!
Pete Carroll and Brian Schottenheimer
We’ve moaned endlessly about Carroll’s conservative decision making and Schotty not unleashing Russell Wilson sooner. Well they unleashed Russ and the play of the game was Wilson hitting DK Metcalf for a 38-yard touchdown on 4th and 5 to extend the lead to 21-12 and essentially put the game out of Atlanta’s reach. They didn’t strive for balance — I think in part because the run game was kinda cruddy — and relentlessly went after the Falcons’ vulnerabilities in the secondary.
Wilson had as many incomplete passes as touchdown passes. In fact, all of his incomplete passes went to DK Metcalf and he was perfect throwing to everyone else. Wilson did a lot of short, safe throws for much of this game but when it came time to unleash the intermediate and longer passes he was as crisp as ever. 31/35 for 322 yards and 4 TDs is just superb, and it was also good to see him keep on a read-option early in a game.
Holy shit. The Seahawks didn’t give away enough picks to the Jets, who would then squander them on some bums while they’re coached by Greg Schiano in four years time. I’ll just let this tweet by Alistair Corp tell the story.
Jamal Adams became just the 3rd defensive back in NFL history to record 10+ tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL, and 2 PBUs in a single game. Not a bad debut.— Alistair Corp (@byalistaircorp) September 13, 2020
Him and Quandre Diggs has to be considered the best safety pairing in the NFL.
Not a good day for Carson on the ground with just 21 yards on six carries, but as a receiving back he had two touchdowns and scored on a screen pass. Seattle scoring on screen plays? In this economy? In a pandemic? You better believe it.
Carlos Hyde and Greg Olsen
Two new Seahawks both getting into the end zone. Gotta spread the love! Olsen looks like he can really be just “more experienced Will Dissly” and a safety blanket for Wilson.
It didn’t even feel like Lockett had 8 catches for 92 yards on 8 targets. That’s how standard these numbers are for Lockett. His chemistry with Wilson is otherworldly and especially on those crossers.
Real good chance he’d have ended up as a loser without the touchdown because he had two drops and one of them was absurdly bad. But you can’t stay mad at DK forever, as he still had the dagger touchdown and then cooked AJ Terrell on a sluggo route that put the rookie on skates. Metcalf still has to work on his concentration but he still had 4/95/1 and that’s solid WR2 to me!
Batted pass to stop a 4th and 3 and then a sack on Matt Ryan to stop a 4th down deep in Seattle territory. Hell of a return to the team for Big Benson.
Two pressures for LJ. TWO! One of them forced an intentional grounding and the other one led to an incomplete pass. That’s legitimately more than he contributed all of last season.
Last year, Marquise Blair forced a fumble against the Falcons that killed their hopes of a comeback win. This year, he forced a fumble on a fake punt that turned a 4th down conversion into an outright turnover. I’m excited to see him in more nickel and dime packages this season, but good to see him making a play on special teams.
It was Swain who recovered that fumble and then also got his first NFL reception for 17 yards that turned a punting situation to the Myers field goal that made it 31-12 Seahawks. Good for the rookie!
That was a really bad game for Griffin outside of one pass break-up for Hayden Hurst. It’s a tall task dealing with the Atlanta receivers but he wasn’t up for it. Too many missed tackles and just plain getting beat in coverage. And to make matters worse, he was “beaten” for a touchdown because of an unfortunate collision with Jamal Adams. Not a good start to the year for Quill, who’s at the end of his rookie deal.
The same thing more or less applies to Dunbar, who can at least be forgiven due to lack of training camp time and the mess that was his offseason. He also dropped a gimme interception that luckily didn’t prove costly in the 4th quarter.
Pass rushing with four
Seattle really can’t generate pressure with that front four lineup. Ken Norton Jr dialed up all sorts of blitzes and that’s essentially the only reason Matt Ryan ever experienced significant pressure. Credit to Norton for the different blitz schemes because that defensive line needs some work.
Right side of the offensive line
Damien Lewis got hit with a couple of penalties and Brandon Shell wasn’t exactly solid on his first day on the job with the Seahawks. I expect that side to be more problematic than the left side, but it’s early days.
Five touches for three yards for the second-year back out of Miami. Essentially the only player on offense who got multiple snaps and offered up nothing of value.
FOX has to have better analysts than that dude. Wilson took a sack in the 2nd quarter and he said “That’s why you don’t let Russ cook” and I showed tremendous resolve not to mute the rest of the broadcast.
- The Seahawks run defense sputtered on the opening possession but really clamped down in short yardage situations. Adams was a major reason for that, but a shoutout to Poona Ford for initial backfield penetration that led to Bobby Wagner’s early 3rd and 1 stop of Brian Hill.
- David Moore made the most of going back to his WR3 role with 3 catches for 28 yards and a jet sweep run (with a fumble initially) for 12 yards. Getting him in open space is much more valuable than relying on him in contested catch situations.
- Good day at the office for Michael Dickson, who had two punts inside the 20 and none of his four punts was ripe for a big return.
- The more we look back on this game, the more we may just realize the Falcons have a potentially elite passing offense. They certainly have one hell of a duo in Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, and Russell Gage looks like a real quality WR3.
- I’m glad football is back, for however long it lasts. Bring on the Patriots!