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All-22 Musings: Jamal Adams stars in Seahawks debut

Seattle Seahawks v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Welcome into another season of All-22 Musings. For the uninitiated, this series is a light, entertaining walk through the coaches film from the week that was, highlighting moments worth sharing. (Example: A lot of Jamal Adams this week.)

In the Seahawks’ season opener, Russell Wilson and the offense were flying high while Adams and Bobby Wagner were just flying around. Let’s dive in.

[ATL 1-10 ATL 25] (15:00) T.Gurley left end to ATL 30 for 5 yards (K.Wright; J.Adams)

Readers of this series last year will know my affinity for Jadeveon Clowney’s ability to chase down runners from the backside. Clowney is gone but thrilling pursuit is not, as Jamal Adams can make plays from the backside as well as any safety. He opens his Seattle career with a chase down tackle on Todd Gurley.

[ATL 1-10 ATL 45] (13:50) T.Gurley left guard to ATL 44 for -1 yards (B.Irvin)

The Falcons began the game with gains of five and 15 yards on the ground but Bruce Irvin put a stop to their hot start, fighting off the cut block from the pulling tight end and corralling Gurley for a tackle for loss.

[ATL 2-11 ATL 44] (13:09) (Shotgun) M.Ryan pass incomplete short middle to J.Jones

Adams’ first two involvements as a Seahawk were fitting of his varied skillset. After chasing down Gurley to start, he reads Matt Ryan the entire way as a deep defender and drives on the ball to break up a target for Julio Jones. A jack of all trades and a master of all of ‘em.

[ATL 2-5 SEA 32] (11:59) M.Ryan pass incomplete short right [L.Collier]. PENALTY on ATL-M.Ryan, Intentional Grounding, 11 yards, enforced at SEA 32

One of L.J. Collier’s first memorable plays with Seattle came early in Week 1 of his sophomore season, as he does well to keep his feet and pressure Ryan, forcing the intentional grounding penalty.

[ATL 3-16 SEA 43] (11:54) M.Ryan pass short left to J.Jones to SEA 31 for 12 yards (M.Blair; B.Wagner)

Missed tackles should no longer be an issue with defenders like Adams, Bobby Wagner, Quandre Diggs, and Marquise Blair on the field. Jones catches the third down pass a few yards short of the sticks and Blair and Wagner ensure he does not gain another inch to get off the field.

[SEA 2-19 SEA 14] (10:26) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short right to T.Lockett to SEA 29 for 15 yards (D.Dennard)

One of the reasons why, going back to the draft, I was so optimistic about Damien Lewis’s ability to develop as a pass blocker was his anchor. He is just so strong and he will always have the ability to anchor and hold defenders up. Here, in the second snap of his career, Grady Jarrett (one of the best interior rushers in the NFL) gets good initial movement before Lewis anchors and handles him with ease.

[SEA 2-6 SEA 42] (8:48) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short left to C.Carson to ATL 49 for 9 yards (K.Neal)

Chris Carson’s one-handed grab was celebrated in the moment but with the end zone angle you can really get a sense of how hot that ball came in from Russell Wilson. A great grab by Carson to get a first down.

[SEA 1-10 ATL 49] (8:12) R.Wilson pass short left to C.Carson to ATL 43 for 6 yards (F.Oluokun)

In 2019, Mike Iupati was absolutely crucial to what the Seahawks did in the running game because of his ability to get out into space and sustain blocks. Here, he has the unfavorable task of getting outside the hashes and blocking a freak athlete in Deion Jones and he does just that.

[SEA 2-Goal ATL 3] (4:48) R.Wilson pass short right to C.Carson for 3 yards, TOUCHDOWN

Seattle wisely used a lot of pre-snap motion and misdirection on Sunday and their first touchdown was an extension of that. The play fake gets the entire defense flowing to the right while Wilson and the offense roll into open grass to the right, setting up an easy Carson touchdown.

[ATL 1-10 SEA 47] (4:11) M.Ryan pass short left to T.Gurley to SEA 47 for no gain (J.Adams)

Adams takes away two different options in the flat, staying on his heels, flipping his hips multiple times and then takes down Gurley for no gain. He has rare, rare ability.

[ATL 3-1 SEA 38] (2:54) M.Gono reported in as eligible. B.Hill right guard to SEA 40 for -2 yards (B.Wagner, J.Adams)

Bobby Wagner was excellent against both the run and the pass in Week 1, an encouraging start after a relative down year in 2019. Wagner was decisive, aggressive, and quick, with a great example here as he knifed into the backfield for the tackle for loss. Getting Wagner back to his pre-2019 form would be almost as big of an addition as Adams.

[SEA 1-10 ATL 47] (1:43) (Shotgun) R.Wilson left end to ATL 19 for 28 yards (D.Senat)

That’s your Seattle Seahawks running a triple option in the year 2020, as Tyler Lockett orbits into the backfield, Wilson keeps and parties like it’s 2012, gaining 28 yards on the keeper. It’s a fun offense with a ton of talent, get used to it.

[SEA 1-10 ATL 19] (1:01) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short left to C.Carson for 19 yards, TOUCHDOWN

Pete Carroll said it best after Seattle’s win: When was the last time you saw the Seahawks run a screen that well? The design to keep Duane Brown in blocking while Lewis comes across is particularly clever.

[ATL 1-10 SEA 19] (14:02) C.Ridley left end to SEA 20 for -1 yards (J.Adams)

Adams (surprise!) gets credited with the tackle for loss here but it’s created by an excellent effort from Quinton Dunbar, fighting off the block and forcing Ridley back up field into Adams’ waiting arms. It was a tough debut for Dunbar in coverage but he battled all game long.

[ATL 1-Goal SEA 4] (12:35) T.Gurley left guard to SEA 3 for 1 yard (J.Adams)

There’s nobody else to disperse the credit to here. Adams flies off the edge, blows past Jones, and meets Gurley at the line for a minimal gain. It’s truly astonishing the way that a safety can change the math at the line of scrimmage.

[ATL 2-Goal SEA 3] (12:01) (Shotgun) T.Gurley left guard to SEA 1 for 2 yards (L.Collier)

This time, it’s Collier with the stop that Adams created, careening off the edge and tripping up Gurley to allow for another minimal gain on the goal line.

[ATL 1-10 ATL 25] (9:41) M.Ryan pass incomplete short right to C.Ridley [B.Irvin]

As you may have already picked up on: Adams’ burst is the truth. Even on a delayed blitz, he can get on top of the quarterback so quick to pressure and force incompletions, as he does here along with Irvin on first down.

[ATL 3-6 ATL 44] (7:45) (Shotgun) M.Ryan sacked at ATL 37 for -7 yards (J.Adams)

There was a concern by some after Adams was acquired by Seattle that he would be shoehorned into a stale role and not be allowed to impact the game as he can. Right. Adams had 10 pass rush snaps in Week 1, the most by a safety in Carroll’s tenure. Long may it continue.

[SEA 2-5 SEA 28] (6:17) C.Hyde left tackle to SEA 37 for 9 yards (D.Jones)

That’s Lewis again, in his first career game, aggressively finishing Jarrett and putting him on the ground as Hyde breezes up the middle for a gain of nine. There will be rough patches in Lewis’s rookie season but we can reliably count on him to produce some nasty finishes and they will absolutely be documented here.

[ATL 2-11 ATL 10] (3:24) (Shotgun) M.Ryan pass incomplete short left to H.Hurst (Q.Diggs)

Look at Diggs before the snap, creeping down and then after the snap, making a beeline for the exact spot that ball is going and forcing an incompletion. That’s all film study right there and Diggs breaks on the ball with as much confidence as anyone.

[ATL 3-11 ATL 10] (3:20) (Shotgun) M.Ryan pass short left to J.Jones to ATL 15 for 5 yards (J.Adams)

This was one of the more remarkable plays Adams made on Sunday upon first watch, but what wasn’t shown on television was the ground he covered to get in position to make it, sticking with Jones the entire way and rallying for the stop with Shaquill Griffin.

[SEA 3-7 SEA 39] (13:39) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short middle to D.Metcalf to SEA 46 for 7 yards (I.Oliver)

While it was disappointing to see Metcalf begin his sophomore season with a few drops, he made an awesome play here. First, adjusting to the ball thrown a bit behind him and then reaching across the marker to get the first down on a 3rd and 7.

[SEA 4-5 ATL 38] (9:49) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass deep left to D.Metcalf for 38 yards, TOUCHDOWN

In shot play territory, on a crucial fourth down, and Atlanta doesn’t even shade coverage to Metcalf’s side of the field. Way too easy for the wideout as he gets a good release, stacks the cornerback and hauls in his first score of 2020.

[ATL 3-6 ATL 29] (8:34) (Shotgun) M.Ryan pass short right to H.Hurst to ATL 33 for 4 yards (D.Hill)

Lano Hill was much maligned in 2019 and rightfully so, as it was a very poor season for him. In 2018, however, he was a valuable dime back and a matchup dependent defender. Save for one mistake, Hill was solid in his 2020 debut and if he can reclaim his form from 2018, the Seahawks’ secondary could be eight players deep and capable of matching up with anyone.

[SEA 1-10 ATL 23] (6:31) C.Carson right end pushed ob at ATL 19 for 4 yards (A.Terrell)

Carson’s suddenness and fluidity changing direction has always been underrated, such is his physicality, but it was on full display here. Even with just a small gain, it was encouraging to see that fluidity from a player in his first game back from a brutal hip injury.

[SEA 1-Goal ATL 7] (5:09) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short right to G.Olsen for 7 yards, TOUCHDOWN

An absolute bullet from Wilson and a great reaction from Greg Olsen for the touchdown, as the ball was almost in his chest as he turned around. It’s a great example of the reliability of a tight end like him and we’ll see a lot more as long as the veteran stays healthy during the 2020 season.

[ATL 2-9 SEA 30] (3:54) (Shotgun) M.Ryan pass short right to J.Jones to SEA 19 for 11 yards (Q.Diggs) [J.Adams]

Though it was terrible to allow this pass be completed, it’s yet another instance of Adams making things happen in an electrifying debut.

[ATL 3-2 SEA 11] (1:59) T.Gurley left tackle to SEA 11 for no gain (J.Adams; B.Irvin)

And again. Adams ruins plays. Destroys them. Doesn’t allow them to get going. Send the Jets a few more picks—what a player.

[ATL 4-2 SEA 11] (1:16) M.Ryan sacked at SEA 20 for -9 yards (B.Mayowa)

It’s a good bit of quickness from Benson Mayowa to rush inside and then a phenomenal finish as he goes full stretch to bring Ryan down for the sack on fourth down, forcing the Falcons’ offense off the field.

[SEA 1-10 SEA 36] (:38) R.Wilson pass deep left to T.Lockett to ATL 44 for 20 yards (D.Kazee) [T.McKinley]

Wilson was nearly perfect in Week 1 and this play was the best of the bunch—just unbelievable. With pressure coming from both sides, Wilson fires a dart without his feet set to hit Lockett perfectly in stride, with a safety over the top of his receiver. What a throw, what a game, what a quarterback.

[ATL 1-10 ATL 30] (7:49) (Shotgun) M.Ryan pass short left to C.Ridley to ATL 45 for 15 yards (Q.Dunbar)

Ryan completes the pass along the sideline here, but only after he climbs upward because Bruce Irvin throws Jake Matthews to the turf in nasty fashion. Irvin is going to bring an attitude back to Seattle’s defense that has been missing, and that will be a very welcome development.

[ATL 2-3 SEA 35] (6:29) (Shotgun) M.Ryan pass incomplete deep right to H.Hurst (S.Griffin)

Griffin had a difficult day on Sunday and gave up a number of catches, but this pass breakup is a great reminder that his combination of athleticism and recognition lead to some truly fantastic plays. Only going to improve from Week 1 as Griffin looks to build upon an awesome 2019.

[SEA 2-9 SEA 36] (6:09) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass deep right to D.Metcalf pushed ob at ATL 27 for 37 yards (D.Kazee)

Metcalf came close to a few explosive plays as a rookie off of double moves, including once in Week 8 in Atlanta. It comes off great here, as Metcalf runs a sluggo beautifully for a long completion. Already an elite vertical threat, if Metcalf can consistently shake defenders with double moves, he will become an even more difficult proposition for defenders.

[SEA 3-3 ATL 20] (5:18) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short right to D.Moore to ATL 2 for 18 yards (A.Terrell) [T.McKinley]

Wilson can manipulate the angle of his arm as well as any quarterback ever, making some truly improbable throws. Here, he works it around the oncoming defender into David Moore’s hands, who takes it down to the goal line. It was an absolutely amazing Week 1 from Wilson.