It’s hard to say enough good things about Jamal Adams. We will try, but it will be hard.
It’s also imperative, superimperative even, to begin any discussion of the game’s final play with props upon props for L.J. Collier and Lano Hill, who kryptonited Cam Newton at the goal line, accomplishing something others could not.
No others, in fact.
Cam Newton has rushed from the opposing 1 yard line 19 times in his career. He had never lost yardage before @ljcollier91 and Lano Hill brought him down to win the game tonight for the Seahawks.— Brian Nemhauser (@hawkblogger) September 21, 2020
Newton’s been in the league a decade. He doesn’t get stuffed in these situations. Except, well, yesterday.
Hill, lined up beyond the right end, gets low and totally neutralizes the block of fullback Jakob Johnson. Collier cleans up like a sure-handed, sure-footed veteran. You’d be hard-pressed to find two more unlikely heroes on a Seattle Seahawks roster loaded with defensive playmakers and Guys Who’ve Been There Before (TM).
Thank god, gods, or whoever, for the two Seahawks we didn’t know we needed.
However, this post is about Adams anyway, and his effect on that wondrous defensive stand. Let’s begin by rewinding to a play that’ll get forgotten between the nuclear bombs to DK Metcalf and David “Baryshnikov” Moore, and everything else. It’s the two-point try that went awry for the Patriots, because of You-Know-Who.
In physics, one Adams is equal to two Newtons. pic.twitter.com/WC5h2LhYMq— John Fraley (@johndavidfraley) September 21, 2020
New England had begun the fourth quarter with a TD run, cutting the Seattle’s lead to 28-23. Going for two makes sense, mathematically, and also if the Seahawks can’t stop Newton.
Adams had a different idea. The first effect of his clean tackle — they’re all clean tackles — is to keep two Patriots points off the board. After both teams add another TD, New England will still be trailing by five, and can’t tie the game with a late field goal. They’ll have to earn the win by earning every yard on the field.
And sometimes the last yard is the hardest one to get.
Adams had also chased Newton from behind on a third and goal earlier, erasing probably four more points from the Patriots’ ledger of evil. It’s safe to say Cam was aware of exactly where the Seahawks strong safety was positioned on the final play. Sure, he started left because it had worked twice already at the goal line, but as Justis Mosqueda points out in the tweet below, the Patriots had options, and numbers, elsewhere.
Didn't realize the LB shot the gap the G was trying to pull from on top of the slant. Great D play call. Counter +2 to the right would have been a score. Seattle just won a game of battleship in a two-yard game. It happens. https://t.co/hgwfHSr387— Virtual Bubble Justo (Day 192) (@JuMosq) September 21, 2020
Counter +2 to the right might well have worked, but Newton has eyes like the rest of us. He’d be running directly at Adams. And why would you ever choose to do that?