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All-22 Musings: Russell Wilson puts on a show in primetime

NFL: New England Patriots at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

As is tradition, the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots put on a classic in front of the NBC crew, with the final act being played on the one-yard line. For the second straight showing, it was the Seahawks who made the play in the biggest moment and as a result, advanced to 2-0 on the year.

Seattle’s home opener saw DK Metcalf take the fight to the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, while Russell Wilson built upon a ridiculous start to the year. All that and more, below.

[SEA 1-10 SEA 25] (13:30) C.Carson left guard to SEA 32 for 7 yards (J.McCourty)

Encouraging to see indications that Chris Carson is at full health following the hip injury that ended his 2019 season, and this play certainly serves as one. First a fluid juke to side step Byron Cowort in the backfield and then good drive in his legs at the end of the run. Carson is in for a big season and appears to be healthy from the jump.

[SEA 1-10 SEA 37] (12:20) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short left to C.Hyde pushed ob at SEA 43 for 6 yards (J.Jones)

The Patriots’ front tried to cause confusion often on Sunday night, shifting gaps and looping inside and out. Here, Ethan Pocic does well to pick up Derek Rivers, coming from the outside, while Damien Lewis steers his man wide. It will take a few weeks for the offensive line to gel, but some encouraging moments in Week 2.

[SEA 2-8 NE 49] (10:18) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short middle to T.Lockett to NE 40 for 9 yards (A.Butler)

Tyler Lockett, shifty as they come, gave New England’s secondary a Doug Baldwin-inspired crossover here to gain a couple extra yards after the catch. It was simply a rude possession from Lockett, as he delivered a great block as well (softly called a penalty).

[SEA 2-Goal NE 4] (5:33) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short middle to T.Lockett for 4 yards, TOUCHDOWN

Absolutely fantastic movement from Russell Wilson, side-stepping the outreached hand of Lawrence Guy, stepping up, then escaping out, before delivering a dart to the back of the endzone and his trusty receiver, Lockett. What a job by Wilson buying time and then finding his man. (An aside: Duane Brown’s confidence as Wilson releases the ball is inspiring.)

[NE 2-7 NE 49] (3:35) (Shotgun) C.Newton pass incomplete short right [J.Adams]

Jamal Adams is able to close on the ball so quickly. Here it is just a 15-yard sprint to get on top of Cam Newton and force the throwaway on second down.

[NE 1-10 SEA 37] (2:48) (Shotgun) S.Michel left guard to SEA 32 for 5 yards (B.Wagner)

A fine gain for the Patriots on 1st and 10, but watch Bobby Wagner violently get off the block of Jakob Johnson and get in on the tackle of Sony Michel.

[NE 3-4 SEA 31] (1:37) (Shotgun) R.Burkhead left guard to SEA 30 for 1 yard (J.Reed)

Jarran Reed gets credited with the tackle, but it is a great job by Bryan Mone blowing up the play, forcing David Andrews into Rex Burkhead’s path. Pete Carroll praised Mone during camp and he was expected to take on a greater role as the team’s third defensive tackle. The Patriots are a good matchup for him as far as style of play and he impressed.

[SEA 2-8 SEA 46] (7:06) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass deep right to D.Metcalf for 54 yards, TOUCHDOWN [C.Winovich]

It is one of the plays of the game as Wilson connects with DK Metcalf deep for a 54-yard score. Metcalf does brilliantly to stack Stephon Gilmore after breaking up field, winning the route in that moment. While the throw lets Gilmore back into the play, Metcalf muscles him off with ridiculous ease. (Understandable for Wilson to underthrow Metcalf, as he hung in and took a shot from Chase Winovich.)

[NE 1-10 NE 22] (6:53) C.Newton pass incomplete deep middle to D.Byrd

Penalties on offense are way down to start the season and really, who is complaining? However, here it’s just a little bit of a hold on Reed, which probably could have been called.

[NE 1-10 SEA 33] (5:12) (No Huddle, Shotgun) C.Newton pass incomplete short right to R.Burkhead

An excellent rep from L.J. Collier, matched up against one of the league’s best guards in Shaq Mason. Collier probably should have finished it off with a sack, but an encouraging win nonetheless against a great guard.

[NE 3-8 SEA 31] (4:25) (Shotgun) C.Newton pass short middle to R.Burkhead to SEA 33 for -2 yards (U.Amadi)

What Ugo Amadi lacks in high-level athleticism he makes up for in football IQ. That was on display at Oregon, where he became one of the best blitzers in the country, and again as he was pressed into duty in Week 2. Here, he doesn’t take the eye candy from New England’s offense and stays in excellent position to bring Burkhead down for a loss on 3rd down.

[SEA 2-26 SEA 34] (:44) (Shotgun) T.Homer right guard to SEA 44 for 10 yards (D.Rivers; K.Dugger)

Late last season, after Travis Homer was forced into action, the Seahawks played directly into his strengths—getting him the ball in space. In a repeat of that in Week 1, the Falcons consistently swarmed him with ease. To avoid becoming an absolute tell, Homer has to begin to succeed on more than just pitches. This run is so encouraging because of just that, as he displays patience, vision, and his patented burst to get through to the second level. Homer can be a valuable 3rd down back for Seattle, but he has to avoid becoming a tell for defenses.

[NE 3-Goal SEA 7] (10:57) (Shotgun) C.Newton sacked at SEA 7 for 0 yards (J.Adams)

After watching a ton of Adams’ snaps in the box with the Jets, it became obvious he is adept at the shoestring tackler, just getting enough of players to trip them up after chasing from behind. However, this chase down sack and the strength required to bring a player like Newton down like that is special.

[SEA 1-10 NE 45] (7:55) (Shotgun) C.Hyde right guard to NE 38 for 7 yards (T.Brooks)

It’s a good run from Carlos Hyde and a great job of getting skinny to squeeze through the gap, but Damien Lewis’s combo block is what makes it happen. Lewis comes off the ball and helps Ethan Pocic before climbing to the second level, sealing out the defender and allowing Hyde to breeze by and into space.

[SEA 2-3 NE 38] (7:12) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass deep left to D.Moore for 38 yards, TOUCHDOWN [L.Guy]

Again, what a job by Wilson hanging in the pocket for as long as possible and delivering a strike downfield as the pressure arrives. The third-most improbable completion since 2018, made even more difficult by the defender in his face.

[NE 1-10 NE 16] (7:00) J.Taylor right guard to NE 15 for -1 yards (P.Ford)

Poona Ford does brilliantly here with his first step, then a quick swim over Mason and a tackle for loss. With increased opportunity in 2019 came a big step from the Seahawks’ nose tackle, and it’s fair to expect another step forward in his third season.

[SEA 2-4 NE 29] (2:43) (Shotgun) R.Wilson scrambles right end to NE 21 for 8 yards (J.Jones)

There’s budding superstar wide receiver DK Metcalf, fighting tooth and nail to stay on his block against a defensive end and keep his quarterback clean. Whether it’s on a run, a scramble, or a screen pass, Metcalf takes a ton of pride in his blocking and it shows.

[SEA 1-10 NE 21] (2:07) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short left to F.Swain for 21 yards, TOUCHDOWN [L.Guy]

The route combination works flawlessly here, with Freddie Swain running into wide open space, untouched. Swain will take a year or two to become an NFL-caliber route runner but he is already an NFL-caliber playmaker. Seattle would do well to scheme him into space a couple of times a game and see what he does.

[NE 2-4 SEA 6] (:37) (No Huddle, Shotgun) C.Newton pass short left to N.Harry to SEA 3 for 3 yards (B.Wagner; J.Adams)

New England’s screen is blown up completely by Adams, who takes on the attempted block by Jakobi Meyers with serious aggression. Meyers is bench pressed away from Adams, and he and Wagner are able to converge on N’Keal Harry.

[NE XP SEA 2] (Run formation) TWO-POINT CONVERSION ATTEMPT. C.Newton rushes up the middle. ATTEMPT FAILS. Tackle by SEA 33

The sea parts for Newton on a crucial two-point attempt, as the Pats’ quarterback attempts to cut back upfield. Thankfully for the Seahawks, there is Adams, as disciplined and well positioned as ever, fully equipped to take on the greatest goal line threat in NFL history 1-on-1.

[NE 2-10 NE 7] (12:07) R.Burkhead up the middle to NE 7 for no gain (B.Irvin)

Ford again blows New England’s running game up, darting into the backfield immediately and forcing Burkhead to side step him—there was nowhere to go, however, with Bruce Irvin and co. waiting. Had Ford not won his rep so quickly, Collier likely would have been in position to make the tackle for loss, as well.

[SEA 2-10 SEA 47] (7:33) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short left to D.Metcalf pushed ob at NE 34 for 19 yards (S.Gilmore)

So much was made of Metcalf’s agility as a prospect, but by now, it has become clear he will be a reliable target on curls and comebacks for two reasons: the respect opposing corners have to have for his vertical ability and the way he positions himself when coming back to the ball. It’s the former doing the work here, as Gilmore gives Metcalf plenty of room to slam on the brakes, turn, and find Wilson’s pass.

[SEA 3-7 NE 31] (6:03) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short left to T.Lockett to NE 23 for 8 yards (J.Jones)

3rd and 7, pressure in his face right after the snap, and all Wilson does is deliver a little hop pass to Lockett for eight yards. Wilson’s delivery in the face of pressure in Week 2 was absolutely incredible.

[SEA 2-5 NE 18] (4:38) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass deep right to C.Carson for 18 yards, TOUCHDOWN

Another awesome display of poise, arm strength, and toughness from Wilson as he hangs one up for Carson to run underneath.

[NE 1-Goal SEA 1] (:03) (Shotgun) C.Newton left tackle to SEA 2 for -1 yards (L.Collier)

Collier, Lano Hill, and Ford were all well positioned to make the game-saving play on Newton, but it would have been all for naught if Wagner didn’t wreck the play from the start. The best linebacker in the NFL is playing like it and that is welcome news for the 2-0 Seattle Seahawks.