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All-22 Musings: Tyler Lockett saunters through the Cowboys’ secondary

Dallas Cowboys v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

On the back of Russell Wilson and Tyler Lockett’s inevitability and a few key stops from the defense, the Seahawks moved to 3-0 on Sunday with a 38-31 victory over the Cowboys. Though it was the offense that carried the show in Week 3, there were still a few bright spots from a defense that is yet to put it together. We’ll get into the best moments from both sides of the ball, below.

[DAL 2-3 DAL 49] (10:30) E.Elliott left end to DAL 46 for -3 yards (A.Robinson)

Alton Robinson made a splash early in his NFL debut, dropping Ezekiel Elliott for a three yard loss from the backside. However, it was an opportunity created by L.J. Collier, rushing over Cowboys left guard Connor McGovern. Collier gets right into McGovern’s chest and powers him back into Elliott’s path, forcing Dallas’s tailback to attempt to spin upfield—into Robinson.

[DAL 1-10 SEA 26] (9:04) E.Elliott right guard to SEA 25 for 1 yard (J.Adams; B.Wagner)

Similarly to Robinson’s tackle for loss in the clip above, while Bobby Wagner and Jamal Adams are credited for the stop here, it’s created by Poona Ford. As he does so well, Ford knifes into the backfield and forces Elliott off his path—into the unwelcoming committee of Wagner and Adams. (That being said, it’s not as though Adams was gifted an easy tackle. Watch him gracefully side step the blocking attempt by No. 80, Marcus Lucas.)

[DAL 3-9 SEA 25] (8:19) (Shotgun) D.Prescott pass incomplete deep middle to D.Schultz (U.Amadi)

If Week 2 was Ugo Amadi taking his opportunity, Week 3 was Amadi running with it. Seattle’s sophomore defensive back was everywhere on Sunday and popped up with a number of plays. Here, he does really well to stay over the top of Dalton Schultz, locking onto Dak Prescott’s eyes and closing to breakup the pass.

[SEA 3-1 SEA 34] (7:04) C.Carson left end pushed ob at DAL 43 for 23 yards (X.Woods)

As a long-time believer in Ethan Pocic at center, I wasn’t discouraged by B.J. Finney’s inability to win the competition so much as I was excited by Pocic. Healthy and in his best position, the former second-round pick finally had a chance to jumpstart his career. Through three games he has been healthy and solid for the Seahawks. This long run by Chris Carson demonstrates that good health, as Pocic does remarkably well to open up his hips, turn and run ahead of Carson and stay square on Dorance Armstrong.

[DAL 1-10 DAL 1] (6:38) E.Elliott left end tackled in End Zone for -1 yards, SAFETY (B.Mone)

The entire Seattle front defended this really well, but the safety was created by Bryan Mone, who came off the ball perfectly and got the push needed to halt Elliott in the backfield. Mone’s development from year one to two has been fantastic and he is making a case to be the team’s third defensive tackle—Snacks or no Snacks.

[DAL 2-Goal SEA 1] (2:17) E.Elliott up the middle to SEA 1 for no gain (P.Ford)

Even for the high standards Ford has set through his first two seasons, this is absolutely ridiculous. Shift over a gap, then execute a swim move, before halting one of the league’s best running backs for no gain? An absolutely awesome play from Ford, but the type of play that is becoming fairly normal for him.

[SEA 1-10 SEA 25] (1:40) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short middle to F.Swain to SEA 38 for 13 yards (T.Diggs, J.Thomas)

You can tell Russell Wilson is really feeling it this year, as we’re three weeks through the season and twice already he has stared down pressure before completing a sidearm pass. Wilson has been manipulating his arm angle to complete some ridiculous throws for years, but two in three weeks is welcome. (An aside: Freddie Swain is absolutely fascinating. He’s definitely in “just manufacture a few touches for him,” territory, because he makes things happen.)

[SEA 2-11 SEA 37] (:22) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass deep middle to D.Metcalf to DAL 1 for 62 yards (T.Diggs). FUMBLES (T.Diggs), ball out of bounds in End Zone, Touchback

Ignore the embarrassing gaffe for a moment, please. As a rookie, DK Metcalf was an incredibly dangerous deep threat. However, the large majority of his wins running vertically were simply running right by cornerbacks and allowing the best deep ball passer alive to deliver. This year, we’ve begun to see Metcalf actually shake defenders when he goes deep. If he can consistently use double moves, head fakes, or hesitations to give opposing corners even the smallest bit of pause—I just don’t know how you defend him as a vertical threat.

[DAL 1-10 DAL 20] (:12) D.Prescott pass incomplete short right to E.Elliott [L.Collier]

I thought before the season, if Collier was able to replicate the role and impact Quinton Jefferson had in 2018 and ‘19, we could consider his sophomore season a success. Well, he is doing it. Collier is providing the Seahawks with really good snaps at 5- and 3-tech, getting excellent push against the run, and splashing as a pass rusher. Unlucky not to get a sack here, but it’s been a promising start to 2020 for Collier.

[DAL 3-10 DAL 20] (:04) (Shotgun) D.Prescott pass incomplete deep middle to A.Cooper (U.Amadi)

Another heads up play from Amadi, rotating deep before picking up Amari Cooper going over the middle of the field and again breaking on the football to break up the pass. The situational awareness and football IQ Amadi displayed on Sunday, for a player who has barely played on defense during the first 20 games of his career, speaks volumes about his intelligence.

[DAL 1-10 DAL 20] (13:20) E.Elliott left guard to DAL 21 for 1 yard (U.Amadi)

A non-negotiable part of the nickel job in Seattle is defending the edge with discipline and toughness. Amadi embodies those two traits on this run stop, careening off the edge, getting square to Elliott and dropping him with an excellent tackle for a minimal gain.

[SEA 2-8 DAL 39] (8:42) R.Wilson pass short middle to T.Lockett to DAL 24 for 15 yards (J.Thomas)

The end zone view is instructive on this Wilson throw, because it highlights how well he did first to feel the pressure and step back up with urgency, but then to keep his eyes downfield, locate Tyler Lockett sitting down against zone coverage and then firing in a dart to his go-to receiver. Nothing out of the ordinary for Wilson, but impressive nonetheless.

[SEA 2-Goal DAL 1] (6:56) R.Wilson pass short right to T.Lockett for 1 yard, TOUCHDOWN

Just the quickest of looks into the backfield and the slightest of hesitations due to play action is all Lockett needed from Jourdan Lewis to scurry away, halfway to the pylon before Dallas’s corner could attempt to recover. Wilson and Lockett are an absolutely lethal connection. As we already knew.

[SEA 1-10 SEA 47] (3:09) C.Carson left end to DAL 49 for 4 yards (D.Worley)

An excellent split-second adjustment from Carson here, as he stretches outside. Just about to shoot upfield under the block of Duane Brown, Everson Griffen starts to come off Brown’s block, so Carson does brilliantly to bounce it back outside. Carson’s fluidity and vision earned him an extra three yards on this four yard gain.

[DAL 2-5 DAL 25] (:45) (No Huddle, Shotgun) D.Prescott pass short right intended for A.Cooper INTERCEPTED by Sq.Griffin [J.Reed] at DAL 38. Sq.Griffin to DAL 34 for 4 yards (C.Lamb)

As a strong supporter of Shaquill Griffin and a long-time believer that interceptions would come for him, these are the types of plays he needs to make consistently. Griffin has the athleticism and requisite burst to get into a trailing position in order to bait the quarterback into making the throw, as he does with Prescott here, before undercutting the route and collecting the pass. He just needs to have the confidence to do it consistently—perhaps, Sunday’s pick is the start of something.

[SEA 2-10 DAL 17] (:18) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass deep right to G.Olsen ran ob at DAL 1 for 16 yards. Penalty on DAL-J.Smith, Illegal Contact, declined

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a 35-year-old savvy tight end like Greg Olsen already has a solid understanding with Wilson out of structure, but it’s nice to know for sure. Olsen does so well here to break back upfield after seeing Wilson moving to his right, then the catch is excellent. Olsen absolutely has to be that reliable option for Wilson in tough spots this year. On numerous occasions in Week 3, he proved to be just that.

[SEA 1-Goal DAL 1] (:11) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short left to T.Lockett for 1 yard, TOUCHDOWN

There’s something oddly graceful about Lockett slowing down over the middle of the field, stutter-stepping through traffic and allowing David Moore and his man to pass, before finishing his race to the opposite corner. At this point, it’s fair to think every single facet of the game has slowed right down for Lockett.

[SEA 3-6 SEA 21] (9:04) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short left to T.Lockett ran ob at SEA 29 for 8 yards [A.Woods]

When DeeJay Dallas was drafted, he was widely regarded as one of the best pass protecting backs available. It’s why some wondered if he was going to immediately take his former Hurricane teammate Travis Homer’s job. He may still do that. As soon as the Seahawks feel like Dallas is the more reliable back to have alongside Wilson on passing downs, Homer will be out of there.

Not so fast, though. Homer is an intelligent and tough pass protector despite his smaller stature and we saw that here, as the second-year tailback does enough to pick up Jaylon Smith blitzing through the A-gap, allowing Wilson to complete a third down pass to Lockett.

[DAL XP SEA 2] TWO-POINT CONVERSION ATTEMPT. D.Prescott pass to N.Brown is complete. ATTEMPT FAILS

Already in this space, we have talked about Amadi’s intelligence, toughness, discipline, and awareness. How about effort? If Amadi gives anything less than everything here, Noah Brown gets into the endzone for a crucial two-point conversion. Instead, Amadi fights off a block and sprints to Brown, halting him just short.

[DAL 2-1 DAL 40] (8:36) (No Huddle, Shotgun) D.Prescott pass short left to E.Elliott to DAL 38 for -2 yards (K.Wright)

At this point, K.J. Wright should take it personally when an opposing offense attempts to run a screen against him. Do they not know who they are dealing with? Does the name Screen Whisperer mean nothing!?! Wright is eternal.

[SEA 1-10 SEA 25] (3:59) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short right to G.Olsen to SEA 46 for 21 yards (T.Diggs)

Last week, we saw Metcalf fighting like hell to stay on a block for his quarterback. This week, it’s Will Dissly sticking with Aldon Smith 1-on-1 for several seconds, allowing Wilson to scan, move, then find Olsen for a 21-yard gain.

[SEA 3-3 DAL 29] (1:55) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass deep right to D.Metcalf for 29 yards, TOUCHDOWN

We’ll take a look at both angles on Seattle’s game-winning touchdown. First, the wide angle and a shoutout to our own Jacson Bevens for pointing this out: Look at Metcalf, casually jogging across the field to get under Wilson’s pass while the corner tasked with marking him is in a dead sprint to keep pace. What an awful task it must be, to stay in coverage with Seattle’s budding superstar.

Now, the endzone. That pass protection! Metcalf was only gifted the time to stroll across the field because of good blocking up front. Look at Brandon Shell, on his own against Smith and never in doubt. What a world.

[DAL 2-8 DAL 49] (1:11) (Shotgun) D.Prescott pass short right to A.Cooper to SEA 47 for 4 yards (U.Amadi) [Sm.Griffin]

Shaquem Griffin, making things happen as usual. Griffin comes off the ball well as he always does, but gets an excellent push into Brandon Knight’s chest, forcing Prescott to climb up before Griffin again puts pressure on him, leading to a quick check down.

[DAL 2-10 SEA 22] (:22) (Shotgun) D.Prescott sacked at SEA 26 for -4 yards (A.Robinson)

Robinson’s impact was immediate, making his first appearance with the Seahawks, but there was no bigger moment for the rookie than his first career sack with less than 25 seconds remaining. Tackles must defend Robinson’s speed and the rookie recognizes that, planting his foot and cutting inside of Knight, fending off the block attempt and bringing Prescott down. Game, blouses.