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UHPOG, Week 7: Jordyn Brooks, no argument

Made three game-altering plays... that didn’t alter the outcome, but kinda shoulda

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks
felt like THE turning point
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Everything was set up so perfectly for the unheralded Seahawks.

(It was set up pretty well for the heralded ones, such as DK Metcalf, to seize the day, too, or even the backup quarterback, who awaits a chance like this for years, but it turns out passing is hard when you don’t let go of the ball, or use play action, or misdirection, in the rain and wind.)

Gerald Everett was going to bounce out of relative anonymity and be Geno Smith’s security blanket. Jason Myers was going to snap out of his 2021 funk. Alex Collins was going to turn 20 touches into 90 yards and a score, because we knew he had the desire, the grit, the conditions and the coach all in his corner at once.

Hell, Rashaad Penny was going to re-prove to us that he still had it. Or any semblance of “it.”

No, no, no. No. All no’s, up and down the board. Instead, the Seahawks now stare at 2-5 despite a heroic 58 minutes — and two mind-numbing head-shaking eye-rolling ones — from the defense. Clearly the UHPOG (UnHeralded Player of the Game) must come from the defensive side of the ball.

It could be Jamal Adams, who ended a Saints drive with a tipped pass, blitzed a little more, finally, and covered an almost Earlian amount of green on this third-down play to help break up a well-thrown bomb.

Friend of the Gulls Matty Brown has the tape:

Maybe for the content alone, a clickbaitier writer would select Adams. I have a hunch Jamal willl get his turn anyway before 2021 ends. Give him an honorable mention for Week 7.

Why not Ugo Amadi? A deserving man! He jarred this ball loose, after all:

Jordyn Brooks, who hasn’t turned as many heads so far this season, and was in the right place on three important occasions, including the one above, is the pick instead.

Brooks suffers from not being an exact clone of K.J. Wright, which allows opponents to actually run screen passes now and again. He suffers from not having Wright’s experience, which helps track a guy like Alvin Kamara down before the pass comes his way rather than after. That’s the price you pay when you’re making your 13th start and are, functionally, a rookie. But you have to give it up for Brooks’ two additional displays of athleticism that helped put the Seahawks in position to steal a desperately needed win.

This level of agility is uncommon, even for a world-class athlete.

Earlier in the same drive, with the aid of Week 2 UHPOG Alton Robinson, Brooks stonewalled Kamara at the marker, denying a third-down conversion.

Those are plays that winning teams make. If the other phases don’t let you down.

To close with merciful brevity, one fun fact, which, like the game, is not actually fun: Jameis Winston averaged 15 yards rushing per game in his career prior to Monday night; then he scampered for 40. There was a lot that was weird about this matchup, and if not for a brain-dead penalty that led to the final three Saints points, if not for two missed kicks, if not for a couple completely avoidable sacks, if not for the absence of Chris Carson’s vision and tenacity, if not for a rare Tyler Lockett drop on an explosive play, if not for an obvious uncalled false start on fourth down after Brooks’ tackle, maybe we’re talking about a season with hope instead of renewed calls for the coach’s head.

But zero of those breaks were caught, and we’re talking about a measure of hopelessness instead, although I seriously seriously doubt it feels the same in Renton. Listen to Brooks himself, postgame:

“I thought we did enough defensively to win. Offensively as well. Like I said, it was just a couple plays here and there. Both sides, all sides, all phases, can be cleaned up, and we win the game, easily.”