Former Seattle Seahawk cornerback Shaquill Griffin made his return to the northwest for the first time as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and his homecoming was less than stellar, to put it lightly. Needless to say, this wasn’t the outing that Griffin was hoping for, but lining up against a team that has Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf on the field is a one-sided mismatch for most defenses. And this is true whether Geno Metcalf or Russell Wilson is under center.
Things didn’t look so bad at first, as Griffin did his part to force a punt early in the game.
Third and 7, DK Metcalf runs a 5-yard route and gets tackled immediately after the catch by former #Seahawks CB Shaquill Griffin. 3 and out and Seattle punts— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) October 31, 2021
Shaquill Griffin had a rough day against one of the most imposing receivers in the NFL (who also happens to be his former teammate), but this was a solid play in to force Metcalf to pull his route up short of the sticks, and an even better play to make the tackle after the catch. pic.twitter.com/LSwl0nt7gj— Stan 'the boy' Taylor (@GoodGuyAtSports) October 31, 2021
The play above came during Seattle’s second drive of the day. Lined up wide right, DK Metcalf had an opportunity to make a tough catch for a first, but Griffin’s tight coverage forced him to pull his route up short of the sticks. Physical coverage like this is impressive in the NFL against any player, but especially a player as imposing as Metcalf.
Unfortunately for Griffin, it was all downhill from here, as the next time Geno Smith looked his way, it ended up like this:
Things remained relatively quiet for Griffin for a bit until he found himself reeling along with the rest of the Jaguars’ defense as the Seahawks pulled out some vintage Pete Carroll trickery in the third quarter.
Shortly after this, he allowed another touchdown — again to Metcalf — on what would be Seattle’s final offensive score of the day (thank you very much, Travis Homer).
It is hard to really fault Griffin on either of Metcalf’s touchdowns, as this was just a tough draw for him. In the angle below, you can really see how difficult this was for him to cover. Metcalf’s huge catch radius combined with his speed is just lethal in the redzone where he is always going to be a mismatch in one on one.
On the day, Griffin was credited with three total tackles and no passes defended. He allowed at least three catches and two touchdowns — all to Metcalf — but he did have two third down stops that forced punts, as well. One of these was the tackle on Metcalf that can be seen above, and the other was on a dump off to Travis Homer on third and long.
Another good effort by Griffin to make a stop on third and force a punt, this time on Travis Homer. pic.twitter.com/PYjQ5eMHtD— Stan 'the boy' Taylor (@GoodGuyAtSports) October 31, 2021
He was always a physical and willing tackler in Seattle, and that doesn’t seem to have changed. Obviously, Shaquill Griffin’s first season in Jacksonville isn’t turning out the way he had envisioned, as the Jaguars continue to struggle with first year head coach/quarterback combo Urban Meyer and Trevor Lawrence. And their struggles haven’t been one-sided; the Jaguars have fielded Football Outsider’s worst defense by a wide margin, and certainly looked the part this afternoon. Conversely, Griffin’s return to Seattle went about as well as any Seahawks fan could hope for, as the offense put up their highest point total since Russell Wilson’s injury, even accounting for Travis Homer’s onside return TD fiasco. Hopefully, Shaquill Griffin’s parting gift to his former team can be some confidence to get their offense back on track in time to save this season.