The day after Christmas, the Seattle Seahawks fell to 5-10 on the season, 2-5 at home, and became the first team to blow two 10-point fourth quarter leads this year. They’re somehow 0-5 in games decided by three points or less. Right now they’re collectively doing whatever the opposite of blossoming is, while Rasheem Green is individually doing the actual blossoming.
Green is your UHPOG this week (UnHeralded Player Of the Game) after a game many of us would like to forget.
Carlos Dunlap, with his five sacks in five days — insert your own superlative — could’ve been the choice. Al Woods, the Mountain of Disruption, had a hell of an afternoon too, again, as is customary. They’ve both won the (extremely prestigious) award already, though.
Just for funsies, which there haven’t been enough of recently, here are their best plays, with Woods first. He gets into the backfield so quickly you forget he’s 347 pounds.*
Doing a rewatch (yikes) of the Bears game and Al Woods stood out. He's been the Seahawks' most valuable defensive lineman and even at 34, his burst means he could be part of the future as well as the present. pic.twitter.com/NfVHzGSZst— John Moderna Turbo Boosted Fraley (@johndavidfraley) December 30, 2021
This forced fumble by Dunlap would’ve won the game for Seattle under different circumstances (such as every other season in recent memory).
Carlos Dunlap Strip sack pic.twitter.com/gOpW12XoRZ— Rapinas do Mar (Cortes) (@cortesrapinas) December 27, 2021
Would’ve been nice to celebrate the holidays with a decent win instead of an indecent loss.
But we’re here for Green, who has taken a lot of heat from fans along the way since being chosen by Seattle in the third round of the 2018 draft. Maybe, just maybe, he’s on track to realize the promise placed upon him three and a half years ago. And maybe it’s not even too late for the Seahawks. The 2022 Hawks, that is.
Two clips that Michael-Shawn Dugar of The Athletic tweeted reveal one of Green’s biggest strengths: disengaging rapidly from blockers.
yeah man, I could see some teams ready to throw some bread at Rasheem in free agency. Can rush from outside, inside and play the run. Might lead the Seahawks in sacks for the 2nd time in 4 years. pic.twitter.com/LVHeP8bLuk— Dugar, Michael-Shawn (@MikeDugar) December 29, 2021
It’s more obvious and sudden in the second clip, and he gets a lot of help from the coverage in the first clip, but there’s no denying he is slippery, a favorable trait reminiscent of the great Michael Bennett.
Now listen to it happen. This is worth 30 seconds of your time. Trust me.
Green hit Nick Foles four times on the day and finished with two sacks. Even prettier, though, is this display of push, awareness, pursuit, and finish. Not to belabor the point, but this ugly duckling of a pass falls into a defender’s loving embrace, in an uncursed season.
Rasheem Green has also taken the leap. Yes, he had two sacks, but he was also at the center of this near-pick in the end zone. Watch him disengage decisively, pursue, and even get in on the tackle pic.twitter.com/lRcEVLm6zv— John Moderna Turbo Boosted Fraley (@johndavidfraley) December 30, 2021
Fun fact: Green actually led the Seahawks in sacks in 2019, with four. Second fun fact: his 12.5 sacks since 2019 leads the team (Dunlap has notched 11.5, Jamal Adams 9.5, with seven more apiece from Bobby Wagner and Benson Mayowa).
Third fun fact, which is way more fun: after his monster game vs. the Bears, Green now leads the Seahawks in QB hits with 15, and is second in tackles for loss with six. He’s morphing into a menace and maybe even a piece to build around as the front office — whoever that is — is forced to make some interesting decisions this offseason. Which appears to have already begun.