On Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks offense played its best game since the team defeated Jacksonville at home over a month ago. One of the biggest factors in getting the offense going was getting players touches all over the offense.
Against San Francisco, nine different receivers caught a pass, and six caught three or more. That is tied for the most unique receivers the Seahawks have had in a game started by Russell Wilson this season (Geno Smith found ten receivers in the Seahawks’ loss at Pittsburgh).
Among these receivers was Dee Eskridge, who saw the most action he has seen in his young career on Sunday, even getting his first career touchdown. The 24-year old had three catches for 35 yards and that score. In the past, it seems like whenever Eskridge comes on the field, it just meant that Waldron was going to run the obligatory “Eskridge play,” the timing of which was seemingly chosen at random, and the design of which was some sort of jet sweep. However, in this game, Eskridge was able to get into the flow of the game a bit more, and nothing was forced his way.
One player I expected to see the ball forced to a bit more was DK Metcalf, and although the first play of the game was definitely a force, he too was able to get into a rhythm as the game went on. His stat line was modest for a player of his stature, with just five catches for 60 yards, but he was open a number of times deep on throws that Russ missed, including on a couple of potential touchdowns.
All in all, I really felt like Wilson and Waldron had a rhythm going offensively for sustained chunks of this game. We got to see a bit more creative play designs from Shane, and even though they didn’t always work (mostly due to user error/Gerald Everett), it excited me to see us trying to put our skill players in more advantageous positions with the ball in their hands. Everyone was getting involved, but not in a way that felt forced; Waldron was simply able to call on certain guys when the flow of the game dictated so. One of the best of these calls was the screen to Rashaad Penny, which allowed the back to use his best attribute, open-field speed.
Having some key players out or struggling offensively is a great opportunity to find an identity on offense. I felt like we saw a bit more of an identity today than we have since Week 2, and it helped to keep the 49ers defense guessing at times. For a franchise whose play calling has often been predictable, I liked the edge the Seahawks showed. It’s these sort of team efforts that will bring the Seahawks success down the line.