Pete Carroll and John Schneider have long believed that speed is one of the NFL’s great difference makers. At it’s best, the Seattle Seahawk defenses were some of the fastest the game has ever seen.
But it doesn’t always guarantee success, and it was common for a dark stretch to see headlines like this regarding Seahawk hopefuls:
It’s not enough to just be fast; neither is it enough to have some other intriguing physical trait like height or “heavy hands”.
However, the Seahawks are better when they are fast, and they were blazing on Sunday.
Seattle had the two fastest ball carriers of Week 4, to go along with one of the fastest humans on the globe.
The Seahawks had the two fastest ballcarriers in Week 4, per NextGenStats.— Kyle Odegard (@Kyle_Odegard) October 3, 2022
1. CB Tariq Woolen, 21.58 mph
2. RB Rashaad Penny, 20.84 mph
Phenomenal to see a 230-pound running back hit over 20mph in pads, in the fourth quarter of a game.
But the Tariq Woolen number is sensational, for a couple of reasons. First, he’s a rookie, and rookies doing cool things is great. Second, he looked like he was jogging out there, his stride is so long and effortless.
Third, he only had 20-yards of full straight-line acceleration, which is a short distance. He got moving and did it in a hurry.
And best of all, he beat DK.
What might have been the best play of Geno Smith’s short 2021 campaign was the 84-yard TD on the right sideline to DK Metcalf. On that play, Metcalf hit 21.3 mph.
Geno Smith & DK Metcalf (84-yd TD)— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) October 26, 2021
Metcalf reached a top speed of 21.31 mph on the play, his 2nd-fastest speed of his career as a ball carrier.
Since entering the NFL in 2019, no player has been targeted more on go routes than Metcalf (74).#NOvsSEA | #Seahawks pic.twitter.com/Dzw3myMkyz
Only on the Budda Baker chasedown did Metcalf record a faster speed at 22.6mph, which is the second-fastest record speed in an NFL game. But that was full-field without a ball.
The team desperately needs this on defense, as the elite speed at offensive skill positions has resulted in a scoring output wildly exceeding expectations. It’s encouraging to see that Seattle finally has a true difference maker at corner, and the team is scratching their way back to being one of the fastest rosters in the league.