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Seahawks Film Review: Breaking down Uchenna Nwosu’s 2 sacks against the Cardinals

The first-year Seahawks pass rusher continues to impress.

Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Uchenna Nwosu has been one of the most underrated players in the NFL this season. He’s tied for 7th in sacks with 7, tied for 10th in tackles for loss with 8 and as the tweet below shows first in pressures and pressure rate.

He was borderline unstoppable in the Seattle Seahawks last game against the Arizona Cardinals. The former USC Trojan registered 2 sacks, 2 tackles for loss, 3 QB hits and 4 combined tackles. Down below we are going to break down the two sacks from his standout performance.

Sack #1

This was a fantastic stunt designed by Clint Hurtt. Al Woods is doubled on the play meaning he occupies the right guard and center. He rushes straight up field which forces the center to get his hips and shoulders parallel to the line of scrimmage. Nwosu, who is lined up on the same side of the defensive front as Woods, executes this play perfectly. He is patient off of the snap taking smaller steps and squaring up the right tackle. He waits for Woods’ body to seal the tackle from mirroring him to the inside, and once Nwosu sees that he disengages and takes the line right into the backfield for the easy sack.

I don’t know if this was intentional or due to the flow of play, but I did want to point this out. It looks like Woods tries to get parallel to the line of scrimmage at the last second in order to seal off the tackle from getting inside with Nwosu. It is possible he lost his balance on the play, which caused him to lean. But if it was intentional Woods deserves credit for the sack as it likely does not happen without it.

Sack #2

The second sack comes off of another stunt up front but with Poona Ford this time instead of Al Woods. Like the first sack Nwosu stays patient waiting for Ford to occupy the right tackle and right guard before he gets too far up field. He brushes aside a chip from Eno Benjamin and then cuts right inside. The right guard is able to make contact with Nwosu, but rather than taking the offensive lineman head on, Nwosu puts his outside hand on the guard’s chest so his inside arm can remain free. Doing this allows Nwosu to maintain inside leverage so he can get to Kyler Murray before he can leave the pocket.

On the surface sacks like this might seem simple, but they highlight a couple of important things with both the defense and play calling:

  • Clint Hurtt understands how to put his players in the best situations possible. Nwosu is a fantastic athlete meaning he should feast off stunts such as this one, so seeing him used in this manner consistently is extremely encouraging for the rest of the season outlook for the defense.
  • Nwosu still has to execute the play properly in order for him to get the sack. If he gets too tight to the tackle on the first play or he does not strike the guard with one hand on the second play neither result in sacks.