What. A. Game.
I mean, ignoring the Seattle Seahawks’ injuries (yuck!), and looking past the fact that the league’s 4th-most efficient offense never really looked like they were in sync.
Oh boy, that defense though.
Let’s start there . . .
Thought No. 1
The NFL started recognizing / recording sacks in 1982.
Four players on one team having multiple sacks in the same game is (a) something that hadn’t ever happened on Monday Night Football (shocking!), and (b) a feat that was last accomplished by the Dallas Cowboys almost exactly 36 years ago - October 4th, 1987 versus the other “New York” team.
That’s information that ESPN shared after the game.
I spent about 20 minutes scouring the internet and couldn’t find another time that happened.
That’s not to say that it’s only happened twice.
But that might be the case.
In 1987, it was Chris Duliban, Ray Perkins, Tommy Haynes, and Too Tall Jones who did the deed for the Cowboys.
On Monday, it was Bobby Wagner, Devon Witherspoon, Jordyn Brooks, and Uchenna Nwosu.
Thought No. 2
Boye Mafe, Mario Edwards, and Myles Adams also had sacks for the Seahawks on Monday, bringing Seattle’s total to eleven.
That tied the franchise record.
Which is pretty cool.
The box score from the 1986 game when the Seahawks set the record that they tied on Monday night: Seahawks 37, Raiders 0.
Greg Gaines, Sam Merriman, and Joe Nash had two sacks apiece.
Randy Edwards, Gregg Johnson, Alonzo Mitz, Bruce Scholtz, and Fredd Young each had one.
The coaches that day? Tom Flores and Chuck Knox.
The starting quarterbacks were Jim Plunkett and Dave Krieg; the running backs were Marcus Allen and Curt Warner.
Oh, and Steve Largent was the game’s leading receiver with 5 receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown.
Ah, the memories.
Like the Giants, the Raiders had three turnovers to go with their eleven sacks.
The yards the Giants and Raiders lost on the sacks was nearly identical as well: 67 for the Giants, 68 for the Raiders.
Here’s a fun one . . .
The Raiders played three different QBs that day - and they were remarkably consistent: Each of them threw between 8 and 11 passes, completed either 4 or 5, ended up with between 50 and 61 yards (before sacks were subtracted), and had an INT.
The craziest stat that day wasn’t the sacks though - even though it set a franchise record which stood, unmatched, for nearly four decades.
No, the craziest stat is this one:
The Seahawks put the ball on the ground six times that day.
And won by 37.
In part, because the Raiders only recovered one of Seattle’s six fumbles.
Thought No. 3
If I’m Daniel Jones, I might want my team to play the rest of their games on the road.
- Vs. Dallas: 7 sacks, 2 interceptions, 4 team fumbles, 1 lost
- Vs. Seattle: 10 sacks, 2 interceptions, 2 fumbles by Jones, 1 lost
Note: Seattle’s 11th sack was of of WR Parris Campbell who caught a backward pass and looked to throw. Devin Witherspoon said, “I don’t think so.”
- At Arizona: 3 sacks, 1 interception, no fumbles
- At Santa Clara: 2 sacks, 1 interception, no fumbles
Of course, the BIG takeaway here is that the Seahawks sacked Daniel Jones more times than the Cowboys and 49ers did combined.
Thought No. 4
Devon Witherspoon is the third rookie in NFL history (well, since 1982 anyway) to record two sacks and a pick-six in the same game.
Again, that’s information that ESPN shared with its viewers.
But, proving that if you try hard enough, you can take something rare and make it completely unique . . .
Devon Witherspoon of the @Seahawks is the only NFL player (rookie or not) to have 2.0+ sacks and a 95+ yard TD in the same game (since sacks became an official stat for defenders in 1982).— OptaSTATS (@OptaSTATS) October 3, 2023
No other rookie has had 2.0+ sacks and a 95+ yard TD over the course of an entire season. pic.twitter.com/RNQINsUckm
tweet X is actually a two-fer because it removes the “rookie” connotation to make what Devon Witherspoon did unique by qualifying the TD as 95+ yards, and . . .
. . . it removes the “in a single game” connotation (but re-adds the “rookie” one) by stretching 2+ sacks and a 95+ yard TD over an entire season.
That’s both silly and wild.
It’s also completely unnecessary because I can make it unique by simply adding Witherspoon’s positional designation: Devon Witherspoon is the first rookie cornerback to record 2 or more sacks and a pick-6 in the same game.
Note: The other two rookies to accomplish the task were both linebackers: Todd Shell did it first (1984) and Andy Katzenmoyer matched him five years later.
Thought No. 5
Let’s continue the defensive theme.
The Seahawks have generated an NFL-best 46 pressures over the last two games, according to ESPN Stats & Info. They’ve had 20-plus pressures in both games, the first time they’ve done that in consecutive games since ESPN began tracking pressures in 2009.
The first part of that is pretty cool because leading the league in a positive stat is a very good thing.
That last part though . . .
. . . That is something that I wouldn’t have guessed given that the Seahawks had a pretty good pass rush during their Super Bowl years.
Thought No. 6
Here’s a fun fantasy nugget . . .
The top DST in Week 4 was the Seattle Seahawks.
Note: For those that aren’t into fantasy football, DST = Defense and Special Teams.
Here’s what’s fun about that:
One. Heading into Monday Night Football, Seattle’s DST had a total of 10 points in ESPN leagues which was the 5th-worst overall. They exited Week 4 as the 5th-best DST.
Two. The 29 points that the Seahawks DST scored on Monday matches what the 49ers DST has scored the first four weeks combined.
Three. The numbers are even better in Yahoo leagues where Seattle’s DST scored 30 points in Week 4, is now ranked No. 3 overall, and leads the Niners’ DST by a score of 47 to 28.
Thought No. 7
What a difference a day can make . . .
Heading into Monday night’s game, the Seahawks had 5 sacks through 3 games which had them near the bottom of the league-wide rankings.
They now have a share of the league lead with 16 sacks through 4 games.
The other teams with 16 sacks?
Thought No. 8
Tired of thoughts about the defense?
Let’s shift gears.
Seattle’s starting offensive line Week 1:
- LT Charles Cross
- LG Damien Lewis
- OC Evan Brown
- RG Phil Haynes
- RT Abe Lucas
Seattle’s offensive line in the second half of Monday’s game:
- LT Stone Forsythe
- LG Evan Brown - moved from OC
- OC Olusegun Oluwatimi
- RG Anthony Bradford
- RT Jake Curhan
That’s both depressing, because injuries suck, and impressive, because the Seahawks have managed to win three of their four games despite the attrition on the o-line, and, for the most part, have looked pretty good offensively.
Thought No. 9
DK Metcalf’s touchdown reception in the first quarter was the 37th of his career.
That’s pretty good, right?
Yeah, it is.
Thirty-seven receiving touchdowns in his first five seasons ties DK for the franchise record with Joey Galloway and Steve Largent.
What’s amazing is that Metcalf has thirteen more games this year to seize the record for himself.
Thought No. 10
Y’all know how much I hate the Rams so you can imagine how much it pains me to say that I really, really like Puka Nacua, and I am looking forward to seeing how his role evolves once Cooper Kupp comes off Injured Reserve.
Here are some crazy stats:
- In Week 2, Nacua had 15 receptions which is the most a rookie receiver has ever had in any game.
- Through the Rams’ first three games, Nacua had 30 receptions which tied the NFL record for a player’s first FOUR games.
- Nacua’s first reception in Week 4 gave him the record at 31. He ended the game with 39 receptions through the first four weeks.
Note: If Nacua had zero receptions in Week 5, he’d still set/hold the record for a player’s first five games (Reggie Bush held the record previously with 34).
- His 501 receiving yards through Week 4 is the most in a player’s first 4 games in NFL history, and it’s the 19th most through four games by any player in any season.
- Nacua’s current pace of 125.25 yards per game is better than the pace that Cooper Kupp had through four games in 2021 (when he led the league with 1,947 receiving yards) and better than the pace that Calvin Johnson had in 2012 (when he set the NFL record with 1,964 yards).
Puka Nacua is currently outpacing the two best receiving yard seasons in NFL history through 4 games— ESPN Fantasy Sports (@ESPNFantasy) October 1, 2023
('23) Puka Nacua - 501 Rec Yds
('21) Cooper Kupp - 431
('12) Calvin Johnson - 423 pic.twitter.com/CpRboNZ76O
Oh, and here’s a fun one to wrap up this thought:
The combined stat line for the first four receivers taken in this year’s draft (Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Quentin Johnston, Zay Flowers, and Jordan Addison) is 55 receptions for 535 yards with 2 touchdowns.
Nacua’s stat line is 39-501-1, and he was selected more than 150 picks after that foursome.
Thought No. 11
Every week, the Field Gulls staff picks who we think will win that week’s games.
I have bragging rights having picked the most winners last season.
And I’m in the lead again this year.
But I gotta tip my hat to the rest of the staff because even though I hit more winners this week (12) than I had in any of the first three weeks (11, 11, and 9), everyone else on the staff who made picks either tied me (Ted, 12-4), beat me (Mookie, 13-3), or had a better percentage (Diane, 11-2; JPG, 2-0; John Fraley, 2-0).
As a group, we hit on 80% of our picks in Week 4, compiling a record of 52-13, which is, in my opinion, pretty darn good.
Thought No. 12
Let’s go back to Devon Witherspoon to end this . . .
After Monday night’s game, ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt sat down with the player of the game for a chat in front of a Sea of Hawks fans at MetLife Stadium.
The entire interview was fun, but my favorite part was when SVP asked Witherspoon if he liked playing slot corner or outside corner better:
SVP: Do you prefer one over the other?
DW: Not at all. I prefer whatever coach need me to get done. (small pause) But I ain’t gonna lie, I do, I like playing nickel kind of a bit more.
SVP: Okay, I appreciate that - you gave me a BS answer then you told me the truth.
Given what we saw on Monday night, I’ve got a feeling that ‘Spoon will be playing the slot a good amount this year.
. . .
Actually, let’s add on to that thought . . .
After the interview with Scott Van Pelt ended, Witherspoon went over to the stands and signed just about anything the 12s handed him. He may have varied things up a bit, but every signature I saw on my TV screen included the letters DROY.