clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Seahawks 2022 Season Rewind: My 10 favorite defensive plays

Just because the Seahawks defense struggled doesn’t mean they didn’t make some awesome, critical plays.

Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images

This is the final week before the Seattle Seahawks kick off 2023 training camp, which of course is the precursor to preseason and that sweet, sweet feeling of NFL football being in our lives again. Earlier in the week I produced my list of favorite regular season plays on offense by the Seahawks, and to wrap up the workweek I’m doing the same for the defense.

Unlike the offense, this was a little harder because, well, you watched the Seahawks defense. But there were still cool plays even in overall bad performances, and some clutch moments in their better outings! Let’s get to them! As a reminder this is my personal ranking without any outside consultation.

10.) Tariq Woolen denies Patrick Mahomes (Week 16 at Kansas City Chiefs)

We’re gonna be heavy on Riq Woolen plays for obvious reasons. This one was not an interception, but it does showcase his recovery speed and ability to track the ball when he does get beaten down the field. In this case, Justin Watson had a step on him, and while Patrick Mahomes underthrew this a tad, Woolen was excellent at getting back into the play and forcing the incomplete pass. I’m not sure Woolen had many targets his way the rest of the afternoon, and that’s with the best QB in the league on the other side of the field.

9.) Darrell Taylor does it all (Week 7 at Los Angeles Chargers)

In the most comprehensive win of the season on both sides of the ball, Darrell Taylor capped off a dominant opening quarter by the Seahawks with a strip-sack of Justin Herbert, plus the fumble recovery. Believe it or not, this was one of only two strip-sack turnovers all season, and Taylor caused them both. In fact, four of Taylor’s 9.5 sacks were strips, but this was his first career recovery.

8.) Rookies unite, Part 1 (Week 5 at New Orleans Saints)

In an alternate universe, this was the turning point in an eventual Seahawks win. Alas, Taysom Hill could not be contained.

Rookie slot corner Coby Bryant converged on Alvin Kamara for the forced fumble, and Tariq Woolen scooped it up and ran it back the other way. Seattle eventually got a touchdown out of this on one of Geno Smith’s two long strikes to Tyler Lockett. This was effectively a 9-point swing at minimum (because Jason Myers missed the PAT).

As an aside: Matt Millen somehow thought Chris Olave saved a touchdown here despite Woolen stumbling all over the place with multiple Saints surrounding him. Woolen’s fast, but he’s not that fast.

7.) Jordyn Brooks blitzes Mike White into an interception (Week 17 vs. New York Jets)

During the Seahawks’ three-game losing streak, the defense forced zero turnovers. The drought ended against the New York Jets courtesy of Quandre Diggs’ interception, but the play was really made by Jordyn Brooks, whom I believe doesn’t get sent on blitzes often enough. It’s unfortunate that later in the half, Brooks would tear his ACL and be lost for the season.


Bruce Irvin knocked Daniel Jones into Saquon Barkley and turned what could’ve been a go-ahead touchdown drive into a game-tying field goal. What more needs to be said?

5.) No tricking Tariq (Week 10 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Munich)

This was mostly a terrible decision by Leonard Fournette mixed in with some greediness by Byron Leftwich to run this look a second time (on the same drive, if I recall!). It was also funny as hell and made funnier by the fact that TOM BRADY was the intended receiver on this trick play. Woolen wasn’t fooled and made the Buccaneers pay.

4.) Tariq Woolen’s first career pick-6 (Week 4 at Detroit Lions)

Riq’s second of four consecutive games with an interception, and his first career pick-6. This was right out of halftime and gave the Seahawks a 31-15 lead, which is important to note because the defense got absolutely scorched for four touchdowns on the final four possessions of the game. Woolen played a major part in this 48-45 Scorigami shootout, and who knows how this one would’ve ended if not for his great read and undercutting of Jared Goff’s throw.

3.) Kyler Murray’s case of deja vu (Week 6 vs. Arizona Cardinals, Week 9 at Cardinals)

Yes, for the second time I’m giving you 11 plays instead of 10 despite what the title says. Sue me. This is essentially the same situation twice over, except the home game was a 3rd down run and the road game was 4th down. Kyler Murray had the yardage to convert, the room for more yards down the field, and none of the ball security. At Lumen Field, Coby Bryant and Tariq Woolen teamed up once more for the rookie FF-FR combo. Down in Glendale, Ryan Neal knocked Murray’s arm, which jarred the ball free, and Josh Jones was on the spot.

2.) Should’ve passed it instead... (Week 1 vs. Denver Broncos)

I could’ve also made this one a double-up post, but in retrospect, forcing Melvin Gordon to fumble wasn’t a particularly difficult task in his time with Denver, so I’m going to omit that play even though it was also pivotal. Uchenna Nwosu announced his arrival in Seattle by winning Defensive Player of the Week, and it was his strip of Javonte Williams that denied the Broncos at the 1-yard line yet again.

I want to highlight Mike Jackson’s involvement here, as he also recovered the Gordon fumble earlier. The key difference? Any Denver player could recover the ball in the end zone for a touchdown since it was 3rd down and not 4th down. When Gordon fumbled, he would’ve been the only Broncos player eligible to recover and advance the ball—the “Holy Roller rule” as its better known. Jackson didn’t really save a touchdown on Gordon’s fumble, but he sure as hell did by denying Dalton Risner and Russell Wilson.

1.) Quandre Diggs helps send Seattle to the playoffs, reunite Bobby Wagner with the Seahawks

This wasn’t difficult to choose this as my favorite defensive play. If Van Jefferson hauls this in, the Seahawks miss the playoffs and the mood of this place would’ve been a lot different with a season-ending home loss to a terrible Los Angeles Rams squad. Instead, a year removed from a horrific ankle fracture, Quandre Diggs swooped in and made the pick, let Bobby Wagner know about it, and gave the Seahawks offense the ball back.

If you watched this on television, there was a split second where you thought the Seahawks had lost. Quandre wouldn’t let that happen, and I hope he retires as a Seahawk whenever his career ends.

Honorable mentions: Tariq Woolen’s pick of Andy Dalton, Cody Barton intercepting Tom Brady in Munich, Uchenna Nwosu blasts out Kyler Murray, Coby Bryant’s nickel blitz sack on Marcus Mariota.

What were your favorite defensive plays of the regular season? Let us know in the comments below! I’m sure I’ve forgotten some quality defensive stands so feel free to include any I’ve not listed here.