The Seattle Seahawks could’ve dropped all the way to 3rd in the NFC West with a loss against the hated San Francisco 49ers. Then the Los Angeles Rams dropped one to the Miami Dolphins and that eliminated the absolute worst case scenario. The Green Bay Packers also lost to the Minnesota Vikings which meant a Seahawks win would give them full possession of the #1 seed in the NFC.
Not only did the Seahawks win and send the 49ers to .500, they kept the heart attack football to a relative minimum. They didn’t have a good start or necessarily all that good a finish, but everything else in between was a level of dominance that frankly Seattle has not consistently produced for quite some time.
Let’s get to the Winners and Losers from this 37-27 win.
I’ve already written about his big day and you can read that here. As long as he stays healthy and as long as he has Russell Wilson at quarterback, he looks like he’s on his way to being one of the league’s next generation of superstars.
That was an MVP caliber performance against a defense that may be undermanned but is still quite solid. Wilson took what the defense gave him and was 27/37 for 263 and 4 more touchdowns to give him 26 on the year. For context, he had 26 his entire rookie season, 20 in his second season, and 21 in 2016. The big thing that I like the most? No turnovers after three last week.
That was a Hall of Fame worthy performance by Wagner. Two sacks, three tackles for loss, four QB hits, and 12 total tackles that you know were not misleading in terms of effectiveness and value to the team. Wagner was magnificent and dare I say that was one of his best showings in years. It’s not that he’s been terrible (far from it!), but that brought me back to his early seasons when he quickly established himself as an elite linebacker.
Not bad for a debut! An interception right off the bat and two of the three sacks on Jimmy Garoppolo were a direct result of his blitzes. Seattle is hurting for secondary depth and Reed may yet play an important role down the stretch.
I’ll just leave this here:
From @ESPNStatsInfo: The Seahawks pressured 49ers QBs on 17 of their 45 (38%) dropbacks. That’s the highest pressure percentage by a Seahawks defense since Week 6 of 2018 against the Raiders. Seattle got two sacks from Bobby Wagner and one from Alton Robinson.
— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) November 2, 2020
I was a Moore skeptic because of how he would often struggle with his route running and gaining separation. This year is the best one yet for David Moore. He’s catching 80% of passes thrown his way and 70% of his touches are going for first downs. Moore got a touchdown and was the second-leading rusher with 28 yards on jet sweeps.
I will not spin Dallas’ 58 yards on 23 touches as efficient or a sparkling display, but give the man a break. He is a rookie who was the 4th string RB on the depth chart and literally the only healthy back on the roster. Dallas still got his first two career touchdowns, which puts him in the winners column.
Yeah! Who’d have thunk? His third down conversion on a checkdown was a low-key big play on a day when the Seahawks third down offense bucked trends and was outstanding. DK Metcalf would score a couple of plays later to put Seattle up 6-0. Bellore also recovered a fumble on kickoff coverage duties, so now we can stop complaining about his roster spot.
Bellore never has a fumble to recover if not for Barton’s big hit on Dante Pettis. He may not be a viable starter (yet) on defense but he continues to be a very dependable contributor on special teams.
1st-3rd Quarter defense
For about 45 minutes that was by far the most complete and most impressive showing by the Seahawks defense for quite some time. They were not relying exclusively on turnovers and indeed forced four punts, which is great for a team that struggles to even do that. The run defense was phenomenal and held the 49ers to only 52 yards on 22 attempts, and Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t crack 90 yards before he was pulled due to injury. Seattle has to be aware of the chatter of their struggles this year and last, so it was so encouraging to see this group step up collectively and tilt the field in their favor. Fair play to Ken Norton Jr when he’s undoubtedly and deservedly been under fire.
4th Quarter defense
I get letting up to some extent up 30-7, and indeed the Seahawks were up by double digits for the entire 2nd half… but that was an ugly quarter. Nick Mullens sliced and diced them and finished with a 97 QBR. They didn’t even necessarily do prevent defense as there were plenty of blitzes and near-turnovers. Oh well, it’s not a super big worry knowing reinforcements are coming soon. I just wish they wouldn’t do that.
He’s getting paid $7 million for 17 catches, 158 yards, a touchdown and a dropped pass that led to a pick-six in Week 2. Great TE in his prime and a really good analyst when he’s in the booth, but he was of no value on offense today. I guess I give him props for recovering the onside kick to officially end the game, because otherwise he had four targets and no catches. On two occasions he ran routes right in the vicinity of another receiver.
- The pass protection was excellent after a very shaky start. It’s evident to me that Jordan Simmons is not much of a run blocker but he holds up quite well in the passing game.
- It figures that I praised Jason Myers for not missing a kick and lo and behold he misses a PAT. Luckily it didn’t really matter in the end.
- Alton Robinson has two sacks in limited playing time and as such is tied for the team lead. I’m just happy that the 2020 draft class at the lower-end is finding ways to contribute. Hell, Stephen Sullivan was in the backfield on that blown up wildcat play and he was drafted as a TE!
- Tre Flowers got picked on in the 4th quarter and so did Quinton Dunbar, but they were both solid during the most meaningful part of the game. Holding serve and limiting big plays especially with Shaquill Griffin out was so pivotal.
- Monday is the three-year anniversary of me escaping from New York after four hellish years and returning to the Pacific Northwest. I live in Oregon but it takes me nothing to cross into Washington since I’m in the Portland area. You don’t know what you got until it’s gone, and for sentimental reasons I am happy the Seahawks won on this particular day. It’s going to be a glorious Enemy Reaction.