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Week 4 Game Recap: SEA @ MIA

In our game recaps, I won’t be doing a traditional game recap, but instead focusing on the smaller, finer details of the game. I’ll point out any key plays I thought were instrumental in determining the outcome of the game.

Tidbits and Other Key Plays

· Great pressure by Benson Mayowa who came flying off the edge to clip Fitzpatrick’s arm, leading to a Cody Barton tip and a Ryan Neal (!) interception on MIA’s first possession. I thought Neal played well today aside from the pick and saw him in on a few tackles near the LOS. Didn’t see many back-breaking mistakes from him either.

· On MIA’s 2nd possession, Shaquem Griffin came screaming around the outside, forcing Fitzpatrick to step up and make a run for the stick, but Bobby was there waiting for him, causing Fitz to throw a (after review, not illegal) illegal forward pass to force a 3 and out. Shaquem makes a few impact plays every game and I’m happy he’s seeing more snaps.

· DK needs to hang onto the dang ball. On SEA’s 2nd possession on 3rd and 11 following a nice catch and run for 20+ yards by Freddie Swain, Wilson fired a bullet to Metcalf 20 yards downfield. A beautiful pass, but DK was hit hard after securing the ball, causing the ball to plop onto the ground. It was a huge hit, but DK is a HUGE MAN. He’s got to hang onto the ball. Something similar happened up the right sideline against the Cowboys, when Wilson threw a perfect ball between two defenders.

· Ugo continues to shine in Blair’s absence. I always thought he would be our best chance at having a decent nickelback and early indications are that he indeed is. Ugo had a great pass break up (PBU) on 2nd and 13 at the SEA 23. He got beat a little up the right sideline, but got his hand up just in time to knock the ball out of the receiver’s hands. Just a great heads-up play by the guy.

· As I mentioned earlier, Neal had a decent game. Right after Ugo’s nice PBU on 2nd and 13, Neal beautifully diagnosed a screen pass to Myles Gaskin and laid a big hit on Gaskin right as the ball was touched his hands to force a FG deep in Seattle territory. He’s no Jamal Adams, but through 2 weeks Ryan Neal has already made more impact plays than Lano Hill.

· Late in the 1st quarter, SEA had a nice drive going and was on the MIA 36 when Wilson faced some pressure and scrambled up into the pocket, firing a bullet 15+ yards downfield to Lockett. What happened next was something so uncommon, I could probably count the number of instances on two hands. LOCKETT DROPPED A PASS. The bullet from Wilson hit him right in the chest and bounced off his pads onto the turf. 95% of the time, that pass would’ve been caught for a first down, setting up SEA inside the red zone. Lockett was relatively quiet this game, but I’ll cut the man some slack after his insane 3 TD performance against Dallas.

· On 3rd and 3 with MIA at the SEA 11, Fitz dials up a bullet into the end zone. As I watched the play, I saw a blur of blue stepping in front of the ball. “Another pick!” I thought, only to see the ball slip away from KJ Wright’s grasp and fall to the turf. The unfortunate should’ve-been-interception forced a FG, which was sort of a win in itself, would’ve been much sweeter if it were a pick. KJ also had a chance at an interception earlier in the game on a right sideline toss.

· It was nice to see DeeJay Dallas involved this game. On his first carry, he had two really nice jump cuts to rumble forward for 6 yards. Later, on the same possession, he caught a checkdown from Wilson and made a man miss more another 6 yards. He finished the day with 2 carries for 8 yards and 2 receptions for 15. With Carson not 100% and Hyde’s availability in question for Week 5, I’d love to see DeeJay more involved. He’s a more complete back than Homer, offering similar receiving prowess and better rushing ability between the tackles.

· Props to the O-Line as there were some big holes for Carson to run through today and we saw a couple of good runs of 8+ yards. No one on the roster even comes close to replicating Carson’s combination of power and finesse. He did, however, drop a dump off pass from Wilson, who was under heavy pressure and probably put it a little higher than Carson would like, but Carson needs to come down with that if he’s going to be a regular participant in the passing game.

· I like the aggressiveness of Pete Carroll to go for it on 4th and 3 at the MIA 18, but I personally would’ve liked to see SEA take the FG on that one. 3 points would’ve extended the lead to a touchdown, plenty for a Seattle team that, up until this point, seemingly could score at will. A 36-something yard field goal would’ve been near-automatic for Myers, who’s perfect on extra points this season. I get that in most cases Wilson would find a way to convert a measly 3 yards to extend the drive and I am a proponent for being more aggressive on 4th down, but this didn’t seem like the situation to do it. Going for it on 4th down when the alternative is a 50+ yard field goal or a punt makes a lot of sense. Maybe I’m the conservative one now…

· Wagner, overshadowed by Seattle’s shiny new acquisition – Jamal Adams, has been quieter than in past seasons, but not today. I do believe his play is declining, albeit from an unbelievably high level, but even at 85% Wagner still plays at a Pro Bowl level. He had 12 tackles today and a critical pass deflection on 2nd and 1 to force 3rd down following Seattle’s turnover on downs. MIA had a TE wide open behind Wagner and if not for the pass deflection, MIA would’ve likely gained 12+ yards. MIA ended up converting the 3rd and 1 anyways, but the pass deflection by Wagner was a reminder of how truly special he is.

· LJ Collier continues to develop in his second year as a pro (effectively rookie year due to all his injuries last year), bending around the MIA left tackle with a combination of force and speed causing Fitzpatrick to step up into the giant, waiting arms of Anthony Rush and Bryan Mone for SEA’s first sack. Collier has yet to turn into a constant impact player, but development is promising. Still not sure if he was worth a first round pick though.

· David Moore was a standout performer today, most notably with his 57 yard catch to set up the touchdown right before the half and his highlight toe-tapping touchdown to put SEA up by 9 in the 4th quarter. He also had a nice touch pass jet sweep during the first possession in the 3rd quarter that went for 21 yards. I was initially skeptical about his value on this team, especially knowing that Phillip Dorsett (who has yet to play a snap) was on the roster, but felt more comfortable after Moore agreed to restructure his contract. I’m happy to say that I was wrong to be skeptical and Moore’s been a tremendous value as Seattle’s WR3. I understand that he disappears at times and he didn’t perform well in 2019 (apparently due to a shoulder injury), but when you have Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf as your top 2 wideouts, the third WR doesn’t have to be THAT consistent. The occasional boom weeks will do just fine. Also considering he serves as Seattle’s punt returner and is currently ranked 10th in the league in yards per punt return, David Moore is a valuable member of the Seattle Seahawks.

· KJ Wright continues to build his MVSW (Most Valuable Screen Whisperer) resume. He hit Breida at the LOS for a 1 yard gain and later absolutely flattened Jordan Howard for a loss of 4 and a forced fumble. KJ is a savvy vet who makes one or two flashy plays each and every game, so forget about any steps he’s lost in pass coverage (he actually had 3 PBUs against MIA). He’s worth every dollar we’re paying him, especially if it keeps All-World linebacker Bobby Wagner happy. Those two are inseparable.

· On 3rd and 25 after a sack on Russ, Pete Carroll calls up a draw play to Travis Homer. Nothing says “I give up” more than a draw on third and long. We’ve seen less of these white-flag-waving shenanigans from PC this year, but I guess old habits die hard.

· I didn’t notice Alton Robinson too much during this game, aside from thinking “Oh, Robinson is in on this play”, but I did notice Robinson chasing down Myles Gaskin from the backside for a loss of 2 to force 4th and 5 at the SEA 9, causing MIA to settle for a FG. Even if Gaskin had been stopped for no gain, I bet Flores would’ve elected to go for it on 4th down on 4th and 3. A run play on 3rd and 3, to me, felt like MIA was planning to play for 2 downs. Another game, another big play from the rookie.

· I don’t have stats for this, but the play action rollout cross body cross field throw to Tyler Lockett remains undefeated. The combination of Russ’s soft touch and Lockett’s much underappreciated ability to catch in traffic makes that play so hard to stop.

· I know the last touchdown by MIA was basically meaningless, but it was SO frustrating to watch Ken Norton continuously rush just 3 rushers while playing prevent defense. I understand you don’t want the other team to score quickly with a big pass play over the top, but death by 10 yard crossers isn’t much better. MIA still scored in 2 minutes and 10 seconds while marching 75 yards down the field. Remind me again, what exactly are we preventing? I’d like to see the defense remain aggressive even when SEA is up two scores.

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