Russell Wilson has become the best football player alive, and your Fox News addicted grandpa doesn’t care. Cam Newton is showing the world that, when healthy, he is still one of the most talented quarterbacks alive, and your hate filled uncle could give a flip. This is the state of 2020, and the National Football League. While most people should probably be elated that the league has found a way to offer us this spectacular brand of sports entertainment as a reprieve from the pandemic, the fires, floods, and marches, Americans have found a way to be divided about it. So, here we are.
I feel sad for the folks who have decided to turn their backs on these brave players who are willing to put their lives on the line for our entertainment while playing a blood sport during a massive pandemic. That level of anger and hate in their hearts must be heavy. Fortunately, I don’t think that most Americans carry that level of negative vibes with them. I think most Americans want to watch these players play, just as I think most Americans want to ultimately see equal justice for all. But that’s just me.
That all said, for the folks that did tune into this game, what an amazingly entertaining football spectacle were they ever gifted. Whenever the Pete Carroll Seattle Seahawks and the Brian Belichick New England Patriots play, it is practically guaranteed to come down to the wire in a dramatic fashion. This game was no exception. Yet again, it was decided by one score and it was decided by one play. This is why we watch football.
Let me break down my thoughts into my Sergio Leone inspired subcategories.
Russell Wilson is not only showing the world that he is the best quarterback on the planet, he is showing the world that he is the best football player alive. He had a stellar game last week against the Falcons defense week, but that was the Falcons. What he did against the Brian Belichick coached New England defense was considerably more impressive. Nobody carves up that secondary that. Nobody. Russell threw 5 touchdown passes, and went 21 for 28 passes for 281 yards against the best secondary in football with relative ease, and the smartest mind in football had little answer for it. Let. Russell. Cook.
As impressive as Russell was in the passing game, I think the Seahawk receivers were equally impressive. It felt like every Seattle receiver flashed. David Moore had a solid game last week against Atlanta, and he followed it was an even more spectacular game. He had a spectacular touchdown grab against tight coverage in the front corner of the end zone on a deep ball that he had to adjust for, but he also made a tough third down catch on a fast ball thrown towards his knees that he took in stride and turned up field. Tyler Lockett continued to be his reliable self, and rookie receiver Freddie Swain looked like he clearly belonged in the league. For my money, though, most impressive was how DK Metcalf fought with and punked star cornerback Stephon Gilmore. DK took the best corner in the league and he abused him in almost every way.. that’s a really interesting take away from this game. Seattle could have a major superstar talent blossoming at receiver. I’m excited.
I thought the offensive line played well in this game. The New England front seven is a tricky front and for the most part, Seattle handled their stunts and blitzes pretty well, and Russell had time to perform his surgery. They also proved to be pretty strong in the run game. Yes, there were a few false starts and holding calls, but I like the potential of this unit moving forward.
The defense had another rough outing against the pass but I like the way the defensive line played against the run. I thought defensive tackles Jarran Reed and Poona Ford showed up pretty strong against a solid offensive line.
Nothing made me happier in this game than the play of second year defensive end LJ Collier. He got a couple flashy rushes in on Cam Newton, and he came up with the play of the game with that goal line run stuff against Newton, hitting him hard in the backfield. Collier looks like a guy who can be a really solid player up front for a long time in this league. I like his potential moving forward. Seattle needs help here, though. More on that later.
Seattle’s depth on the defense got tested throughout this game. It was pretty spotty, at best, and it was down right bad with the pass rush, especially at the end after Bruce Irvin came out of the game. Seattle’s weakness looks to be at edge rusher right now, and that a terrible area for the team to have a weakness.
I was hoping that we would see rookie end Alton Robinson active in this game, especially with Rasheem Green ruled out, but Seattle chose to carry more defensive tackles in this game, likely thinking the Patriots were going to lean into their run game. The result is that Belichick gave Cam Newton the green light to pass more against this unit, and Seattle got little consistent pressure on him. Newton had way too much time to make his deep throws as the game dragged on. Robinson had been a supposed star during training camp. If Seattle isn’t going to use him now, in my humble opinion, they need to bring in a proven vet, asap. Hopefully John Schneider has Clay Matthews number on speed dial.
For as dynamic as star safety Jamal Adams was in this game, effecting the run and pass, and working as a pass rusher, he left too many plays on the field. He got burned by Julian Edelman too many times. Belichick seemed to have made a concerted effort to match his star receiver against Adams. It’s tough for me to criticize Adams because the team is asking him to do so much, but because they are so dependent on him right now, he literally has to be at his best all the time right now. If they can at least get a semi decent pass rush going, this will only help Adams. This is another reason why Seattle must fix its pass rush soon. Adams cannot continue to be doing everything like this. It’s fun to watch, but just not sustainable for 16 games. I was surprised that they didn’t make a move last week to address the pass rush. I will be genuinely annoyed this week if they don’t do something.
Greg Olsen had a really weird game. He let a very simple-to-catch ball bounce out of his hands for a pick six in the opening offensive series, and he had a silly false start, or two. Maybe it is just him getting used to a new system and a new passer, but considering that he has been one of the more solid tight ends in the league for well over a decade, it was just weird to see this out of him. Fortunately, Seattle’s offense didn’t need him much in this match.
The people who will choose to not follow the NFL this year because the league has decided to be supportive about social justice for all. These people are dug in with their positions, they are in the minority, and it’s a genuine shame because they will be on the wrong side of history. It’s as simple as that.
I didn’t create this blog to delve into politics. Some of these people have chosen to randomly comment about how they don’t care about football, and won’t support anyone who won’t stand during the anthem. That’s fine. They are free to have whatever opinions they choose to have with these social issues, and they are free to troll this silly blog with their comments, and I am free to delete those comments and block them. At the end of the day, ballers are going to ball, and haters are going to hate. I just wish we could go back to the good old days when it is 49er fans trolling and not bigots, but that is just me.
The 2020 Pete Carroll Seattle Seahawks could easily have the best offense in the league this year. Yes, you are reading that right. It’s well within this program to achieve that.
It will be a shame if they are not playing in a championship game because they could not fix their pass rush to just be an average pass rush. It will be inexcusable, really.
So, fix it Pete Carroll and John Schneider. Go get some veteran help, if you are not going to use a promising rookie like Alton Robinson. Do it this week because Dak Prescott as got to be looking at Seattle’s pass rush right now and he is salivating.
Get this done.