The Seahawks are 5-0 for the first time in franchise history after a thrilling last-minute victory against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 5.
The primetime win was vintage Seahawks: play pretty poorly for most of the game, make just enough clutch plays on both sides of the football and make sure the finish is as dramatic as possible. It’s time to look at some hot takes submitted by Seahawks fans via Twitter following Sunday night’s insanity.
Thanks, as always, to those who participated.
The NFC West is far superior to the NFC North, but if the Packers end up claiming the No. 1 seed, they’ll do so because they’re a damn good football team. Green Bay still has non-divisional matchups against the Buccaneers, Colts, 49ers and Titans. Seattle only has one non-NFC West game against a team with a winning record. That’s the road game against the Bills in Week 9. Beyond that, the Seahawks play the Eagles, the Washington Football Team, the Jets and the Giants. Those four games come in succession from Weeks 12-15.
If the Seahawks are unable to get the NFC’s top seed and a first-round bye, it will be because they either lost games they shouldn’t have, or they couldn’t win enough divisional matchups. Either way, there will be no excuses when the playoff picture becomes clearer.
Overreaction: Yes (but just slightly)
I said this on Sunday night, but the list of receivers you can say are definitively better than DK Metcalf is dwindling rapidly. I still don’t think you can say that Metcalf is the NFL’s best just yet, though. Guys like Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins and Michael Thomas all have resumes of being All-Pro players season after season. Metcalf still has some things to clean up in his game, his drops most notably.
But if you phrased the take this way, I don’t think it would be an overreaction at all: There’s not a single receiver in football that the Seahawks would trade DK Metcalf for. Metcalf is on pace for 1,587 yards and 16 touchdowns this season and is still just 22 years old. Given his growing number of signature plays in clutch moments, he’s a total package superstar who projects to be an elite player for a long time.
Overreaction: Yes (emphatically)
This one is confusing to me. One of Russell Wilson’s best traits is his ability to take care of the football. He has just 71 picks in 133 career starts. Of his three interceptions in 2020, one bounced off of Greg Olsen’s hands and another was just a fantastic play by a Dolphins defensive back in the end zone. Sunday night’s pick was Wilson’s first egregious decision of the season. The Seahawks can absolutely live with one of those head scratchers every five games, especially when you consider how much he’s had to carry the team at points this season.
There are valid criticisms of Wilson. The biggest is that he tends to take too many sacks. But this isn’t one of them. The defense picked up Seattle’s QB against the Vikings, sure, but that group needed a signature play like that given how many times Wilson has saved their bacon the last few seasons.
The pass rush is better this season, even if those improvements are marginal. Seattle is on pace for just 29 sacks, which would be just a one-sack increase from last season. However, there are some more promising numbers. According to Pro Football Reference, the Seahawks lead the league with 20 quarterback knockdowns. Seattle’s 46 pressures rank fourth in the NFL.
Seattle’s pass rush has also led to several momentum-swinging plays. The Seahawks had two sack-fumbles against the Vikings. Benson Mayowa’s QB hit led to Ryan Neal’s interception against the Dolphins. Mayowa also had a clutch fourth-down sack against the Falcons. Jarran Reed had a sack-fumble against the Cowboys. So while the pass rush hasn’t been otherworldly, there has been a clutch factor that was glaringly absent in 2019.
Michael Dickson has been tremendous so far. Pete Carroll said on Monday that Dickson has been nearly flawless through five games. His 14 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line leads the NFL. Several of those have been downed inside the 5-yard line. Dickson has absolutely been a weapon when it comes to flipping the field and winning the field position battle.
Your second point is valid because Seattle’s defense has rarely followed with a three-and-out following Dickson’s many gems. Because of that, it’s common for Seahawks fans to bemoan the fact that Dickson even takes the field. There were a number of occasions against the Vikings where many would have preferred Seattle go for it on fourth down.
That, of course, is to no fault of Dickson. He is putting together an All-Pro season and deserves to be praised as such.
I’m reading this literally. Will DK Metcalf end his career as the greatest receiver of all-time? Maybe, but probably not. Rice’s numbers, especially his 22,895 career receiving yards, are mostly untouchable. But can Russell Wilson and Metcalf collectively be as productive as Rice and Joe Montana? Absolutely.
Those two connected for 67 touchdowns. Metcalf and Wilson are already at 13 (playoffs included). Metcalf is on pace to score another 11 in 2020, which would put them at 23. That doesn’t factor in any potential postseason scores this year, either. Regardless, let’s roll with that projection which would leave Metcalf with a two-year average of 11.5 touchdowns per season. At that rate, assuming good health, of course, Wilson and Metcalf would eclipse 67 touchdowns towards the end of Metcalf’s sixth season.
But let’s take this a step further, because Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison, not Rice and Montana, are the NFL’s most prolific QB-WR combo ever. Those two connected for a ridiculous 118 touchdowns. At 11.5 touchdowns per season, Metcalf and Wilson could set a new NFL record in Metcalf’s 11th season.
Given the work ethic of these two players and Wilson’s desire to play well into his 40s, it’s not totally impossible.
The defense should get better with Jamal Adams returning from injury after the bye week and the group as a whole continuing to gel. However, the Seahawks current formula is sustainable and they’re a legit contender regardless.
Despite being on pace to allow more yards than any team in NFL history, Seattle ranks second with 10 takeaways. That ability to make just enough plays and come through in clutch moments is enough to win games given the caliber of Russell Wilson and the offense.
Games will continue to be heart-attack-inducing nail-biters, but this team’s mental toughness is one of its best traits. It’s what will continue to make them so hard to beat, even in the postseason. This team is better than the 2019 version, and that squad was a Malik Turner drop away from a berth in the NFC Championship Game.