It’s time to pass out midseason awards for the 6-2 Seattle Seahawks.
There were several notable first half performances and others that were far less stellar. The following eight awards tell the story of how Seattle got to this point, and where improvements need to be made if the Seahawks are to replicate their 6-2 start in the back half of the season.
MVP: Russell Wilson
This was an easy choice. If he’s the MVP of the league through eight games, which I believe he is, then he’s got to be the MVP of his own team. Wilson has carried the Seahawks thus far with only one performance that was below average.
His 17 touchdown passes lead the league, and he’s added three rushing scores as well. Wilson is also taking care of the football at an incredible rate with just one interception thus far. His 68.4 completion percentage would set a new career high if the season ended today, and his quarterback rating of 115.5 is top in the NFL. Wilson’s QB rating has been north of 100 in every game but one.
Beyond the numbers, the degree of difficulty of some of his throws is what has put him over the top. Wilson makes a few “wow” throws each week, none more notable than his 13-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett against the Rams. Next Gen stats called that the most improbable completion of the last two seasons.
Offensive Player of the Year: Tyler Lockett
Another easy choice. Wilson’s go-to guy in the passing game has caught 46-of-54 targets for 615 yards and four touchdowns. That puts him on pace for 1,230 yards (which would be a career high) and eight touchdowns. Lockett has entered the upper echelon of NFL receivers, and his chemistry with Wilson is among the best – if not the best – of any QB-WR combo in the NFL. With Dissly out, Lockett is having to put the passing game on his back. He’s doing so impressively at a remarkably efficient rate.
Honorable mention: Had it not been for his early season fumbles, Chris Carson would have been a consideration here. He’s still on pace for 1,318 rushing yards (which would be a new career high) and 10 total touchdowns. Carson has also already set a new career mark with 22 receptions.
Defensive Player of the Year: Jadeveon Clowney
Clowney’s 85.0 PFF grade ranks seventh among defensive ends who have played at least 350 snaps. He’s been far more disruptive than his two sacks suggest. The biggest problem is that he hasn’t had any help. As ESPN’s Brady Henderson noted earlier this week, Clowney has a 70% pass rush win rate, which ranks second in the NFL. His first half was highlighted by a one-handed pick-six against the Cardinals in Week 4.
Rookie of the Year: DK Metcalf
Metcalf was also an easy choice. He’s deserving, but he also doesn’t have any competition. With 23 receptions for 402 yards and four touchdowns, Metcalf is on pace for 46 receptions for 802 yards and eight touchdowns. For comparison’s sake, I predicted the rookie would have a line of 45-715-5 this season, so he’s ahead of where I thought he’d be. He’s nowhere near as dependable as Lockett, but Metcalf’s all-world athleticism makes him a threat on every play. Seattle will continue to rely on the rookie in the second half of the season.
Most Improved: Shaquill Griffin
Griffin could easily have been picked for DPOY. Griffin has a PFF grade of 78.5 for the season, which ranks seventh among NFL corners who have played at least 350 snaps. He’s got 33 tackles, eight passes defended and one tackle for loss through eight games. Griffin has really come into his own and emerged as a legit No. 1 corner for the Seahawks. He figures to be a long-term franchise cornerstone.
Most Surprising: Jamarco Jones
Jones, a left tackle by trade, filled in admirably at right guard for three games (two starts) in place of D.J. Fluker. His versatility should keep him in Seattle for a while, if not in the team’s starting lineup.
Most Disappointing: Ziggy Ansah
Ansah has only played in five games, and he’s been underwhelming in pretty much all of them. His forced fumble and fumble recovery against the Browns was impressive, but that’s about all Ansah has contributed so far. Ansah was signed to make plays in the backfield, and we just haven’t seen that happen yet. His lone sack was in garbage time against the Cardinals on the last play of the game. Clowney desperately needs help, and it’s hard to imagine Seattle’s pass rush getting going without Ansah becoming a consistent factor. His PFF grade is just 57.5 on the year.
Comeback Player of the Year: Will Dissly
Dissly still gets this award for the unreal pace he was on prior to his second season-ending injury in as many years. He caught 23-of-27 targets in five games for 262 yards and four touchdowns in his return from a torn patellar tendon. Dissly tore his Achilles early in Week 6 and faces another long rehab process. He’s already done it once, so there’s no reason to doubt that Dissly won’t come back and be productive again in 2020. Seattle’s offense has missed him dearly since he left the lineup.