It’s probably a fun time to remind everyone that the Seattle Seahawks acquired Jadeveon Clowney for a third-round pick and a pair of rotational pass rushers. We knew it was a heist then – especially when you consider that the Houston Texans are covering half of Clowney’s salary in 2019 – but it’s even more laughable now.
Let’s be clear, Clowney has been solid for the Seahawks all year long. He wins on a regular basis despite seeing more double teams than any other edge rusher in the NFL. His PFF scores were always well above average despite having just two sacks through nine games.
Heck, he only has three now through 10 games, but if you watched “Monday Night Football” you know that Clowney absolutely dominated the San Francisco 49ers. He was the Seattle Seahawks' MVP in the 27-24 overtime win.
Clowney had five tackles, five quarterback hits, one sack, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one touchdown – a 10-yard scoop and score to get Seattle on the board late in the second quarter. He was productive on both sides of the line, victimizing Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey on several occasions.
“I just thought he was so impressive all night long,” Pete Carroll said. “What a fantastic game.”
Pro Football Focus gave Clowney a grade of 90.7, which seems low if we are being honest. He was that dominant. PFF credited him with 11 pressures all by himself as he ignited Seattle’s pass rush that had been dormant through nine games.
The Seahawks sacked Jimmy Garoppolo five times and hit him 10 times. Clowney accounted for two turnovers, not only recovering a fumble but forcing a sack-fumble as well.
Seattle heard all week long about San Francisco’s defense – and its defensive line in particular – being the best in the NFL. That meant there was pride at stake for everyone on the Seahawks defense.
“It’s a competition,” Clowney said. “If you’re not competing, you need to retire. Point blank. Period. It’s all about competing at the end of the day. I don’t want to be outperformed by anybody, any week. In my head I always make it a competition.”
Added Bobby Wagner: “Their defense was considered the best defense, and we wanted to show otherwise.”
The craziest part of it all was that Seattle’s defensive performance came out of nowhere. It had been shredded by Matt Schaub and Jameis Winston the previous two weeks. There were no indicators that the Seahawks were close to taking a sizeable step forward defensively. But they limited San Francisco to 3.2 yards per carry and kept Garoppolo to 248 passing yards.
And that’s part of the magic of a Pete Carroll-coached team. Seattle always finds a way to perform in high-pressure situations. Seattle is now 28-5-1 in primetime games under Carroll, including 9-2 on MNF.
Several players benefited from Clowney’s consistent pressure. Al Woods, Jarran Reed, Poona Ford and Tre Flowers all had sacks. Garoppolo had several arrant passes with Clowney in his face, two of which could (and should) have been intercepted on San Francisco’s final drive of regulation by K.J. Wright and Wagner.
“When they’re doing the things that they’re doing, it allows us to do a lot of things in the back end. (Garoppolo) started rushing some of his throws,” Wagner said.
Russell Wilson said Clowney played “lights out.” It was the type of performance – especially when you consider the opponent and the stage – that earns players big-time contracts. It was also a game that endeared Clowney to Seahawks fans everywhere.
Knowing that they’ll have to see Nick Bosa and DeForest Buckner twice a year for the foreseeable future, everyone in Seattle wouldn’t mind having a guy like Clowney on their side.
He’s scheduled to be an free agent this offseason. If it were up to the 12s, Clowney would have been re-signed as he came off the field at Levi’s Stadium on Monday night.