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Seahawks grades: Nearly perfect across the board as Seattle’s play finally matches its record

UPDATED: Mon., Nov. 2, 2020

By Bob Condotta Seattle Times

It sort of feels weird to say for a team that now has the best record in the NFC.

But in their seventh game of the season, the Seahawks finally turned in their first complete game, with the offense its usual Russell Wilson-touchdown-throwing self and the defense finally rising up to match it.

Well, for three quarters, anyway.

The fourth got a little uncomfortable, but not enough to take too much of the shine off an eventual 37-27 victory.

It’s a win that stamped the Seahawks as again not only the team to beat in the NFC West but in the entire NFC. Not only did the Seahawks drop the 49ers to 4-4, but the Rams lost in Miami to fall to 5-3, leaving Arizona in a surprising second at 5-2.

And not only did Seattle win, but Green Bay lost at home to Minnesota, leaving the Seahawks as the only one-loss team left in the conference.

Meaning, it was about the best day possible all the way around for the Seahawks.

On to the grades:

Quarterback: Wilson threw three interceptions last week for the first time since 2017. But coach Pete Carroll predicted early in the week that would just be a blip in the road. And indeed it was, as Wilson rebounded in a big way with four more touchdown passes, giving him 26 for the year, one off the NFL record for most in the first seven games of the season by Tom Brady in 2007.

Wilson now is 32-8 in games following a loss in his career, the best record of any QB in the NFL since the 1970 merger.

Grade: A

Running back: The Seahawks entered the game with just two players listed as tailbacks available – Travis Homer and rookie DeeJay Dallas – with Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde sidelined.

Dallas got the start and the bulk of the work and turned in a yeoman’s game with 41 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown and another score through the air, while Homer gutted out just enough snaps to allow Seattle to not have to go to any of its “creative’’ options to fill out the position.

Give some special credit to fullback Nick Bellore, who had a big catch on a third down to spark Seattle’s first scoring drive.

Grade: A

Receiver: So much for teams slowing down DK Metcalf after he was held to two receptions last week.

Metcalf had a great game’s worth of production in the first half alone, proving undefendable in man coverage by San Francisco’s Richard Sherman-less group of cornerbacks with six catches for 102 yards and two touchdowns.

He finished with career highs in receptions (12) and yards (161).

There was no way Tyler Lockett wouldn’t be quieter than last week but he still turned in four receptions on five targets for 33 yards.

And David Moore shook off an early rib injury that had him listed as questionable to return to catch three passes, including a 6-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

Grade: A

Tight end: The Seahawks had five tight ends active, something that probably won’t happen too often in the future, if at all.

None did a whole lot early – Wilson was 2 of 7 targeting the tight ends in the game.

But Will Dissly had a key 17-yard grab to allow Seattle to convert a third-and-2 in the fourth quarter.

Grade: B

Offensive line: Carroll veered off an answer during his postgame news conference to praise the play of the offensive line, saying “our offensive line is better than we’ve been.”

Hard to argue, as Wilson was sacked only once after the second play of the game and got the time he needed on some key plays, though the Seahawks tried to mitigate the 49ers rush some by going with more of a quick passing game.

Jordan Simmons got his third consecutive start at left guard in place of the injured Mike Iupati and continues to prove up to the task.

And while all of the linemen appeared to have good days, special note should go to left tackle Duane Brown, who just continues to play well. Brown again showed his rare athleticism at age 35 by leading Dallas around the end for a gain to the 1 in the second quarter. He simply continues to solidify everything up front.

Grade: A-

Defensive line: All that really needs to be said to back up the high grades for the Seahawks are 112 yards and only one touchdown for the 49ers through three quarters.

Sure, the Seahawks had to blitz more to get some of that done, and of Seattle’s eight quarterback hits – tied for second-most this season – four were by Bobby Wagner.

Still, the 49ers’ running game was pretty nonexistent – 52 yards on 22 carries, a good showing by Seattle even against a banged-up corps. And there were some promising moments from some young players.

Rookie Alton Robinson, who had just seven snaps against Arizona, got the start at the LEO/rush end position with Benson Mayowa sidelined with an ankle injury.

Robinson got called for what seemed a somewhat dubious personal foul on a late hit of Jimmy Garoppolo in the second quarter but otherwise played well, getting his second career sack in the third quarter.

Stephen Sullivan, converted to end from tight end last month, got in the game on the first series and had an assist of a tackle on his first play, when the 49ers attempted a wildcat run, stopping their first drive.

Grade: B+

Linebacker: Wagner, who said last week it was time for the defense to stop talking and just start playing well, backed up his challenge with his best game of the season with 11 tackles, three for a loss, and four quarterback hits.

Jordyn Brooks also seemed to be in the right place most of the time, no small feat against that offense.

Grade: A

Secondary: With injuries ravaging the secondary, Seattle had to make a few different moves to compensate.

But everything seemed to work, as the secondary played its best and cleanest game of the season (well, for about 50 minutes, anyway).

Tre Flowers not only started in place of Shaquill Griffin but also stayed on the right side, where he started the past two seasons, with Quinton Dunbar moving to the left side to fill in Griffin’s spot. Flowers turned in his best game of the year with a pass defensed and a forced fumble that almost turned into a huge play early.

D.J. Reed got the start at nickel in place of Ugo Amadi and had an interception in the first quarter that stopped a long 49ers drive and two passes defensed. Safeties Ryan Neal and Quandre Diggs were steady in the back end (most of the day, anyway).

The final quarter was a little frustrating but not enough to downgrade the overall effort much.

Grade: B

Special teams: Jason Myers missed a PAT following Seattle’s first touchdown for his first miss of a kick of any kind this season.

Otherwise, this was another typically dominating special teams performance.

Michael Dickson turned in a big punt at a key time late in the first half with a 65-yarder downed at the San Francisco 3 that compelled the 49ers to just let the clock run out.

The kickoff team came up with a game-turning play when Cody Barton forced a fumble by former UW Husky Dante Pettis that Bellore recovered at the 21, leading to a TD that made it 27-7.

Will Dissly recovered San Francisco’s onside kick to quell the only real nervous moment in the fourth quarter, and Greg Olsen got another a few minutes later.

Grade: A-

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