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Seahawks QB Russell Wilson
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Seahawks Quick Hits: Wilson shines, Seattle capitalizes on 4th down stops

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson lit up the Falcons in a 38-25 win. (Getty)

The 2020 season is underway and the Seahawks, led by star quarterback Russell Wilson and a key defensive acquisition, are 1-0 to start the year after a 38-25 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

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With the game finished, let’s take a look at Seattle’s best players on both sides of the ball, a key moment and an observation from the Week 1 opener in Atlanta.

Offensive Star: QB Russell Wilson

“Let Russ Cook” sure seemed to be on full display in this one.

The Seahawks, known for their run-first power offense, went away from the ground game and took over the air, with Wilson looking like a potential MVP in 2020, completing 31 of 35 passes for 322 yards and four passing scores, good for a 143.1 paser rating while completing over 88% of his passes. And for good measure, he led Seattle in rushing yards with 30 on just two attempts.

It seemed unlikely that the Seahawks would completely shift their offensive philosophy, especially with the amount of success they’ve had running the ball, but if Week 1 is any indication, Seattle may be taking to the air at a rate we haven’t seen here under Carroll.

Wilson was sacked on the first play of the game for a nine-yard loss and quickly turned the drive around, resulting in a touchdown pass to running back Chris Carson, the first of his two touchdown receptions. He would find Carson again later in the first quarter, giving him as many receiving touchdowns in one quarter as he had all of 2019.

After scoring no points in the second quarter, Wilson found DK Metcalf for a deep touchdown and later connected with veteran tight end Greg Olsen for his first TD as a member of the Seahawks.

Seattle gets a tougher task in Week 2 at home against the New England Patriots, so it will be interesting to see if the Seahawks decide to stick with a pass-heavy approach or be more balanced, especially since New England has the defending NFL Defensive Player of the Year in cornerback Stephon Gillmore, who will be tasked with defending Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.

Defensive Star: S Jamal Adams

Talk about a great start for the newest Seahawks star.

Jamal Adams was seemingly everywhere on defense. He lined up on the edge to rush the passer and blow up runs, he played tight coverage against the likes of Julio Jones, and he played closer to the line of scrimmage in the box.

And not surprisingly, Adams filled up the box score. Adams led all defenders with 12 tackles and also had a sack, two tackles for loss and two quarterback hits.

Adams was everything the Seahawks expected him to be and then some, showing why Seattle was willing to ship three high draft picks and a solid player in Bradley McDougald to the New York Jets in order to get him to the Pacific Northwest.

The defense overall was up and down in Week 1, but Adams was stellar even if he bumped cornerback Shaquill Griffin in the fourth quarter, which resulted in a Calvin Ridley touchdown. Despite that play, he recovered and broke up a 2-point conversion on the very next snap.

Key Moments: Fourth down stops result in points

The Seahawks were able to stop the Falcons on fourth down four times during the game, and that resulted in 24 points for Seattle.

The first stop was in the first quarter, when Atlanta went for it on fourth-and-3 at the Seattle 40-yard-line and Matt Ryan failed to find Todd Gurley. The next drive, Carson scored to go up 14-3.

Later, the Falcons ran a fake punt, which Marquise Blair saw, read and then made a vicious tackle to force a fumble, which rookie receiver Freddie Swain recovered. Seattle followed that up with a Wilson to Olsen touchdown pass.

In the fourth quarter, Benson Mayowa was able to sack Ryan as he moved out to his right, and Jason Myers nailed his lone field goal attempt of the day.

And finally, after Ryan was unable to connect with Ridley on fourth down with just over six minutes to go, Carlos Hyde scored a short touchdown run on the ensuing drive to effectively put the game out of reach at 38-18.

The Seahawks did record a takeaway with Quandre Diggs picking off a pass in the end zone with little time remaining and the game’s result out of question, so Seattle taking the ball away on fourth down was huge for the defense, especially since it resulted in 24 points.

One Observation: D-line still needs some work

The Seahawks were able to record two sacks and six tackles for loss, but one of the sacks was by Adams, and four of the tackles for loss were by non-defensive linemen.

Mayowa, the team’s presumed No. 1 pass rusher, had a sack but no other big plays. Bruce Irvin, Damontre Moore and 2019 first-round pick L.J. Collier all recorded quarterback hits (Irvin had two), but for the most part, Ryan had ample time to throw and he had 450 passing yards as a result.

The run was also a problem early for the Seahawks as Gurley ran for a touchdown (he finished the game with 14 carries and 56 yards), but with Atlanta being down so much, the run game was essentially abandoned. It will be interesting to see how the Seahawks do against the run during tighter games when opponents put more of an emphasis on it. The early results weren’t too encouraging, even if the final line for the Falcons – 21 carries for 72 yards and a touchdown – wasn’t that great.

Follow 710Sports.com’s Brandon Gustafson on Twitter.

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