Moore’s 10 Takeaways: Who Seahawks should get to replace Bruce Irvin
Welcome to Tuesday’s Top Ten Takeaways, a weekly column that takes a look back and a look ahead with the Seahawks.
• 10) Not exactly sure what Pete Carroll did to warrant a $100,000 fine for not wearing a mask enough or not wearing it properly, but by the size of the fine, the NFL is not messing around with its COVID-19 protocols. If I’m Carroll or any other coach, I’m wearing a plastic shield like Kansas City’s Andy Reid the rest of the season and dealing with it fogging up rather than risking an even bigger fine for a second offense.
• 9) I don’t care if that fourth-and-5 play went for a touchdown against the Falcons. Throwing a long pass to Tyler Lockett on third-and-1 against the Patriots was the wrong play call considering the circumstances. There were less than two minutes to go. The Seahawks had rushed for 154 yards already, proving they were getting a push up front. Even if they didn’t get a first down, New England would have had to use one of its three timeouts before the Seahawks’ punt. An incomplete pass stopped the clock, and as cool as it is when Russell Wilson connects on a long one, that was not the time to be trying it when you needed only 1 yard to basically close the game out. In Atlanta, it was different. If you blew it on that play, you still would have had nearly two quarters left to make up for it.
• 8) While everyone complains about a lack of a pass rush, at least the Seahawks have dramatically improved their run defense (through two games anyway). Over the last two years they have allowed 4.9 yards per carry. So far they’re allowing 3.0 yards per carry, almost the best mark in the league. Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay lead at 2.9 yards per carry allowed. You could counter by saying Atlanta’s Todd Gurley isn’t what he used to be and that the Patriots threw the ball more than they did the previous week when they rushed for more than 200 yards against Miami. Whatever, I’m still calling it progress, and we’ll see if it can hold up against the Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott, who is averaging 4.2 yards per carry thus far.
• 7) It’s really early to be tracking paces for an entire season, but that’s what Joe Fann of NBC Sports Northwest did with DK Metcalf, who has 187 yards and two touchdowns already. If he keeps up that pace, he’ll finish with 1,496 yards and 16 TDs. Here’s a question, and in the scheme of things it doesn’t really matter, but I’ll ask anyway: Has he moved ahead of Tyler Lockett as the Seahawks’ No. 1 receiver? I would answer my own question with a “No, not yet.” Lockett has nearly twice as many receptions (15-8), but Metcalf has a whopping advantage in yards per catch 23.4 to 10.6. And consider this – the Patriots put the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore on Metcalf, not Lockett. So the assumption is that Bill Belichick thinks Metcalf is the Seahawks’ top target.
• 6) Still wish the Seahawks had re-signed Jadeveon Clowney? Not me. His stats through two games: five tackles, no tackles for loss and no sacks. Then again, maybe $12 million a year doesn’t get you what it used to.
• 5) Now that Bruce Irvin is out for the season, count me in for signing Clay Matthews, who had eight sacks in 13 games with the Rams last year at the age of 33. The Seahawks have $5.9 million to work with under the cap, and I just don’t think they’re going to be able to replace what Irvin might have given them with in-house options of Alton Robinson and Shaquem Griffin.
• 4) I’m sick of the Josh Gordon watch. The Seahawks don’t need him. They’re explosive enough and besides, I like David Moore as the third receiver, especially after that amazing TD reception he made against the Patriots. Still can’t believe he got that right foot in after it hit the pylon.
• 3) Based on what I’ve seen, the Seahawks have the best team in the NFC, even with their suspect defense. But they might not finish the season with the NFC’s best record. How does that make sense? Green Bay could go 13-3 in the NFC North, a much weaker division than the NFC West. Teams in the NFC West could beat up on each other all season long and produce a division winner with an 11-5 record.
• 2) As with the defense, you don’t need the offensive line to be in the top 10 in the league, just somewhere in the teens. And that’s where they’re trending at least, if they’re not there already. The Seahawks rushed for 154 yards against the Patriots, and Wilson was sacked only two times. That’s five sacks allowed in two games, a pace for 40 on the season, much lower than the usual 48 to 50 sacks allowed the last two years.
• 1) After only two games, Jamal Adams is within one sack of the three that Clowney recorded all last season. He is also averaging 11 tackles, two QB hits and 1.5 tackles for loss per game. Care to guess how much his contract extension will be next year? Budda Baker is the highest-paid safety at an average of $14.750 million a year, and Adams is better than Baker. If I were Adams’ agent, I wouldn’t want to hear any offer below $16 million a year even if the salary cap goes down next year.