SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Seahawks Quick Hits: Bobby Wagner puts on All-Pro performance vs 49ers

Nov 1, 2020, 5:16 PM | Updated: 6:08 pm

Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner...

Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner had 11 tackles and two sacks in a win over the 49ers. (AP)

(AP)

The Seahawks are 6-1 and are atop both the NFC and the NFC West after a 37-27 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 8.

Recap: Hawks beat 49ers | D’s toughness returns | Instant reaction

The score makes the game look closer than it was, as Seattle surrendered 20 points in the fourth quarter while playing with a big lead. Believe it or not, the defense played pretty well overall, making life difficult for 49ers starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and San Francisco’s potent running game.

One player on Seattle’s defense stood out above the rest in a big way in the win. Let’s look at that performance and other key takeaways.

Wagner looks like an All-Pro

With the defense looking worse than last season, one place many fans and pundits pointed their finger to was perennial All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner.

Wagner entered Week 7 ranked in the top five in the NFL in tackles, but he wasn’t making many of the splash plays that we’re accustomed to seeing from the nine-year veteran. Some, like my colleague Jim Moore, questioned if Wagner deserved the $18 million a year contract the Seahawks are paying him.

Wagner may have heard the doubters, as he had far and away his best performance of the year. In fact, it was arguably the best performance of any Seahawks defender in 2020.

Wagner lit up the stat sheet, recording 11 tackles (six solo), two sacks, three tackles for loss and four quarterback hits. The Seahawks sent him on blitzes seemingly more than any other game this season, and it worked out big time.

How important was that pass rush he provided? Last week, the Seahawks had just one QB pressure on 48 opponent passing attempts. They had no QB hits or sacks. Wagner had multiple pressures, the two sacks and four QB hits all by himself.

For the season, Jamal Adams and Benson Mayowa entered the week tied for the team lead in sacks with two. Wagner tied those two with his two-sack performance (rookie Alton Robinson also joined with one sack on the day, giving him two this year).

Wagner looked like the perennial All-Pro we’ve seen play in Seattle for years, and if the Seahawks’ defense did indeed turn a corner, that could be scary if Wagner’s play keeps up and Seattle gets some much-needed defensive reinforcements.

Adams is due back from his injury next week while two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Carlos Dunlap, who the Seahawks traded for last week, is also expected to play his first game for Seattle in Week 9. Additionally, 2016 All-Pro defensive tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison could make his debut as a run-stopping force.

D.J. Reed revenge game

Sticking with the defense, someone who had a great game for Seattle was defensive back D.J. Reed, who made his Seahawks debut against the team that drafted him.

Reed was waived by San Francisco in the offseason as he had a torn pectoral muscle, and the Seahawks promptly claimed him off waivers. The move took a while to pay dividends as Reed recovered from the injury, but he was activated Saturday and took the field Sunday, recording six tackles, breaking up two passes, bringing pressure on blitzes and recording this interception.

With Ugo Amadi out, the Seahawks needed someone to step up so they could stay in nickel coverage. Reed did that and then some. How the Seahawks will use him and safety Ryan Neal when regular starters Amadi and Adams come back will be interesting. Seattle suddenly has a ton of talent in its secondary.

Another D.J. (DeeJay) comes through

The Seahawks were without their two top running backs against the 49ers as Chris Carson’s foot and Carlos Hyde’s hamstring kept them out of action. That left just Travis Homer and rookie DeeJay Dallas as the only halfbacks on the roster healthy enough to play, and Homer wasn’t even a sure thing to play Sunday because of an injury of his own.

Dallas was given lead back duties and while his overall rushing numbers weren’t eye popping – 16 carries for 41 yards – he had a rushing score as well as five receptions and a receiving touchdown.

The 49ers entered the game severely beat up defensively, but even with the injury pileup, they’ve fielded a formidable group on that side of the ball. Dallas did enough to help Seattle not be too overly pass-heavy, and hey, two scores in your first start? Not a bad way to kick things off.

The Russell-DK connection shines again

Russell Wilson targeted DK Metcalf 15 times. The duo connected 12 times for 161 yards and two touchdowns.

It seems like Wilson and either Metcalf or Tyler Lockett connect with a monster game every week so it’s not thatΒ surprising to see Metcalf go off again, but the guy looks otherworldly at times.

In his first score, he catches a crossing route and promptly runs across the field, gets a block, turns up the sidelines, turns up the jets and scores untouched. He did it seemingly with ease.

His second score was a quick slant route in the end zone for a short score. Metcalf boxed out his defender, looking like an All-Star basketball center in the paint, for the catch.

Metcalf looks like he’s on his way not only to his first Pro Bowl but also his first All-Pro nod. The connection he and Wilson have is special and developed absurdly fast.

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Seahawks Quick Hits: Bobby Wagner puts on All-Pro performance vs 49ers