Seahawks’ Carroll: Boye Mafe ‘ain’t done yet’ after record-setting sack

Nov 13, 2023, 12:47 PM | Updated: 12:48 pm

Seattle Seahawks Sam Howell...

Boye Mafe of the Seattle Seahawks pressures Washington QB Sam Howell. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

As Boye Mafe pinned Sam Howell to Lumen Field’s turf to start the second half, a 25-year-old Seattle Seahawks franchise record changed hands in the process.

Watch: Boye Mafe breaks Seahawks record for sack streak

Mafe became the first Seattle Seahawk to sack a quarterback in seven consecutive games, breaking defensive end Michael Sinclair’s six-game record that stretched from the end of the 1997 season into the 1998 season.

“His effort is so consistent, he’s really going for it,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said on his weekly show Monday with Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk. “And he’s confident. You’re seeing the confidence as he continues to grow with his opportunities and the flow of the game, taking full advantage of the teachings during the week and the skill level development and all that stuff. He’s just growing so when we got out there, it’s fun to watch.”

Carroll referenced Mafe’s relentless hustle chasing down Howell, the Washington Commanders quarterback, before he threw a touchdown to Antonio Gibson in the fourth quarter, tying the game at 19 a piece.

“He was so close on that touchdown play, the pass they hit to the corner to Gibson,” Carroll said. “He can’t be closer. (Howell) couldn’t even follow through on the throw at all, half an inch from knocking or swatting that ball out. He’s just playing great football.”

Mafe leads the team in sacks with seven, all coming during his streak. That’s four more than the second-year edge rusher recorded all of his rookie season and three more than the next closest teammate, Jarran Reed. The Seahawks are currently tied for the fourth in sacks with 30 alongside the Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles. Last year, the Seahawks were eighth in the league in total sacks with 45.

According to Pro Football Focus, Mafe ranks third amongst Seahawks defenders with a 79.7 defensive grade, trailing just Bobby Wagner and Devon Witherspoon.

“I love to see guys be consistent and man, what an illustration of that, seven sacks in seven weeks,” Carroll continued. “That’s ridiculous. It’s never been done before. Sinclair was a fantastic player, a great rusher and all that, and to eclipse a guy’s record like that, that’s a surreal statement. He ain’t done yet, either. We’ll see how it goes this week.”

The team’s aggressive pass rush stems from the coaching of former Michigan State coordinator Brandon “BT” Jordan. During two years with Michigan State, the team compiled 72 sacks under Jordan’s leadership. New England’s Josh Uche and Seattle’s Uchenna Nwosu both set career-highs in sacks after training with Jordan.

Now Mafe is attempting to have Seattle’s first double-digit sack season since 2018.

“He is confident and you see that show up in his consistency,” Carroll added. “There’s not plays when he’s going on, ‘What should I do here? What am I doing with this?’ He is capturing the opportunities more so throughout the game, and he’s got a really good endurance level, too. He can play hard for a long time and hang in there.”

Seattle (6-3) goes on the road to Inglewood, Calif., to face the Los Angeles Rams (3-6) next Sunday. The Seahawks previously lost to the Rams 30-13 in the 2023 season opener.

Listen to the full Pete Carroll Show from Monday at this link or in the player near the top of this post.

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