After one of the most thrilling Sunday Night Football comeback wins in team history, the Seattle Seahawks remain undefeated. In their first four wins, the Hawks overwhelmingly won because of quarterback Russell Wilson’s newly unleashed, high-octane passing attack.
To earn their fifth, however, it took an MVP.
In the final two minutes, Wilson took the Seahawks 94 yards for a game-winning touchdown. It was incredible to watch such mastery of the game. In his ninth season, Wilson is playing at the highest level we’ve ever witnessed.
By any measurement of the quarterback position, Wilson is considered among the league’s elite. But on SNF against the Minnesota Vikings, he proved for the millions watching that he is the very best when he threw his NFL-leading 19th touchdown.
If you have 20 minutes, I highly recommend watching this analysis of the drive on YouTube. It drills down into the smaller things Wilson did and shows how they factored into his success.
With rain pouring down on the field and in full command of the moment, Wilson methodically worked his offense down the field. With less than 2:00 minutes on the clock, he ran, passed, and made perfect decisions to earn yet another game-winning score.
It was vintage Russell Wilson magic.
To date, it’s mostly been Josh Allen (Buffalo Bills) and Aaron Rogers (Green Bay Packers) mentioned along with Wilson in the MVP chatter. But this week, with Allen having a disaster of a game and Rogers having a BYE week, Wilson took center stage and delivered an all-time performance that vaulted him to the lead of the race.
He didn’t even have a particularly good game. Week five had Wilson’s lowest completions (20/32), lowest accuracy (62.5), and lowest yards (217) this year. But the story Monday morning was ‘Russel Wilson – MVP Front-Runner’.
But, an MVP doesn’t get there alone.
For over a month now, I’ve been watching the Seahawks offense, in all its deep-bombing glory, and it’s been so dazzling and impressive that I hadn’t noticed it until now. It took me five games to finally identify what the Hawks saw last year.
From last season to this one, what change created the new offense?
The answer is D.K. Metcalf.
On the game-winning drive, Wilson threw two high-stakes fourth-down conversions to Metcalf. The first was a deep floater down the sideline that Metcalf snatched out of the air, while the second was the short dart in the end zone to seal it. Metcalf ended the night with six catches for 93 yards and two touchdowns.
For several years now, there’s been a steadily rising clamor for the Seahawks to #LetRussCook, but before he could, the team needed a spark.
In 2020, Metcalf has emerged among the league’s very best wide receivers. He’s currently ranked first in average yards per reception (22.5), second in total yards (496), and he is currently tied for third in touchdowns (5). Oh, and he’s only 22 years old and this is his second season, so there’s likely room to keep developing. Somehow.
When asked about his ability to come through in key moments, Metcalf said “My pops always taught me to be a dog… They always told me how big, strong, and intimidating I look, so why not just act like it? He created a monster.”
On behalf of the 12’s around the PNW, thank you Terrence Metcalf!
It’s still early, but I think it’s about time to start bringing up Metcalf’s name as an OPOY-candidate. His size, speed, and talent make him a matchup nightmare for defenders across the league and when combined with Wilson’s deep arm accuracy, Metcalf is poised to endure all season long.
Metcalf is currently leading the NFL with five games of 90+ yards and drawing comparisons to some of the NFL’s receiving greats. From current Hall of Famer Terrell Owens to future Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson (a.k.a. Megatron), the appraisals are flattering and appropriate.
And pretty soon, Metcalf will start demanding double-coverage looks from defenses, which would spell trouble for some quarterbacks. But Wilson will naturally pivot to his other passing weapons, like the sure-handed Tyler Lockett, the quietly-emerging David Moore, the rookie-sensation Freddie Swain, the aging-gracefully Greg Olsen, and/or the silent-bulldozer himself, running back Chris Carson—who had six receptions on SNF to tie his 2020 high from week one.
So, there’s no shortage of ways for this team to continue thriving this season. They should win the division, have good seeding in the playoffs, and if things break just right, the Seahawks should play against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl.
And I’d put my money on Russell Wilson and the Seahawks in that scenario.
But this week, the Hawks are enjoying their BYE week. Instead of playing a game on Sunday, they’ll be getting the starters some much-needed time to rest, the injured players some much- needed time to heal, and newly-acquired players some much-needed time to acclimate to a new system.
I don’t anticipate the Hawks looking dramatically different in week seven against the Arizona Cardinals, but I do expect the team, and specifically the defense to play better overall and start coalescing into a formattable squad in the second half of the season.
After the Cardinals, they’ll face the San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams, Cardinals again, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, New York Jets, Washington Football Team, Rams again, and finally, the 49ers again.
Outside the NFC West, I don’t see a realistic threat to the Seahawks other than the Bills.
And within the NFC west, I always expect to split with each opponent—winning at home and losing on the road. However, this year, with the 49ers so plagued with injuries, the Hawks may take both games from the former rivals.
While the Hawks rest up this week, the 4-1 Rams will play the 2-3 49ers, and the 3-2 Cardinals will play the 2-3 Dallas Cowboys. We’ll see how those games shake out, but I expect the NFC West to remain firmly in the Seahawks’ hands when they emerge in week seven.
Over the rest of the 2020 NFL season, the two biggest threats to the Seahawks are COVID-19 and an injury to Wilson. Barring those two significant hazards (*knocks on wood), this team is positioned to deliver a special year of football.
Now that the Seahawks have found the spark they needed to #LetRussCook, we’ll all be savoring the delicious results for the rest of the season and beyond. Go Hawks!