Week 3 of the 2020 NFL Season

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The Seahawks entered Week 3 of the 2020 NFL season boasting a 2-0 record and a great reason to be at the head of the table. The offense was cooking under the new-look offensive scheme centered around Russell Wilson, giving him an opportunity to show off his MVP capabilities. The defense was vastly improved by the acquisition of Jamal Adams. The ‘Hawks had given a lot of passing yards to Matt Ryan and Cam Newton, though most of those came in the fourth quarter after Seattle had built a sizable lead. Their opposition, Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys, would likely take a similar pass-heavy approach in week 3.

The Cowboys absolutely approached as was predicted, but it wasn’t enough. The Seahawks finished off the Cowboys on a game-winning drive with two minutes left in the game, which was capped by a 29-yard touchdown pass to DK Metcalf. Seattle walked away with a 38-31 win. Russell Wilson was magnificent once again, throwing for 315 yards with 27 completions on 40 passing attempts, with five touchdowns and no interceptions. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett both put up 100-yard receiving games, accounting for four of Wilson’s touchdowns. Tight end Jacob Hollister earned the fifth on a one-yard reception, his only catch of the game.

Meanwhile, the Seattle defense generated three turnovers against Dallas. Shaquill Griffin and Ryan Neal both garnered interceptions against Prescott, while Neal led the Seahawk defense with tackles at 11. Jarran Reed forced a fumble from him as well, which was recovered by Benson Mayowa for the third turnover.

Unfortunately, a number of Seahawk found themselves on the ever-growing injury report. None of the injuries turned out to be serious, but lead running back Chris Carson and star safety Jamal Adams are now both listed as questionable for the upcoming match against the Dolphins. Carson has a serviceable backup in Carlos Hyde, with Travis Homer serving as the runner-up if Carson has to sit. The loss of Adams is far more detrimental to the Seattle pass defense, but one should expect Russell Wilson to heavily outperform Ryan Fitzpatrick come Sunday morning. 

Even without Carson, the Seahawks offense should be fine. Metcalf and Lockett are performing admirably, and opposing defenses have failed to put together an option to defend the deep ball to Metcalf. The Seahawks were ecstatic over their last win and will likely be just as ecstatic over next week’s win. But the defense was a different story.

Although the Seahawks won, They allowed at least 397 yards passing for the third consecutive game. They set the all-time record for futility, allowing the most passing yards ever through the first three games of the season. This includes Cam Newton, who was coming off multiple injury-plagued seasons. The defense is running on a “bend, don’t break” mentality. It works for the most part; various news sites rank the Seahawks around second or third in the NFL power rankings, despite their ridiculous defensive statistics. The injuries are a concern as well. The injured reserve list features stud linebacker Bruce Irvin and safety Marquise Blair, who are not expected to return this year. Lead cornerback Quinten Dunbar joined Adams on the list of players questionable to play in Week 4 as well, further hurting the secondary. However, these injuries alone do not justify this sort of output. The best teams thrive under a “next-man-up” mentality, which ensures that injuries to prominent players don’t hurt their chances of winning. 

Prior to the game, three defensive players were freshly added to the roster that came up big. Neal completed four tackles, a pass deflection, and a game-winning interception. Rookie Alton Robinson had three tackles, two for a loss, and added a sack. Shaqueem Griffin, twin brother to Shaquill, came out with a couple clutch pass breakups in the final drive. But if so many things went right, what didn’t?

Tre Flowers seemed to be the big liability on defense, allowing 135 yards on 10 targets in his direction; he was burned too often. Shaquill Griffin allowed another 151, although 42 of those yards should have been shouldered by Pete Carroll’s bad call, which somewhat bolstered his performance with an interception. K.J. Wright allowed a surprising 140.7 passer rating when targeted. That will happen when you pit a linebacker against some of the premier NFL receivers.

Hopefully Flowers will get knocked down a few depth chart slots as other cornerbacks make their way back to the active roster. Not every team will have the offensive arsenal that Prescott has, but the road is still long. Seattle has six intra-division matchups remaining in the best division in football. The Bills are also on the schedule, and have looked white-hot so far. Hopefully the defense can step up if Wilson doesn’t throw five touchdowns every game; how cool would it be if he just kept doing that and we would never need to worry about the defense? The next matchup involves taking on Ryan Fitzpatrick, DeVante Parker, and the Miami Dolphins. My observations have convinced me that the Dolphins are better than their current 1-2 record.

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