Seattle Seahawks Progress Report: Where Do Things Stand Heading into Week 11?
After suffering through a two-game losing streak just a month ago, a return trip home to the Emerald City has helped the Seahawks put together their third two-game winning streak of the season. And now head coach Pete Carroll is 2-0 this season against his two former clubs—a little added boost to his self-confidence.
Heading into the bye week, Seattle has to be incredibly happy with its current injury situation and the way that Gus Bradley's defense bounced back in Week 10. It appears as if the Seahawks have ironed out all of their gap assignment issues that have plagued them over the last three weeks.
With the Seahawks not scheduled to be back in the building until next Monday, let's take a look at the good, the bad and everything in between from Week 10.
There are plenty of eye-opening performances from Sunday's game, but was there any better than the Seahawks secondary and cornerback Richard Sherman? I don't think so—his impressive one-interception, one-sack, three-tackle performance earned him NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.
It was the first time that he had earned the award, and he was the first Seahawks cornerback drafted after the second round to win the award. After a rough game against the Lions in Week 8, Sherman has turned things around in a big way.
In Week's 9 and 10, opposing quarterbacks threw five passes in his direction, and how many receptions do you think he allowed? If you guessed zero, you hit the nail on the head. Neither Sanchez nor Christian Ponder could complete a single pass when throwing to their right.
Not to mention, both quarterbacks combined for a quarterback rating of 19.8 when throwing his way. On the season, Sherm now has four interceptions, eight passes defended and his completion percentage against is 48.1.
For any cornerback who has played at least 75 percent of his team's defensive snaps, Sherman has the second-lowest completion percentage against. Only Antonio Cromartie of the Jets has a lower number.
Another impressive performance in the secondary was that of free safety Earl Thomas. Thomas has had a bit of an up-and-down season which has stemmed from his inconsistencies in coverage. However, on Sunday, he only allowed 3.7 yards per catch on the three receptions that he surrendered.
Moreover, he didn't allow a reception longer than five yards, and New York's wideouts only managed to gain eight yards after the catch against Thomas. It's hard not to like the way that Seattle's secondary has only been getting better as the season rolls on.
Even though the Seahawks handled the Jets with ease, it's rare that everyone has an A+ type of performance. As a whole, the offensive line held up quite well. It only surrendered two quarterback hits and four quarterback hurries.
Unfortunately, Paul McQuistan and John Moffitt didn't fair as well in the run game as they did in pass protection. According to Pro Football Focus, both McQuistan and Moffitt received negative grades. When running back Marshawn Lynch would run between the center and guard on either side, it was tough sledding.
He averaged a minuscule 2.65 yards per carry through the A-gap, but his `average was higher through both the B- and C-gaps. Outside of the A-gap, Lynch's average jumped over four yards per carry. By game's end, he had averaged 6.75 yards per carry through the B- and C-gaps.
So who was it that threw both guards off of their game? Muhammad Wilkerson, Mike DeVito and Sione Pouha all had strong games up the middle. You may not hear much about those three players because of the Jets down year, but you will have a hard time finding three players who clog up the run as well as they do.
Wilkerson is PFF's second-best run defender with a grade of plus-21.7. Only J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans has done a better job of controlling the line of scrimmage. Wilkerson has 31 defensive stops this season and three tackles for loss, all highs among the Jets defensive line.
There's no question that he is the best defensive end that the Seahawks will see from here on out since Justin Smith has taken a step back this year in terms of overall production.
Rising: Russell Okung
We are now 10 games into the season, and left tackle Russell Okung has yet to allow a quarterback sack. On the season, he has only given up a total of 12 quarterback pressures. With Aldon Smith, Robert Quinn and Julius Peppers all remaining, can Okung make it a full 16 games without surrendering a sack?
Falling: Evan Moore
Many thought Evan Moore would become a viable receiving threat at some point during the season, but I think that his time is running out. Over the last three weeks, he has logged a total of six snaps and hasn't seen a single target since Week 8. Is he in Seattle's plans for next year?
Rising: Michael Morgan
Michael Morgan came to play in his first career NFL start. In a relief effort against the Vikings last week, Morgan didn't fair all that well. He was poor against the run, and he missed a couple of tackles. This week, he recorded five tackles, two defensive stops and didn't miss one tackle. He proved that he is capable of filling in when needed.
Falling: Chris Clemons
Another rough week from the pass rushing phenomenon Chris Clemons. He was only able to muster up one quarterback pressure on thirty pass-rushing attempts against D'Brickashaw Ferguson. PFF has now given him a negative grade in three straight games—something that hasn't happened since Clemons arrived in Seattle.
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