Suffering back-to-back losses for the first time since Week 10 last season, the Seahawks were unable to hold a 10-point lead and were held scoreless after halftime, yielding 23 unanswered points and falling 30-17 to the Vikings.
Although very few positives came out of this game for a mostly lifeless Seattle squad, a handful of players still played well during defeat. Here's a look at my top five grades from Week 3 as well as other notable performances.
Overall Grade: 92.0 (Receiving 95, Run Blocking 90)
Responding beautifully from a somewhat disappointing first two games, Metcalf came out hot out of the starting gates on Sunday, catching a 17-yard pass on a bootleg by Russell Wilson on the first play of the game. Moments later, he used a slick cut in space to slip past safety Xavier Woods to pick up 16 yards after the catch on a 28-yard pitch and catch to move Seattle into the red zone. On the very next play, Wilson hit him on a simple out route and he managed to extend the football inside the pylon for a 10-yard score to put the Seahawks out in front 7-0 early. Two drives later, Metcalf put his complete game on display, throwing a crucial block on a cornerback to spring Chris Carson for a 30-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 17-7 midway through the second quarter. While his production waned after halftime like the rest of Seattle's offense, he finished with six receptions for 107 yards and torched long-time nemesis Patrick Peterson with his elite speed and crisp route running.
Overall Grade: 88.0 (Receiving 90, Run Blocking 86)
Continuing to be utilized primarily in two tight end sets, Dissly played only 20 of Seattle's 53 offensive snaps, but he made a substantial impact with and without the football in his hands despite limited opportunities. For the second time in three weeks, he threw an effective stiff arm to discard an oncoming tackler to produce significant yardage after the catch, recording an explosive 39-yard reception that put the Seahawks in scoring position late in the second quarter. Unfortunately, Jason Myers wasn't able to cash in a few plays later, missing a a 44-yard field goal. Helping Chris Carson rush for 74 yards in the first half, he made several key blocks in the run game as an in-line tight end and also didn't have any miscues on a handful of pass blocking reps.
Overall Grade: 83.5 (Passing 88, Rushing 67*)
*Weighted for three rushing attempts
Statistically, Wilson turned in another sterling performance, completing 23 out of 32 passes for 298 yards. He was especially efficient before halftime, connecting on 15 out of 19 passes for 218 yards, including throws of 20-plus yards to Metcalf and Dissly. But as has been the case throughout the season, he was rendered ineffective in the second half in large part due to Seattle's defense being unable to make timely stops and get the football back to the offense. Pressing with the Vikings up by two scores, he misfired on a third down throw to Freddie Swain that could have extended a scoring drive early in the fourth quarter, leading to a questionable decision by Seahawks coach Pete Carroll to punt. He nearly had his prayers answered later in the quarter on a bomb to Penny Hart, but safety Harrison Smith was able to knock the football away and force a turnover on downs. It wasn't Wilson's best game accounting for just one touchdown and rushing for only seven yards, but he was far from the reason the team faltered late.
Overall Grade: 81.0 (Pass Rushing 86, Tackling 85, Run Defense 74)
Trying to find Seattle defenders who played well on Sunday was like searching for a needle in a giant haystack. Taylor was far from perfect, losing contain off the edge on a couple of rushes by Alexander Mattison and continuing to deal with growing pains when it comes to executing run fits. But the former second-round pick was the lone consistent bright spot for Seattle's pass rush, generating pressures on three of his 19 rush attempts. Keeping his team in the game midway through the third quarter, Taylor rocketed past Vikings left tackle Rashod Hill on a speed rush and bent his way around the corner, reaching out with his left hand to punch the ball out of Kirk Cousins' hands on a strip sack. Cousins wound up recovering and Minnesota tacked on a field goal, but without the near-turnover, the drive may have resulted in seven points instead.
Overall Grade: 80.0 (Receiving 87, Run Blocking 74, Pass Blocking 76)
As a blocker, Everett struggled at times in the ground game against a stout Vikings front seven, but he didn't give up any pressures on four pass blocking reps and continued to be invaluable with his positional versatility. Playing 18 snaps out of the slot, Wilson connected with the tight end on all five of their targets for 54 yards, with 39 of those yards coming after the catch as he broke four tackles. His two best plays came in the fourth quarter with Seattle down double-digits on the scoreboard, as he kept scrapping and fighting for 17 and 14-yard receptions for an otherwise anemic offensive attack in the second half. Moving forward, the Seahawks have to manufacture more ways to get the ball into Everett's hands, as he has made positive things happen when Wilson has targeted him and he provides a matchup problem for defenses with his athleticism at the position.
Other Notable Performances
Rushing for 80 yards on just 12 carries, Chris Carson narrowly missed out on making the top five due to producing just one yard on two receptions out of the backfield, finishing with a 79.5 grade. Only one offensive lineman - guard Damien Lewis - received a grade above 70.0, as he earned an 82.0 in the run blocking department to offset allowing three pressures in pass protection. The rest of the line combined to give up 13 pressures on Wilson, with typically reliable tackle Duane Brown allowing both sacks on Wilson and receiving a 65.0 pass protection mark. Playing his first NFL regular season snaps, Jake Curhan gave a valiant effort but looked overmatched surrendering three pressures on 18 pass rushing snaps and struggling to create any movement in the run game, receiving a 57.0 grade.
Away from Taylor, the Seahawks had few bright spots on defense with the Vikings easily moving up and down the field. Bobby Wagner racked up 10 tackles and snuffed out a screen at the line of scrimmage, but giving up four receptions on four targets for 51 yards lowered his overall grade to 77.5. Cornerback Tre Flowers gave up seven completions on seven targets for 78 yards, getting exposed frequently while playing soft coverage and receiving a 52.0 overall grade. Fellow starter D.J. Reed wasn't any better, yielding three receptions on five targets for 29 yards and surrendering a pair of touchdowns while receiving a 45.0 grade. Jamal Adams only blitzed twice and was a non-factor as a pass rusher, but did produce 11 tackles, receiving a 73.0 overall mark.