Seahawks @ Chargers
Final Score: Seahawks 37, Chargers 23
Writer: Matthew Theodosopoulos (@FreeMattyTee on Twitter)
The Seattle Seahawks continue the season nobody saw coming, easily defeating the Chargers in Los Angeles. Rookie running back Ken Walker III had yet another incredible game, running wild in Los Angeles. The Seahawks started hot and managed to control the game for the entirety. DK Metcalf exited the game early with an injury and did not return with a knee injury. X-rays were negative, and Metcalf will undergo further testing Monday. Chargers running back Austin Ekeler, also receiving the dominant running back game memo, was all over the field for the Chargers offense. Justin Herbert had a surprisingly quiet game, and receiver Mike Williams suffered what could be a serious injury towards the end of the game. Additionally, cornerback JC Jackson was carted off the field with a definitively serious injury. Seattle refused to surrender the lead all game, conquering the Chargers 37-23.
Geno Smith: 20/27, 210 Yards, 2 TD, INT | 4 Carries, 7 Yards, 1 Fumble (Lost)
Another solid week from Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith. He may not have had any eye-popping numbers, but he played a stellar game with numerous beautiful throws. He had an absolutely gorgeous ball to tight end Noah Fant who was, unfortunately, unable to corral the ball. He also threw two beautiful touchdowns to Marquise Goodwin, both of which were 20 yards or longer. The Seahawks started the game incredibly hot, going up by 17 points in the first quarter, so Geno was not asked to do that much throughout the game. That being said, he played a very good game and had a lot of pretty passes. He did throw an interception, but it was on a pass that ended up being tipped in the air. Geno has the Seahawks’ offense near the tops of the league in most metrics and is proving to everyone that Seattle made the right move trading Russell Wilson for a haul of picks and supporting him as their starting quarterback.
Kenneth Walker III: 23 Carries, 168 Yards, 2 TD
DeeJay Dallas: 6 Carries, 35 Yards | 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 6 Yards
Man oh man. Seattle has nailed another draft class. Ken Walker III continued his dominant early performance with yet another huge game, running for 168 yards and two touchdowns. He looks incredibly impressive running the ball; he seems to break free from first contact with ease and fights hard for extra yards every single run. His second touchdown of the day came on this 74-yard beauty in the fourth quarter which saw him run at a speed faster than any ball carrier this season at 22.09 miles per hour. The kid looks like a star and he’s only 6 games into his career. DeeJay Dallas ran with some pep in his step in relief of Walker, filling in nicely in certain passing situations as well. With a good offensive line and an incredible running back room, Seattle’s running offense should continue to hum for some time.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Marquise Goodwin: 5 Targets, 4 Receptions, 67 Yards, 2 TD
Will Dissly: 4 Targets, 4 Receptions, 45 Yards
Tyler Lockett: 8 Targets, 7 Receptions, 45 Yards
Colby Parkinson: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 28 Yards
DK Metcalf: 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 12 Yards
Noah Fant: 3 Targets, 1 Reception, 7 Yards
Dee Eskridge: 1 Carry, 4 Yards | 1 Target
With such a dominant rushing game, Seattle only needed to throw the ball 27 times for 210 yards. Geno Smith did a good job of getting a lot of guys involved, but seemed to look for trusty ‘ol Tyler Lockett most, targeting him 8 times but only garnering 45 yards. With superstar DK Metcalf exiting the game early, longtime veteran (and olympic athlete) Marquise Goodwin stepped right up and became the big-play guy for Geno Smith, catching both touchdowns and accumulating 67 yards through the air. His second touchdown reception came on a dime from Geno with Goodwin making a great catch for the touchdown. Seattle is definitely making the tight ends a staple of their offense, routinely using all three of Noah Fant, Will Dissly, and Colby Parkinson. Dee Eskridge was unable to haandle a Geno Smith backfield toss early on, crediting Geno with a fumble. He did have another short run later on, but it was really Goodwin that benefitted the most from the absence of Metcalf.
Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert: 33/51, 293 Yards, 2 TD, INT | 3 Carries, 22 Yards, 1 Fumble (Lost)
Although quarterback Justin Herbert‘s stats appear pretty decent by the numbers, he actually was not his best on Sunday. He threw a pick to Ryan Neal and had one or two other passes that easily could have been intercepted by a Seahawks defender. He also had a fumble early in the game. Ok, that was the bad. The good news is that Herbert is still a special player, and he reminds you of this fact every game he plays in. There were a number of throws Herbert made, whether they were on the run escaping the pocket or something else, that made me exclaim “wow!” He’s a special player, and it was Keenan Allen‘s first game back from injury, so there are certainly better days ahead.
Austin Ekeler: 9 Carries, 31 Yards, TD | 12 Targets, 12 Receptions, 96 Yards, TD
Sony Michel: 2 Carries, 5 Yards | 3 Targets, 1 Reception, 8 Yards
Isaiah Spiller: 1 Carry, -5 Yards
Welcome to the Austin Ekeler show. While relatively quiet on the ground, Ekeler was Herbert’s guy throughout the game. Ekeler was targeted 12 times in the passing game, catching all 12 for nearly 100 yards and a score on both the ground and through the air. After his slow start, OC Joe Lombardi seems to have finally realized that getting the ball into Ekeler’s hands, especially in space, is a winning strategy. Ekeler is one of the most fun offensive players to watch work in the entire league. He just has a knack for scoring. Sony Michel came in for a handful of passing downs, but the Chargers have been using him less and less each week.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Mike Williams: 9 Targets, 7 Receptions, 86 Yards, TD
Gerald Everett: 9 Targets, 5 Receptions, 63 Yards
DeAndre Carter: 7 Targets, 3 Receptions, 37 Yards
Keenan Allen: 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 11 Yards
Jason Moore Jr.: 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 5 Yards
Michael Bandy: 6 Targets, 1 Reception, -5 Yards
The return of Keenan Allen! Despite the low output, it was nice to see Keenan Allen out there and playing Sunday. He will now have a week to rest further as the Chargers have a bye this coming week. Mike Williams is the star of this group. He looked good against the Seahawks and seemed to always get open when Herbert needed him to. However, toward the end of the game, Williams went down with what could be a bad injury. Tight end Gerald Everett saw similar volume, being targeted 9 times and turning 5 catches into 63 yards. Herbert weirdly targeted Michael Bandy three times or so on a drive early in the game, a move that would result in a punt a few plays later. DeAndre Carter played his role and added some catches here and there, but catching 3 of 7 targets is rough.