fbpx

Winners and losers from ‘Monday Night Football’ in Week 11

The Seattle Seahawks hosted the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football in Week 11, and it lived up to the clash of the titans billing.

The game went down to the wire, with the visiting team coming out ahead by three points when Blair Walsh missed the game-tying field goal from 52 yards out.

These were the biggest winners and losers from Monday Night Football in Week 11.

Winner: Grady Jarrett was a monster in the middle

There were many Falcons defenders who made plays Monday night, but perhaps none of them had as big an impact on the game as Jarrett.

A fifth-round pick out of Clemson in 2015, Jarrett was seen by some as a first-round talent. He sure played like it against the Seahawks. Though he only had three total tackles, he had one of Atlanta’s sacks, made two tackles behind the line and hit Russell Wilson three times.

Jarrett was also the man who kept the Seahawks from converting on a fake field goal attempt before halftime, which we’ll get into a bit more detail about in a bit.

Loser: Seahawks’ offensive line is just atrocious

This is something that’s been consistent all year long. The Seahawks have utterly failed to build an offensive line capable of protecting Russell Wilson.

While there were some exceptions, it sure as heck felt like Wilson had a free defender running into his field of vision on every single passing play. Countless times, a Seahawks offensive lineman whiffed on a block, allowing his man to have a free run at the quarterback.

If not for Wilson’s Houdini-esque abilities, he would have been taken down far more often than he was. As it was, Wilson was sacked three times and hit a total of eight times.

Additionally, take away Wilson’s 86 rushing yards and the Seahawks managed a total of 50 yards on the ground.

Winner: Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu made some miraculous catches

The early portion of the game belonged to the Falcons, and two of their receivers came up with unbelievable catches.

First, Julio Jones (who actually dropped an easy one early in the first quarter) went sky high for a ball down the right sideline. There were two Seahawks defenders all over him, yet somehow Jones was able to control the ball at the high point, maintain possession all the way down and get both feet in bounds.

Then a bit later on, Mohamed Sanu made a tremendous play to put the Falcons up 14-0. Down at Seattle’s two-yard line, Sanu ran a fade route into the back right corner of the end zone. Ryan put the ball where only Sanu could reach it, and he pulled it in with one hand (watch here).

Jones and Sanu didn’t explode for huge yardage totals, finishing with eight receptions and 85 yards between them. But they sure did give us a few highlights we won’t soon forget.

Loser: What were you thinking, Pete Carroll?

The Seahawks had a chance to pull to within four points at halftime. Russell Wilson drove them into field-goal range on a seven-play drive to set up what should have been a chip-in field goal.

Instead of taking the points, however, Pete Carroll called for a mind-boggling fake field goal that saw punter Jon Ryan pitching to tight end Luke Willson on some sort of sweep.

Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett was right there for the four-yard loss, and all the momentum Seattle built up late in the second quarter was suddenly snuffed out because of a terrible lapse in judgement.

Instead of being down by just four, they got nothing and gave Atlanta the satisfaction of stuffing an ill-conceived attempt at trickery.

In a game that was decided by three points, this most definitely stands out.

As an added “bonus,” in the fourth quarter, on a play that was clearly an incomplete pass, Carroll wasted a challenge and took 40 seconds off the clock in a round about way in the process. On a related note, did nobody up in the booth tell him Doug Baldwin clearly dropped that pass?

Winner: Russell Wilson is a magician

Despite having no protection up front. Despite the fact that the Seahawks (still) cannot run the ball worth a darn. Despite not having the kind of defensive help that defined Seattle for so long. Despite it all, Russell Wilson continues to amaze.

Evading pressure on seemingly every passing play, Wilson shook off an early, awful interception to single-handedly keep the Seahawks in the game. He finished with 258 yards on 26-of-42 passing with two touchdowns and the one interception.

He added another 86 yards and a touchdown on the ground to lead the Seahawks in this department and finished with nearly all of the team’s total offensive output.

Wilson might not have a tremendously long career based on all the hits he takes every week. But there’s nobody better in this league at making delicious lemonade out of a bucketful of nearly-rotten lemons. We’ll just soak it in while we can, because what Wilson can do on the gridiron is rare, and it’s beautiful.

Loser: Atlanta’s special teams wasn’t so special

Did nobody tell the Falcons that Tyler Lockett is exceedingly fast and eats coverage units for breakfast?

Apparently not, because Atlanta kept kicking the ball his way. And he kept ripping off huge gains to put the Seahawks in good shape offensively. In total, Lockett finished with 197 yards on five kickoff returns, averaging nearly 40 yards per pop.

Making matters worse, the Falcons were totally unprepared for a pooch kick in the second quarter after the Seahawks pulled to within 11 points. Seattle recovered the ball deep in Atlanta territory as a result.

Seven plays later, Russell Wilson turned it into a four-point game when he ran it in from one yard out on fourth-and-goal.

In a game that turned out to be awfully close, these lapses were huge for Atlanta. Thankfully for the Falcons, the Seahawks’ were just a little bit worse.