This weekend marks the only bye-week for the Seahawks this season. Seattle is currently 3-2 and in first place in the NFC West. How have the defensive backs done to contribute to the Seahawks success?
Pro Football Focus can have some strange ratings. For instance, the Seahawks’ cornerbacks Shaquill Griffin and Richard Sherman are currently graded as the 41st and 44th best at their position in the NFL. Does anyone really think that 43 cornerbacks are playing better than Sherman?
The issue with Sherman is that teams are still not throwing his way. But is he beginning to slow down? Against the Los Angeles Rams, for instance, Sammy Watkins had Sherman beat deep by two steps but Jared Goff was inaccurate with the pass. I wonder as the season continues if teams might try to throw towards Sherman more.
As for Griffin, he did get beat for a touchdown in the Indianapolis Colts game, but he has been as good as expected otherwise. Especially for a rookie. Griffin will continue, of course, to get even better and he is already good. Plus, Griffin has been getting a lot more snaps since Jeremy Lane has been out, but the Seahawks defense has not suffered.
Speaking of Lane, he was having a decent season prior to injury. But Justin Coleman has stepped in for Lane and has played just as well. Coleman, of course, had the interception return for a touchdown against the Colts. Coleman, for what it is worth, is ranked slightly behind Sherman in Pro Football Focus’s ratings at number 49.
The Seahawks are currently fifth in quarterback rating allowed at 70.8. The cornerbacks have been good, but the safeties have been great, especially Earl Thomas. Thomas was the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Rams. He had an interception, but more importantly Bruce Lee’d running back Todd Gurley and forced him to fumble at the goal line.
Thomas has once again proven that while he might not be the most valuable player in Seattle – quarterbacks are always the most valuable – he is the best player on the Seahawks team.
Kam Chancellor has been nearly as good as Thomas in coverage in 2017. Pro Football Focus actually has him rated higher than Thomas in this aspect. Isn’t it great to have the best safety tandem in football together for the next few years, 12s?
Grades: Cornerbacks, B; Safeties, A